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Every Single Media Outlet Is Misreporting Obama’s Tax Proposal


Obama is not proposing that families making up to $250,000 a year keep their tax cuts while families making more than that don’t. He’s proposing that everyfamily keep their tax cuts on their first $250,000 of taxable income (which isnot the same as “income” or “earnings,” by the way).

That includes families with taxable income of $260,000, $1 million, $5 billion, $3 trillion, or whatever Jay-Z and Beyonce make in a year. Everyone would continue to pay a lower tax rate on their first $250,000 of taxable income under Obama’s plan. To report that Obama only wants to maintain tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 is simply false.



Keith Ellison (D-Minn) moves to adjourn House to protest Obamacare vote

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., shut the House down for 15 minutes Tuesday by forcing a roll call vote on his motion to adjourn in protest of tomorrow’s expected vote on a GOP measure to repeal President Obama’s health care law.

Ellison called the GOP repeal measure – the 31st attempt to repeal “Obamacare” in whole or in part – “political theater at its worst.”

Noting that the GOP measure has no chance in the Senate, Ellison accused Republicans of wasting time.

“I move to adjourn,” he said, “because we’re not doing anything anyway.” The floor debate on the “Repeal of ObamaCare Act” is being led today by Minnesota Republican John Kline.


“This is political theater at its worst because Americans are out of work and this body isn’t doing anything about it. Everyone here knows that the President can’t just whip up a jobs bill out of thin air. Congress has to pass it, but Congress wont pass it because they’re busy doing political stunts and that is a shame.”

What exactly is Obamacare and what does it change?



big thanks to reddit user CaspianX2 for typing all this out!

What people call “Obamacare” is actually the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, people were calling it “Obamacare” before everyone even hammered out what it would be. It’s a term mostly used by people who don’t like the PPaACA, and it’s become popularized in part because PPaACA is a really long and awkward name, even when you turn it into an acronym like that.

Anyway, the PPaACA made a bunch of new rules regarding health care, with the purpose of making health care more affordable for everyone. Opponents of the PPaACA, on the other hand, feel that the rules it makes take away too many freedoms and force people (both individuals and businesses) to do things they shouldn’t have to.

So what does it do? Well, here is everything, in the order of when it goes into effect (because some of it happens later than other parts of it):

Already in effect:

  • It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs (making for more competition in the market to drive down prices)

  • It increases the rebates on drugs people get through Medicare (so drugs cost less)

  • It establishes a non-profit group, that the government doesn’t directly control, to study different kinds of treatments to see what works better and is the best use of money.

  • It makes chain restaurants like McDonalds display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy.

  • It makes a “high-risk pool” for people with pre-existing conditions. Basically, this is a way to slowly ease into getting rid of “pre-existing conditions” altogether. For now, people who already have health issues that would be considered “pre-existing conditions” can still get insurance, but at different rates than people without them.

  • It renews some old policies, and calls for the appointment of various positions.

  • It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths.

  • It says that health insurance companies can no longer tell customers that they won’t get any more coverage because they have hit a “lifetime limit”. Basically, if someone has paid for life insurance, that company can’t tell that person that he’s used that insurance too much throughout his life so they won’t cover him any more. They can’t do this for lifetime spending, and they’re limited in how much they can do this for yearly spending.

  • Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26.

  • No more “pre-existing conditions” for kids under the age of 19.

  • Insurers have less ability to change the amount customers have to pay for their plans.

  • People in a “Medicare Gap” get a rebate to make up for the extra money they would otherwise have to spend.

  • Insurers can’t just drop customers once they get sick.

  • Insurers have to tell customers what they’re spending money on. (Instead of just “administrative fee”, they have to be more specific).

  • Insurers need to have an appeals process for when they turn down a claim, so customers have some manner of recourse other than a lawsuit when they’re turned down.

  • New ways to stop fraud are created.

  • Medicare extends to smaller hospitals.

  • Medicare patients with chronic illnesses must be monitored more thoroughly.

  • Reduces the costs for some companies that handle benefits for the elderly.

  • A new website is made to give people insurance and health information.

  • A credit program is made that will make it easier for business to invest in new ways to treat illness.

  • A limit is placed on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they’re not price-gouging customers.

  • A limit is placed on what type of insurance accounts can be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Basically, your insurer isn’t paying for the Aspirin you bought for that hangover.

  • Employers need to list the benefits they provided to employees on their tax forms.


  • Any health plans sold after this date must provide preventative care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge.


  • If you make over $200,000 a year, your taxes go up a tiny bit (0.9%)


This is when a lot of the really big changes happen.

  • No more “pre-existing conditions”. At all. People will be charged the same regardless of their medical history.

  • If you can afford insurance but do not get it, you will be charged a fee. This is the “mandate” that people are talking about. Basically, it’s a trade-off for the “pre-existing conditions” bit, saying that since insurers now have to cover you regardless of what you have, you can’t just wait to buy insurance until you get sick. Otherwise no one would buy insurance until they needed it. You can opt not to get insurance, but you’ll have to pay the fee instead, unless of course you’re not buying insurance because you just can’t afford it.

  • Insurer’s now can’t do annual spending caps. Their customers can get as much health care in a given year as they need.

  • Make it so more poor people can get Medicare by making the low-income cut-off higher.

  • Small businesses get some tax credits for two years.

  • Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty.

  • Limits how high of an annual deductible insurers can charge customers.

  • Cut some Medicare spending

  • Place a $2500 limit on tax-free spending on FSAs (accounts for medical spending). Basically, people using these accounts now have to pay taxes on any money over $2500 they put into them.

  • Establish health insurance exchanges and rebates for the lower-class, basically making it so poor people can get some medical coverage.

  • Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won’t be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen.

  • A new tax on pharmaceutical companies.

  • A new tax on the purchase of medical devices.

  • A new tax on insurance companies based on their market share. Basically, the more of the market they control, the more they’ll get taxed.

  • The amount you can deduct from your taxes for medical expenses increases.


  • Doctors’ pay will be determined by the quality of their care, not how many people they treat.


  • If any state can come up with their own plan, one which gives citizens the same level of care at the same price as the PPaACA, they can ask the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for permission to do their plan instead of the PPaACA. So if they can get the same results without, say, the mandate, they can be allowed to do so. Vermont, for example, has expressed a desire to just go straight to single-payer (in simple terms, everyone is covered, and medical expenses are paid by taxpayers).


  • All health care plans must now cover preventative care (not just the new ones).

  • A new tax on “Cadillac” health care plans (more expensive plans for rich people who want fancier coverage).


  • The elimination of the “Medicare gap”


Aaaaand that’s it right there.

The biggest thing opponents of the bill have against it is the mandate. They claim that it forces people to buy insurance, and forcing people to buy something in unconstitutional. Personally, I take the opposite view, as it’s not telling people to buy a specific thing, just to have a specific type of thing, just like a part of the money we pay in taxes pays for the police and firemen who protect us, this would have us paying to ensure doctors can treat us for illness and injury.

Plus, as previously mentioned, it’s necessary if you’re doing away with “pre-existing conditions” because otherwise no one would get insurance until they needed to use it, which defeats the purpose of insurance.

Reblogging to put back on the blog’s front page.

(via abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

The court’s ruling on the Medicaid expansion makes today’s decision somewhat reminiscent of the Arizona immigration ruling – the court has left a depth charge inside its decision.


The Medicaid expansion would have offered health insurance coverage to 16 million people. Now states apparently can make up their own minds whether or not to accept the expansion – and that means if Florida, Texas and other big states knock it back, then there will be millions of Americans who will miss out on the benefits of the healthcare reforms.

On the Medicaid expansion: the court has ruled that the government can only offer a carrot in terms of higher funding, but not the stick of taking away all of a state’s Medicaid funding.

States have complained that the expansion costs them money, despite the extra funding they’ll receive. Now they can turn down the expansion, which offers the expansion of coverage to mainly low income people without health insurance.

We’ll need to see some analysis of the consequences of this decision, and which states may decide to snub their noses at the Medicaid expansion.


(via abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

Supreme Court upholds health care law


In a dramatic victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 health care law Thursday, preserving Obama’s landmark legislative achievement.

The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who held that the law was a valid exercise of Congress’s power to tax.

The decision came as a sharp rebuff and disappointment to congressional Republicans, many of whom had expected the court to strike down at least some parts of the law.


Three things we learned about the Supreme Court and health care


  • one The court was not swayed by arguments suggesting that the decision get delayed — an argument put forth with a 19th-century law, the Anti-Injunction Act, which blocks preemptive injunctions against taxes.
  • two Justices didn’t see the penalty for ignoring the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act as a “tax”: ”It’s up to Congress, and they did not use the word ‘tax’,” said moderate Justice Stephen G. Breyer.
  • three Eight of the nine justices seemed eager to talk about the case, at times talking over each other to get a word in. The one guy who didn’t? That’s right, Clarence Thomas, who (as always) kept quiet. source

» So what’s next, anyway? With a question over whether the Supreme Court would decide before the law fully took effect largely off the table, the court will next look into the details of the law. The case, brought by 26 states and small business groups, is highly-anticipated, with many protesters outside the court on Monday. The court will likely make its decision by June, just in time to throw a wrench in the election.

Read ShortFormBlogFollow

So Romneycare is working. Across the board. But perhaps, as Romney implies, there’s something that makes it unsuitable for the rest of the nation.

If that’s so, however, we’re not seeing it yet. Romneycare’s cousin, the Affordable Care Act — or, as it’s more frequently known, Obamacare — isn’t fully in place, and won’t be until 2014 at the earliest. But it has passed. And since it has passed, health-care spending has been dropping. Karen Davis, director of the Commonwealth Fund, writes that the most recent spending projections show a “$275 billion (5.6 percent) reduction for 2020, compared with pre-reform estimates. Moreover, that projection represents a cumulative reduction of $1.7 trillion over the 10 years from 2011 to 2020.”

You might argue that that’s just the recession, but as Davis writes, “the recession doesn’t plausibly explain why projected health spending in 2020 is substantially below estimates made just two years ago.” And why the recession having such an effect on long-term spending under Medicare? The latest data shows we’re on track to spend $750 billion less than the pre-reform projections suggested. The Medicare cuts in the Affordable Care Act account for barely half of that. If these trends hold, the Affordable Care Act will cost far less than anticipated.

Wondering how health care reform works, and why it’s so important? In this animated video, Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and former special advisor to the President on health care, explains the benefits of reform and why the individual mandate is necessary.

(Source:, via kileyrae)

Obama’s health care plan benefited tens of millions in 2011


  • 54 million people benefited from the Affordable Care Act in 2011 source

» Approximately one-sixth of Americans received one or more additional preventive care services in 2011, as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act, according to a newly released report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Over 20 million adult women received an additional service, as well as 14 million children, and just under 20 million adult men. Of the 50 states, Wyoming had the fewest patients (102,000) receive a new service while California took the cake with more than 6 million patients, over 2 million more than 2nd place Texas, receiving at least one new preventive service last year.

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(Source: shortformblog)

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