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September 9, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Sept. 9, 2012

(Continued)

Reasons abound to replace Obama

There are many, many reasons to vote Obama out of office including: (1) the worst economic recovery since the depression; (2) 23 million Americans without a job; (3) $5 trillion of out-of-control spending (with a total lack of concern for the catastrophic deficit); (4) an apologetic foreign policy that alienates our friends and coddles our foes; (5) innumerable attempts to divide us based on class, race, genre and age; (6) disdain for hard work, success and small business; (7) and Obamacare.

Here in Indiana, as pointed out by Brian Howey in last Sunday’s Tribune-Star, Obamacare is shaping up to be the central issue. Independent of how the national election goes, we need Mike Pence as governor to ensure that obscene federal requirements, if not repealed, are implemented in the least offensive manner. Hoosiers correctly sense that 2,700 pages of dictates, fees, fines, taxes, penalties, mandates, rationing, price controls and “the Secretary shall decide” are alien to a democratic society.

A review of some of the specifics makes it clear why Hoosiers feel this way.

• More than $800 billion is imposed by 20 new or higher taxes. These taxes include punishing younger seniors if they don’t buy “qualifying insurance”, a surtax of 3.8 percent on dividends already scheduled to rise to 39.6 percent; an excise tax on medical device manufacturers which will be passed on mainly to senior consumers; a whopping 40 percent tax on higher cost insurance plans; an increase by 33 percent to medical deductions allowed; and an extension of the Medicare payroll tax to unearned income (like the sale of some homes).

• An unelected, unaccountable board of 15 bureaucrats to control medical spending by rationing care. A created institute will define “expensive treatments that will no longer be proscribed.” These already include mammograms and prostate cancer screening. This Board and Institute are amount the 159 new boards, bureaucracies and programs codified by the law. And an estimated 6,500 to 16,000 IRS agents will be added to enforce the law.

• Cuts in Medicare amounting to $700 Billion which will cause an estimated 40 percent of doctors to exit the program when their fees are arbitrarily cut. It raises the premiums for Medicare Part D for 17 millions seniors to pay for the deal struck with Big Pharmacy to gain their support. Medicare Advantage cuts will force seniors to lose their current care by cutting enrollment in half and choices by two-thirds.

• Requires everyone, including the healthy young, to buy government specified, one-fits-all plans that impose new mandates that raise average costs to a family by $2100.

• Requires employers to provide government specified insurance or pay a fine (now called a tax). This fine/tax is arbitrarily imposed on firms that cannot afford to provide insurance; and in the case of those that now do provide insurance, it gives them the choice to pay the tax and drop expensive insurance. This forces many, including retirees, out of the insurance they like onto the government plan, thus accomplishing what Obama wants and exposing his lie that you can keep your insurance if you like it. The CBO estimates that more than 20 million people could lose their employee-sponsored insurance (some private estimates are 65 million).

• In order to get the bill passed special benefits were doled out for votes including, $300 million in reimbursements to Louisiana, special benefits to Libby, Montana; special payments to Tennessee; and increased payments just for hospitals in Hawaii. The HHS Secretary can provide exemptions which have gone mainly to members of union plans.  

• Creates “Public Education” grants for ACORN and AARP.

• Provides a $5 billion fund that has served mostly to bail out union retiree programs that have made unsustainable health care promises and a slush fund for things like bike paths.

• Is wide open for abuse. Subsidies can be obtained without verification of citizenship. Individuals can be made eligible for an unlimited number of periods of assistance and 63 percent of non-elderly Americans are made eligible for “low-income’ subsidized insurance.

• Permits taxpayer dollars to flow to health plans that fund abortion while imposing penalties on those who marry when compared to those cohabitating.

This travesty was initially promoted as a way to reduce health care costs and insure the uninsured. Instead, the costs will soar. The CBO says the costs will be twice what Obama estimated in 2009 and that premiums will increase over the next decade faster than in the past five years. And 20 million of the 50 million uninsured will remain uninsured and the quality of care will suffer as incentives to be a doctor and to produce life-saving drugs are chilled.

Obamacare must be repealed and replaced and that will take a President Romney and a Republican Senate.

— Thomas B. Tucker

Vigo County

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