Tag Archives: Single-Payer
This Time, We Won’t Scare By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Perhaps you’ve seen those television commercials denouncing health care reform as a plot to create a Canadian-style totalitarian nightmare, and you feel a wee bit scared.
Back in the election campaign, some people spread rumors that Barack Obama might be a secret Muslim conspiring to impose Sharia law on us. That seems unlikely now, but what if he’s a covert Canadian plotting to impose … health care?
Rick Scott, a former hospital company chief executive, leads a group called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. He was forced to resign as C.E.O. after his company defrauded the government through overbilling and is now spending his time trying to block meaningful health care reform by terrifying us with commercials of “real-life stories of the victims of government-run health care.”
So here’s a far more representative “real-life story.”
Diane Tucker, 59, is an American lawyer who moved to Vancouver, Canada, in 2006. Like everyone else there, she now pays the equivalent of just $49 a month for health care. continued….
Now that I am temporarily unemployed, I have a razor’s edge to walk. First of all, I need to collect unemployment and accept any work I find, even though it probably will not provide insurance or health care. My wife has been disabled for years, and the daughter barely qualified for state health benefits. The delimma is that I could be required by the state to look for and accept work, with or without insurance.
If I accept work, as required by law, and accidently make enough money to feed my family, my daughter will be disqualified for state health benefits. That will cause her to have pre-existing conditions, and we will never be able to afford insurance.
The article from the NY Times is enlightening about government healthcare and the insanity of the ‘anti-healthcare’ groups from the right. ~sekanblogger
Why in the wide, wide, world of sports is SINGLE-PAYER not even mentioned in the mainsteam media? Maybe because the MSM is riding a gravy train provided by advertising prescription drugs? And why in the hell do they need to advertise anyway? Shouldn’t they cut the ads and pass the savings on?
With Obama’s failure on the Gitmo vote, is that an omen on the healthcare fight? Congresscritters are being lobbied daily by the insurance agencies, where’s our seat at the table? ~sekanblogger
As predictable as the sun rising in the East, this April 15th brought a pronouncement from the President that he and his administration will be working to simplify the administration of the income tax. Heard that one before from other Presidents, and I’m still waiting.
One “reform” being championed is the so-called Fair Tax, promoted as being a way to replace the income tax and payroll taxes with no revenue loss to the government. Facially simple, it provides a national sales tax, currently pegged at a 23% rate, to be assessed against purchases of new goods (and services, I believe). Each taxpayer would pay this tax, and each household would receive a “prebate” in the form of a check from the government in an amount calculated to provide the household with a monetary equivalent to what exempting certain basic necessities from the tax would save. This amount takes into consideration the size of the household, and the federal poverty level for such household.
Immediately, the following comes to mind. What constitutes a “household”? Should two adult individuals living under the same roof be a household, or should this combination be counted as two households? Determining the answer to this question and monitoring compliance therewith will, IMHO, not reduce the costs of administration of the tax system as is promoted by the proponents of the Fair Tax.
Then, what are basic necessities? Do prescription pharmaceuticals qualify? If so, how does the proposed prebate take into account the need for the purchase of drugs by a “household” where one or more of the members thereof suffers from a chronic illness, where the Fair Tax being paid on the needed prescriptions exceeds the amount of the prebate?
What about internet sales? Will the current exemption from sales taxes be abolished? If so, how will these be monitored for compliance? Seem like additional administrative costs will be needed.
My favorite is the exemption of the sales of used goods from imposition of the tax, on the basis of the goods already being taxed. Does this not guarantee that there will be a booming market for used “stuff”, to the detriment of sales of new? Is this not contrary to the idea that replacing the current tax system with the Fair Tax will encourage the creation of more manufacturing jobs in the U.S.?
Then, what about the components that go into finished products? Current sales tax laws generally allow an exemption for those components that are not sold to the ultimate end users of the products of which the components are a part. The pure Fair Tax would impose a tax on each such component, as I understand it; and to be “fair”, that should be the result. Otherwise, if these kind of exemptions are enacted, the application and collection of the tax will become as complex as the current system, as exemptions are monitored, distinctions made, compliance assured.
Finally, for purposes of this post, we are assured that as the “rich” purchase big ticket items, the burden will be borne more by them. Hogwash; if they are truly “rich”, they will purchase what they want from other countries with lower effective tax rates. This could be avoided, to some extent, by adoption of a Fair Tax Compensating Use Tax to be sure that the 23% is paid; but again, does this not increase the costs of administration, etc., to levels similar to or higher than the current costs of administering the present system?
There is a certain basic sense of simplicity with the idea of the Fair Tax, and its appeal is based on this. Like all proposals for reform, however, it raises more questions than it answers. And, as with all proposals for reform, it creates additional employment opportunities for accountants and lawyers. To pretend otherwise ignores reality.