Health Care Reform Will Affect Your Wallet

Seems like a reasonably non-partisan analysis. The new, welcomed Health Care Reform might have a small effect on a few of our unreimbursed deductions it seems. For years, our business has paid for our health insurance out of our heretofore1 meager profits, and despite nobody actually using the insurance to pay for anything, our premiums have skyrocketed each and every year. Last year alone, our Blue Cross Blue Shield premiums went up over 30%. Yikes.

Calvary Cemetery

  • Couples earning more than $250,000 a year, and individuals earning more than $200,000 a year, will see an increase from 1.45% Medicare tax to 2.35% starting in 2013.
  • Those with the higher income listed above would also see a 2.8% tax on unearned income (interest and dividends).
  • Starting in 2018, a 40% excise tax would be imposed on the portion of employer-sponsored “Cadillac plans” that exceeds $10,200 a year for individuals and $27,500 for families.
  • The threshold for deducting medical expenses (unreimbursed) would be raised to 10% of income from 7.5%, so many will lose the current tax deductions they tax advantage of.
  • Starting this year, those who make use of indoor tanning facilities will pay a 10% tax.
  • Starting in 2013, your tax-advantaged flexible spending account contributions will be limited to $2,500 for medical expenses.

[Click to continue reading How Will Health Care Reform Affect Your Wallet?]

the only real change I see is the 2.5% reduction in deducting health care costs we pay ourselves, which doesn’t translate to much real money, at least in our case, but I’m still scouring the details to see if there is anything else to worry about.

  1. we are still optimists – this year will the year we can set some aside for a rainy day. Yeah, this year []

Insurance Companies Not Automatically Included in Exchange

How badly do insurance companies have to be to their customers before they are banned from participation in the new insurance exchanges? General Electric bad? Monsanto bad? or Halliburton bad? Curious if the rules have been defined yet.

A second Hypnotic Mosiac - Garfield

A couple of hours after President Obama signed the health-care bill, an elated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with a group of columnists and commentators, issuing a warning to insurance companies…

Asked if insurance companies might raise their rates on health coverage and blame the increases on the new health-care bill, Pelosi said that the insurance companies should be aware that they’re not “automatically included” in the new health exchanges the bill creates.

“Unless they do the right thing, they’re not going in,” she said. “They will be relinquishing the possibility of having taxpayer-subsidized consumers in the exchange,” she said.

Under the new law, the health exchanges Pelosi referred to will be created in 2014. By pulling customers together, they will give individuals and companies a better chance of bargaining when they buy health insurance. Because the exchanges are expected to serve millions of new customers, insurance companies will want to be part of them.

[Click to continue reading PostPartisan – An ebullient Pelosi: watch out insurance companies, and Rahm is a ‘softie’ ]

Via Susie Madrak of Crooks and Liars.

Health Care will Save Republicans Too

Michael Moore writes:

Eat me

To My Fellow Citizens, the Republicans:
Thanks to last night’s vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition.

Thanks to last night’s vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy.

Thanks to last night’s vote, after your cancer returns for the third time — racking up another $200,000 in costs to keep you alive — your insurance company will have to commit a criminal act if they even think of dropping you from their rolls.

Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we’ve made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you’re upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive. I know that’s a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I’m sure he could make that into a movie for you.

But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can — and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick.
So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you’ll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening.

[Click to continue reading The Great Thing About the Health Care Law That Has Passed? It Will Save Republican Lives, Too (An Open Letter to Republicans from Michael Moore) |]

Can’t we opt the Republicans out instead? or opt out those districts that voted against the bill?

Reading Around on June 17th through June 18th

A few interesting links collected June 17th through June 18th:

  • Raw Story » Bachmann rebels, refuses to fill out next year’s census – The Minnesota Republican said she would only fill out the basic census information about the number of people living in the household, but would not fill out the rest of the form, the Washington Times reports.

    Under current statutes, that means Bachmann plans to break the law and could face a $5,000 fine.

    The claim that ACORN will be “in charge” of the census is the latest allegation by a politician who has developed a reputation for disseminating right-wing conspiracy theories. Most recently, Bachmann declared that President Obama is running a “gangster government” because of the GM bailout.

  • Health insurers refuse to limit rescission of coverage – Los Angeles TimesLate in the hearing, Stupak, the committee chairman, put the executives on the spot. Stupak asked each of them whether he would at least commit his company to immediately stop rescissions except where they could show “intentional fraud.”

    The answer from all three executives:



  • Blago at Second City: The Bizarre Happenings of Illinois’ #1 Criminal : The Core Junction – “In a truly bizarre moment, Rod Blagojevich made a guest appearance at The Second City, Chicago’s famed comedy club, on Saturday Night. After being prepped backstage, Blagojevich surprised the audience and started the show by entering the stage with his hands in a crucifix-like pose.”

    photo credit: swanksalot

Blagojevich Country