WSJ: ObamaCare’s Tax on the Poor
By The Editorial Board – Sept. 22, 2017
Democrats claim to have a monopoly on caring for the poor and suffering, and this week the left is portraying a GOP health-care bill as an attack on society’s vulnerable. So check out the data on how ObamaCare is a tax on some low-income families.
IRS data offers insight into who paid the law’s individual mandate penalty in 2015 for not buying health insurance, the latest year for which figures are available. Spoiler alert: The payers aren’t Warren Buffett or any of the other wealthy folks Democrats say they want to tax. More than one in three of taxed households earned less than $25,000, which is roughly the federal poverty line for a family of four.
More than 75% of penalized households made less than $50,000 and nine in 10 earned less than $75,000. Fewer families paid the tax in 2015 than in 2014, yet government revenues increased to more than $3 billion from about $1.7 billion, as the financial punishment for lacking coverage increased.
These Americans are paying a fine to avoid purchasing a product they don’t want or can’t afford but government compels them to buy. Such individuals don’t suddenly have access to less expensive or higher quality medical care, but they do have less money for household expenses, which can consume a high share of income for this class of families.
The unfortunate irony is that ObamaCare destroyed the private market that offered options that in some cases made sense for these people. For example: High-deductible, limited coverage for unexpected events.
Then again, the point of this coercion was to substitute the government’s political preferences for individual judgment, while forcing the young and healthy to pay more to finance the mandated benefits that Democrats think everyone must have….
It is time to set things back in order…
The U.S. Health Care Freedom Plan is the only comprehensive, citizen-centered health care plan in America. It ‘resets’ the health care industry to present a clean, efficient and responsible system. Most importantly, this plan restores individual freedom and liberty for all participating Americans.
- The U.S. Health Care Freedom Plan is available to each and every U.S. citizen – with no coverage mandates. Each U.S. citizen who wishes to participate will be granted a full and complete exemption from the ACA.
- This plan offers freedom of choice and equal justice for all. Those Americans who might wish to stay with the ACA may stay (‘If you like your ObamaCare, you can keep your ObamaCare’).
- Each participating U.S. citizen shall receive a credit extension, through a special Federal Reserve Citizens Credit Facility, of $25,000, electronically deposited into a Medical Savings Account (MSA) – for direct allocation toward family health care needs.
- Private insurance – Families shall be allowed to enroll in high-deductible ($10,000 – $15,000) major medical plans, to include basic, ‘no frills’ medical plans which best suit their individual needs and desires. These streamlined plans would lower premium costs for employees and employers, encouraging employers to cost-share savings with employees through incentive-based employer MSA contributions.
- Policies would not be automatically loaded with expensive government healthcare mandates.
- Those with extraordinary medical issues may be included in a high-risk category, with such plans being eligible for a government subsidy (similar to current Medicare Advantage).
- Federal / state programs – Individuals enrolled in Medicare / Medicaid / VA / TRICARE / FEHB programs would maintain their covered status, with an annual deductible of $5,000 per year per enrolled family member, for a period of five years for those benefits. The dedicated MSA funds would fully fund the offset for the higher ($5,000) deductible feature for that five-year period. MSA funds could also be used to pay Medicare supplement premiums and other potential co-pay obligations.
- Where health care services paid by patients directly with MSA funds, providers would not be bound by federal / state rules pertaining to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), and other unnecessary administrative burdens.
Lower health care costs – With the elimination of millions of minor insurance claims across the nation over the course of each month, system-wide efficiency would improve, medical costs would drop significantly, and the direct patient-provider relationship would be restored. Medical professionals would not have to answer to HMOs, insurance companies, or government agencies in providing basic day-to-day healthcare access for their patients.
Scoring – if 300 million U.S. citizens were to participate in the plan, the total dollar transfer into family-based Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) would amount to $7.5 trillion.
The potential cost savings from the $5,000 deductible provision for the approximate 150 million people currently enrolled in Medicare (55 million), Medicaid (72 million), VA (6.16 million), TRICARE (9.5 million), and FEHB (8.2 million) would amount to just under $3.75 trillion over the first 5 years (or, one-half the $7.5 trillion initial roll out cost).
This plan would generate trillions of dollars in cost savings from streamlining, vastly improved efficiency, and reductions in waste and fraud.
This plan would improve quality and ease of access to health care for all participating Americans.
For patients: It would dramatically lower the cost of health care, while improving quality and access for all who chose to participate.
For providers: It would restore the patient-provider relationship and significantly reduce massive cost and time burdens imposed by a centralized system.
The U.S. Health Care Freedom Plan an integral part of a larger, comprehensive economic plan:
The Leviticus 25 Plan 2018 – $75,000 per U.S. citizen