Side effects of health care law
The Affordable Care Act has now gone into effect: We are finally able to see what it is going to do for health insurance.
The cost of my insurance between 2012 and 2014 went from $800 to $3,800, while the coverage remains the same. Does that sound like it is an improvement?
For those people who support the Affordable Care Act, would you support the idea of taxing people differently based on the type of car that you drive? The Affordable Care Act discriminates against those that have employer-provided health insurance and those that do not.
Due to the interaction between income and health insurance assistance, the premium tax assistance credit is phased out as income rises. A married couple with two children and a combined income of $50,000 would have their insurance premiums capped at 6.72 percent of income or $3,360; their premium tax assistance credit would be $8,640.
Now let’s assume that you pay for your health insurance, while your brother or sister has company-paid health insurance. If both of you earned another $10,000 taking your income up to $60,000, your brother or sister would pay an additional $1,500 in taxes, while the maximum premium threshold would increase to $4,913, so you would be required to pay an additional $1,553 in health insurance premiums plus $1,500 in tax. Is it fair that on $10,000 one person is paying 15 percent, while the other is paying and additional 30.53 percent? If you honestly believe that, what other factors would you allow to determine who to discriminate against?
With a slight change in the law, our local union workers, police officers, firefighters and school teachers could all be discriminated against and forced to pay more in taxes under the Affordable Care Act, as could any other group.
The Affordable Care Act requires larger employers to report the value of employer-provided health insurance. Do you know what that information provides to the government? The amount of additional revenue it can raise by eliminating the tax-free fringe benefit that most of you enjoy now. In the end, the tax-free health care benefit that currently exists will be eliminated.
If this law is going to work as it has been presented, why not remove all exemptions and waivers that have been granted and implement the entire bill today? Both the president and Congress are ignoring a portion of the law that said that they had to purchase their insurance through an exchange.
Why should you care? Every person that chooses not to purchase insurance, refuses to pay the penalty that is actually a tax, and is smart enough to adjust their withholdings to have no federal refund will end up moving the date that you lose your tax-free health insurance a little bit earlier.
— Joe Coonce
Stop playing with federal services
The inability of our elected leaders in Washington to keep the federal government open is appalling. As a federal employee in Sullivan, I am proud to go to work each day to do my part for the country I love. I facilitate real estate transactions involving a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. Since I am not allowed to work, these transactions cannot take place. This means real estate sales and mortgage refinance transactions are being lost. This has a tangible impact upon those trying to sell homes or refinance to secure a lower interest rate.
Because of the shutdown, families will cancel trips to national parks, first-time homebuyers may see delays in the processing of federally backed loans, and we will question the safety of the food we eat. None of this is necessary. Congress can and should pass a clean continuing resolution (CR) today.
Federal workers are also being penalized in the pocketbook. Even employees who aren’t furloughed will not be paid as long as the government is shut down.
Our representatives in Congress need to stop playing games with our nation’s services and those who provide them. They must immediately resolve the budget crisis so federal employees across the nation and right here at home can get back to work for our country.
— Shawn Kennedy
Parents should just feed the kids
News 10 reported on Saturday, Oct. 5, that nearly one half of school children in Indiana receive free or reduced lunches, and in Vigo County that number is 53 percent. They also report that this is up 27 percent since 2004.
I do understand that we need to ensure that kids are nourished, I get that. Why, though, aren’t we ensuring that parents and caregivers just feed their kids? I find it hard to believe that more than half the kids in Vigo County aren’t getting enough to eat at home. What do the parents of these children do with their money?
Don’t we already provide extra money to parents to take care of their children’s necessities in the form of tax credits, tax deductions, WIC and welfare (to name a few)? What’s the purpose of the Earned Income Credit and Head of Household Credit? It certainly can’t be intended for a vacation or to buy a laptop or 4-wheeler. People get these benefits because they have kids, and it’s intended to help them care for them properly, and this includes lunch.
If this “money” isn’t intended for parents to take care of their offspring, then why aren’t the rest of us receiving this extravagant form of income for our next frivolous purchase? What’s next, are the schools going to purchase clothing for kids because some parents opt for smoking and drinking instead of purchasing new children’s clothing?
I hear a lot of people excited by the arrival of February each year, eager to head to local tax preparers to have their taxes calculated because they know that their tax returns will far exceed their meager tax withholdings. These people also seem to boast about their plans for a vacation, or a new quad or other inane wasteful purchases because they get so much money “back” from their taxes, they’re anxious and impatient to get at that handout. These are many of the same people whose offspring are receiving free or reduced lunches provided by taxpayers because many of them are giddily squandering this free money on things other than the basics for their children.
Not all parents so flippantly waste money intended for their children, but it appears that more than half the parents in Vigo County willingly permit others to pay to feed their kids, and that’s just wrong.
I suggest that for those receiving free or reduced-price lunches that the government treat the cost of food and providing food as income for the parents; after all, they’re apparently not using their own income to feed their kids. Send them a tax statement at the end of the year detailing what it costs to feed their kids, and reduce that overgenerous tax return or welfare payment they receive because others must pay twice for food for their kids. I feel certain that this would reduce the number of people signing up for “free” or “reduced” lunches in the state and maybe cause those parents who are joining in simply because they are permitted to join in to think twice and to provide their children with lunches.
If we can reduce the money that schools have to pay to feed children, we can use this money to educate these youngsters so that maybe in the future these kids will have good careers and won’t have to depend on the others to feed their kids, twice. The only losers might be the cigarette companies, alcohol venders, sport equipment dealers, travel agents, airlines and others who won’t get the money the parents should have been spending on their children’s food in the first place.
— James C. Kmetz
Has the tea party reached its goal?
What if the tea party shutdown is not about the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) at all?
You see, for years and years, ever since Gov. George C. Wallace ran for president, a certain faction has called employees of the government “pointy-headed bureaucrats” and has lamented that socialism is taking over America because there are too many government agencies. More recently, they have been using the term “nanny state” to refer to American government. Rich crooks just can’t seem to get away with enough these days.
The tea party has called repeatedly for the abolishment of government agencies such as the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency and the IRS, not to mention abolishing Social Security.
The tea party legislature-sponsored government shutdown has either completely closed or severely curtailed the operation of the EPA, National Institute of Health, HUD, Department of Immigration, Department of the Interior (National Park Service), Department of Labor (including Wage and Hour), U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, all Social Security Disability Hearings, U.S. State Department, Department of Agriculture (including Woman, Infants and Children, farm supports and USDA food inspections), IRS tax refunds, U.S. Small Business Administration, Department of Transportation, much of the city government of Washington D.C., Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health, Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Centers for Disease Control, NASA, Department of the Treasury and employees of the Supreme Court.
Since Obamacare is not defunded by this nonsense, then why do it? Unless … Congratulations to the tea pParty. Mission accomplished.
That is, except for our own congressman, Dr. Larry Bucshon. He has fallen so far and his is such a tragic story. You see, Dr. Bucshon wanted to defund Obamacare. That is why he ran for office and how he campaigned. He has failed in his mission. Now, he no longer represents those who elected him, and he is but a mere puppet in the larger tea party purpose of abolishing much of the federal government. He couldn’t care less if he ruins the whole Republican Party in the process.
— John Garner
Elected officials disappointing
My husband has written a few letters to the editor. Recent events have reached a point it was time for me to try one.
Why do we continue to pay our representatives and the president in Washington? They are wasting our time and theirs with this budget situation. They were elected to make things better, not worse.
Now, news is coming out that we will not support the families of those members of the Armed Forces who have died in service to this country. My father was a member of “The Greatest Generation.” He served in the Battle of the Bulge and through VE day. He is probably turning over in his grave. Today, we cannot even afford to let a family see their honored loved ones come home and provide the financial support to bury them because of the budget.
Do these people in Washington work for us or not? As a community, we would help a friend or neighbor if money was lacking. Why, as a community, can’t the United States of America afford to respect the ultimate sacrifice of these people?
Pay for Congress and the president should be stopped until they get their act together. Let them try to make some kind of a monetary sacrifice. It is a small thing compared to people we will never see again. If Congress and the president resolve things soon, I hope we see them even less, and no incumbent will deserve re-election.
— Nancy Owens
Side effects of health care law
Living the dream
Earth Day receives its share of under-your-breath criticism.
EDITORIAL: Pondering the jail problem
Our compliments to Vigo County Councilman Mark D. Bird for taking the time and investing the thought and energy into writing his detailed letter to the editor on the topic of the county’s jail, published in this newspaper on April 13.
FLASHPOINT: Newspapers and baseball: Two great institutions are evolving
There are few aspects of American life that are the same today as they were 100 years ago. Two of them are newspapers and baseball.
Readers’ Forum: April 20, 2014
Testing still best way to measure
Addressing issues of inequality
Perfect blend of attributes
An outstanding choice for judge
No excuses for Benghazi tragedy
RONN MOTT: Spring activities settle into northside park
Some say young love blossoms like the flowers in the spring. It must be spring, because we witnessed the first wedding ceremony performed in the Collett Park gazebo on a recent Saturday.
EDITORIAL: Get smart with 911
Worst-case scenarios when emergency service are needed are not things people like to think about. But focused attention on details in advance could make a life-changing, even life-saving, difference in the future.
FLASHPOINT: Heading in the wrong direction
A study released last week by the Tax Foundation reported Indiana taxpayers saw one of the sharpest increases in tax burden since 2001. Dig deeper and the numbers are more alarming.
RONN MOTT: They didn’t make it!
The “One and Dones” done went and didn’t! (I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I want those folks down in Kentucky to read it.)
EDITORIAL: Dealing with eroded trust
Our neighbors in Putnam County are understandably concerned, even outraged, over problems in their sheriff’s department. People have a right to expect their chief law-enforcement agency — one of the most important public institutions in any community — to operate professionally and effectively.
Readers’ Forum: April 17, 2014
• A blessing from our young folks
• Confidence in judge candidate
EDITORIAL: Preparing for voting changes
The primary election, during which Hoosiers will traipse to their polling places to select party candidates to fill the ballot for the general election, is now three weeks away.
Readers’ forum: April 16, 2014
• Mott’s rant on global warming
• Salvation through the Indian way
RONN MOTT: Royce Waltman
In recent days the papers have been full of good things about Royce Waltman. Not a lot of puffery, but more like Royce himself… straight, true and right at you.
LIZ CIANCONE: Not much peace since war to end all wars
My jaw dropped the other day when I read that this year, 2014, marks 100 years since the start of World War I. No, you wise guys, I wasn’t there personally.
Readers’ Forum: April 15, 2014
Sound choice for county judge
Giving your car the care it needs
Park restrooms should be open
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (Honors for outstanding women)
Honors for outstanding women
Sprucing up around the wetlands
You can say that again
Reader Poll results
Readers’ Forum: April 14, 2014
Alternatives to ‘injustice’
EDITORIAL: Teaming up to fight the ugliness of graffiti
Graffiti hurts the Terre Haute community. It deflates property values and local pride. It literally paints an image of carelessness on the city.
MARK BENNETT: It’s (Not) So Easy
Arctic air bled into the Wabash Avenue post-hippie-era diner-pub every time the wooden door swung open.
ERIC SCHANSBERG: The 1040 tax form turns 100
The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution brought us the federal income tax in 1913. A year later, the 1040 tax form was born.
Readers’ Forum: April 13, 2014
• An attack of hypocrisy
• New jail not a good idea
• Thinking about the next election
• Being positive a tremendous asset
• Work status a matter of value
FLASHPOINT: Time to fix government
In 1965, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House. That was my first year in Congress, and I remember vividly the moment when Mills came to the Democratic caucus to explain his plans.
Death Notice: April 13, 2014
GUEST EDITORIAL: Despite high court ruling, big money may not guarantee election success
The Supreme Court has taken the predictable next step in the wake of its 2010 Citizens United decision in which it lifted the limit on donations wealthy donors can make to certain political entities.
RONN MOTT: Pondering our planet’s future
I watched a TV show recently and the subject was global warming.
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts for Waltman
When Royce Waltman left Indiana State University as its head basketball coach in 2007, there was a sense of disappointment in the community that covered a broad spectrum.
Readers' Forum: April 11, 2014
• An appeal for organic farming
• Kesler best choice for judge position
RONN MOTT: Bits & Pieces
I don’t know about you, but I get a total sense of helplessness when I realize 239 people died in one airplane crash. And to make it worse, if that is possible, the loved ones left behind can’t close. Maybe this week.
EDITORIAL: Road work season requires motorists’ undivided attention
Spring’s budding flowers, trees and grasses are not the only colorful eye candy popping up on the west-central Indiana landscape. Those orange barrels and pylons common to construction areas are appearing as well.
Readers' Forum: April 10, 2014
• Appreciation for writer’s views
• Amazed by policy on birth control
- More Opinion Headlines
- Living the dream