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AP Aims Fire At Obama On Mandates As Tax Increase

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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:15 AM
Original message
AP Aims Fire At Obama On Mandates As Tax Increase
FACT CHECK: Coverage requirement enforced with tax

Associated Press Mon Sep 21, 2009

WASHINGTON Memo to President Barack Obama: It's a tax. Obama insisted this weekend on national television that requiring people to carry health insurance and fining them if they don't isn't the same thing as a tax increase. But the language of Democratic bills to revamp the nation's health care system doesn't quibble. Both the House bill and the Senate Finance Committee proposal clearly state that the fines would be a tax.

And the reason the fines are in the legislation is to enforce the coverage requirement.

"If you put something in the Internal Revenue Code, and you tell the IRS to collect it, I think that's a tax," said Clint Stretch, head of the tax policy group for Deloitte, a major accounting firm. "If you don't pay, the person who's going to come and get it is going to be from the IRS."

...

"For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase," the president said. "What it's saying is...that we're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore.

"Right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance," Obama added. "Nobody considers that a tax increase.

"You just can't make up that language and decide that that's called a tax increase," he added.

But a Democratic staff description of Sen. Max Baucus' bill calls the proposed fines an "excise tax." Penalties of up to $950 for individuals and $3,800 for families would be imposed on those who don't get coverage.

The House bill uses a complex formula to calculate the penalties, calling them a "tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage."

...

"The fact that it is imposed on people and they have no choice in paying it, and the fact that it's administered through the tax system all make it look like a tax," Williams said. The center is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.

It wouldn't be the first asterisk added to Obama's campaign pledge on taxes. Earlier this year, he signed a tobacco tax increase to pay for children's health insurance. Even that can be read as a violation of his expansive campaign promise.

"I can make a firm pledge," he said in Dover, N.H., on Sept. 12, 2008. "Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."

He repeatedly promised "you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090921/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_h...

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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hey! Thanks for posting another negative piece about Obama.
:applause: Keep up the good work.
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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. kick
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frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Hey! Thanks for debunking the article!
:applause: Try a little harder next time.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. What's to debunk?
:shrug:
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
3. The fine is a tax because the IRS is best to handle the collection...
The mandate to buy Health Insurance is no more a tax than a mandate to carry Car Insurance, or a City Ordnance to keep your lawn cut, or a State Law to make you pay Child Support.

And remember, Health Insurance is a Tax Deductible Expense, albeit restricted by Income Level Floors.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. And if you sell your car, rent and have no children? You can't divest yourself of your body.
Therefore, there is no question this is a tax.
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Gravel Democrat Donating Member (598 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. Finally a major news org is covering the irs bs
What I don't understand at all is why the Limbaughs, Hannitys etc can't seem to mention those 3 little letters.

The uproar would be intense, possibly ending hr3200

But instead there is silence. Even Dicky Morris couldn't spit out those letters yesterday, when talking
about the enforcement of this monstrosity.

Very curious.
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
7. Still doing
passing that negative vibe I take it....
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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Is it a tax? nt
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. AP, thanks for being there and fact checking when Bush was lying us into a war
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 01:12 PM by high density
Oh right, you weren't there fact checking. You were there acting as a megaphone for the GOP, and it seems nothing has changed.

What type of lame Fox News writing is that first line, anyway? I don't see this is much different than handing out fines for speeding, and nobody calls those a "speeding tax."
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
9. sigh - I guess I'll keep getting flamed for this...
like with income tax, it has been stated that there will be exemptions from the mandate and/or assistance to those who need it.

Although I would greatly prefer a fully nationalized plan with an option to buy private if you chose, I think this reform is necessary and a step in the right direction.

http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/06/mandato...
Now in the White House, Obama has set in motion steps toward his broad goal of making health care more affordable, improving quality of care and expanding coverage. Says Obama: "We are not a nation that accepts nearly 46 million uninsured men, women and children."
He largely has left it to the House and Senate to work it out.

But in recent weeks, Congress signaled that legislation overhauling health care was all but certain to require that people have insurance. Of course, details about how to implement such a mandate must be worked out and there are many but the overall concept increasingly seems on track to be included in any sweeping health care overhaul that makes its way to Obama's desk.
...
In a letter in early June, he told key Senate Democrats writing legislation that he was willing to consider their ideas for "shared responsibility," requiring people to have insurance with employers sharing in the cost. "But," he added, "I believe if we are going to make people responsible for owning health insurance, we must make health care affordable."
...
"I am confident in our ability to give people the ability to get insurance," he told doctors. Thus, he said: "I am open to a system where every American bears responsibility for owning health insurance, so long as we provide a hardship waiver for those who still can't afford it."
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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. How will ability to afford it be determined? nt
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. likely by income, much like with income taxes
I am not sure, but it sounded to me, based on the sadly few times I've heard it discussed, like there would be a level at which either assistance or something would be offered. Again, I still don't like that we're keeping the private, for-profit part in there, but I do think we need to do this because I'm afraid otherwise (a) nothing will get done at all and (b) the rightwing teabaggers will see this as a victory if they can kill this bill.
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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Even if your income is above this level, how many families have
a spare $700 - $1,800 a month to start spending on insurance?
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dave29 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. by Obama's secret Socialist DLC tax cronies at United Healthcare
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 04:52 PM by dave29
of course :hide:

edit to add: some of them may be Marxist
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