Sunday, February 14, 2010

Government has always been involved in health care, I doubt the summit at Blair House will acomplish much. Think local information meetings.

Hospital Care in the USA started widely across the country with the Hill-Burton Act of 1946 (click title to entry). It was matching funds to improve hospitals. It was started during the Great Depression.

  • $4.6 billion total grants and $1.5 billion total loans between 1946 and 1997
  • 6,800 health care facilities in more than 4,000 U.S. communities

published: Sunday, February 14, 2010

THanks for clear discussion on health care (click here)

I want to thank the League of Women Voters and the Temple Shalom in Oxford for recently hosting a great forum on health care insurance reform. The speakers, for the most part, focused on facts and not on political rhetoric.

Here are some of the facts presented at the forum. Fifty million Americans are uninsured, and another 10 to 15 million are under-insured. The citizens of Great Britain, Canada, France, and Germany spend much less on health care than Americans do, receive higher quality care, and generally like their health care systems.

The American citizens who are most satisfied with their health insurance are on publicly funded plans, through Medicare or the Veterans Administration. Under our current system, health care spending in the United States is expected to increase from 2.1 trillion in 2007 to $4.2 trillion in 2016. Right now, the average monthly premium for private insurance for a family of four is $1,000 per month. Fears of medical malpractice suits increase health care costs because doctors order unnecessary tests and must purchase expensive malpractice insurance. Nurses, on average, spend about half of their time doing paper work.

Both houses of Congress and both major political parties need to work together to create a system that provides affordable, quality health care to all Americans. It is the right thing to do.

Jane Hepting


This is the 'Table of Contents' to HR 3400:


Sec. 101. Refundable tax credit for health insurance costs of low-income individuals.

Sec. 102. Advance payment of credit as premium payment for qualified health insurance.

Sec. 103. Election of tax credit instead of alternative government or group plan benefits.

Sec. 104. Deduction for qualified health insurance costs of individuals.

Sec. 105. Limitation on abortion funding.

Sec. 106. Non-discrimination on abortion and respect for rights of conscience.

Sec. 107. Equal employer contribution rule to promote choice.

Sec. 108. Limitations on State restrictions on employer auto-enrollment.

Sec. 109. Credit for small employers adopting auto-enrollment and defined contribution options.

Sec. 110. Require employers to disclose amounts paid for employer-provided health plan coverage.

Sec. 111. HSA modifications and clarifications.

None of the provisions in HR 3400 are required. This is a tax credit for the cost of health insurance upto $4000 per month for taxpayer and spouse / $2000 per month for an individual. A tax credit means the country is paying for their health care. Health Care Insurance Companies are doing well so far. And there is a $500 per month allowance for each dependent. Now, I remind these are tax credits for low income. Right? If people are receiving at least $4500 per month income to pay for health insurance premiums is that LOW INCOME? Ahhhh....No. A couple with a child will have to pay for the insurance before they take the credit. Got that part? Don't forget that now.



(a) In General- Subpart C of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to refundable credits) is amended by inserting after section 36A the following new section:

This is where it really gets interesting.

‘(B) THRESHOLD AMOUNT- For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘threshold amount’ means, with respect to any taxpayer for any taxable year, 200 percent of the Federal poverty guideline (as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Service for the taxable year) applicable to the taxpayer.

This chart is the current chart used by Health and Human Services to determine poverty levels. (click here) Hang on this is going to be quite a ride. It will break the bank. I am confident of it.

So, the federal guidelines for a family of three states 200% of the poverty level is $36,000. Okay? Now, these folks are suppose to go out and purchase health insurance for themselves and their child for not more than $4500 per month, pay the insurance cost for an entire year along with deductibles and then ask for a refund for the cost of the insurance upto $4500 per month on their taxes.

None of it is mandatory. Does anyone actually believe a family with an income of $36,000 annually is going to go out and buy health insurance while the rest of their bills, including quite possibly housing, goes unpaid for at least the first year until their initial refund comes?

No. Those folks are not going to be able to afford health insurance and they won't being paying it. There are supports to the child in this family already in place in most States, but, I am confident with a federal bill those supports will be cut back if not eliminated. So, now we are going to have families without health care and we will be worse off than before.


This is where it gets really interesting. Ready?

In the paragraph previous to the one above is this:


‘(A) IN GENERAL- For purposes of this section, the term ‘credit percentage’ means 100 percent reduced by 1 percentage point for each $1,000 (or fraction thereof) by which the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income for the taxable year exceeds the threshold amount.

Work the math.

Example: If a couple with one child is making $37,000 annually, they can deduct 99% of up to $4500 per month for health insurance.

If a couple with one child is making $66,000 annually, they can deduct 70% of up to $4500 per month for health insurance.

If a couple with one child is making $96,000 annually, they can deduct 40% of $4500 per month for health insurance.


Whom is this bill written for? The couple making $36,000 annually or the couple making $96,000 annually?

Think about it. I'll be back in a few hours.

I just want to talk about the couple making $96,000 per year. I already the folks making $36,000 annually don't have a chance at having decent health care. But, it gets real interesting with the couple making $96,000 per year.

Let's just say, for the sake of simplicity that they pay taxes on the entire amount they make. They don't, but, for this I'll say they do.

The tax bracket they pay their taxes in requires a tax rate of 25%. That would be a tax bill of $24,000 annually as long as they filed jointly.

If they spent $4500 monthly on health insurance in a cadillac plan, they would have a deductible of $21,600.

$4,500 X 12 = $54,000

$54,000 X .40 (40% above federal poverty level) = $21,600.

That just about wipes out any tax liability and they would be living 'tax free.'

Now they pay a lot less than $24,000 annually because even if they only take the standard deductions their tax bill is far less than that. But, get this, where the tax bill exceeds their income tax they get a payment back.
So, as long as they are allowed $21,600 and their tax bill is let's say, $19,600 they get a check from the government for $2000 in addition to the $19,600 they will get refunded. Not bad, huh?

Okay, so it can get better than that, too. Because if the couple making $96,000 annually has another child their health insurance 'bonus' goes up $500 to a total of $5000 monthly or $60,000 annually. But, it stops there. A couple with three or more children are flat out of luck.

This math goes on all the up to $135,000. When on makes that much money they are still allowed to take 1% of their health insurance cost off their taxes. When in the case of $60,000 would be $600.

In the year 2009 it was estimated the average family of four paid about $1000 per month for health insurance. That is an annual bill of $12,000.

How long do you think that bill will remain at $1000 per month after a bill like this is passed? THAT isn't pandering to Health Insurance Companies? That is not only pandering to Health Insurance Companies, that is a GOLD MINE.

I haven't gotten to the part in how this is paid for by the House Republicans. If it is paid for at all. Being this is simply an obstructionist bill I doubt there is any brevity to it and there may not be any provisions to pay for this. HOWEVER, how immoral is this bill considering somehow this has to be paid for? And whom exactly is going to pay for it? Why would we ask anyone to pay for a Gold Mine for health insurance companies?

THAT is immoral. There is no other word for it except corrupt and immoral. This is the bill House Representative John Bohner stated was the one that far exceeded anything the Democrats had in mind. He stood by this bill and so did the RNC. I didn't make this up.

This bill might redeem itself, but, I honestly doubt it.

Why are Americans trusting these people? We have a decent man in the White House, a good person as Speaker to the House and a Senior legislator as Senate Majority Leader.

What is everyone thinking?

I'll read more tomorrow. Let's hope it gets better from here.

Joe Biden is correct, President Obama has managed the withdrawal of USA troops from Iraq. Bush/Cheney NEVER had an exist strategy. Never.

As a matter of fact, it was just the opposite. The Bush White House REFUSED to entertain an exit strategy as it would allow the enemy to 'wait it out.' I don't want to hear it. At least Cheney admits President Obama can recognize we are doing the best thing in Iraq. But, to say the Bush White House deserves credit? I don't see it.

I remind, at the time Bush was demanding inventories from Saddam Hussein and there were no inventories to be found because they degraded in the Iraqi desert; Hussein was being offered asylum to leave Iraq. I am confident if the Arab Nations were given more time, Saddam would have left Iraq and the civilian casualties would never have occurred.

According to the last projection of dead Iraqis it still stands at about 800,000. I doubt the actual number will ever be known. They are buried everywhere.

...Obama opposed the war in 2003 and, as an Illinois senator, the troop increase ordered in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Then-Delaware Sen. Biden voted in 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq but later declared the war against U.S. interests and opposed the troop surge, which he once called “a failure.”...

...“We took our eye off the ball, putting us in a much different and more dangerous position in Afghanistan. We lost support around the world. It's taken a lot of hard work to get it back. But we were handed — we were dealt a hand, and I think we're handling it incredibly well,” Mr. Biden said....

Somewhat typical of the Afghan conflict, once the miliatry shows up the Taliban vanish.

Army flight medic Sgt. Michael G. Patangan, right, of Houston gets help from Marines as they carry one of three wounded Taliban fighters captured after a firefight in Marja. (Brennan Linsley, Associated Press / February 13, 2010)

I guess if numbers matter, here are numbers. The real issue with Afghanistan is maintaining a consistent presence that will secure the people from oppression. That is difficult if economic ties are maintained to the Poppy Culture.

The Taliban tend to carry on, resurgent presence outside the perimeter. I think it was called, "Wack a Mole." There has to be a conscience decision by the people of the region to reject 'old ways' and 'old ties.' They need to give themselves and their leaders a chance to show them a better way.

The first place the coalition can make points with the Afghans is by showing off its new weapon 'against mines.' We know how the late Princess Diana donned gear to walk among the lands where minds removed the legs of children if they weren't killed by them. It would be nice if children were able to live without fear of playing 'in the wrong place at the wrong time.'

It has probably been a long time since the people of Marja have walked to road that was lined with mines. They may even be missing the presence of relatives and friends for their inability to move about freely. The Taliban really did take a coward's stand in that area. They used people as shields and land mines as fences.

I would think freedom of movement and new places to sell goods might be a considerable improvement over the oppression of their captors. I would think there might be more opportunity for goods trade, other than Poppies, from others coming into the region as well.

There have to be some perks to be rid of the Taliban. Certainly, it is not all imposition and danger. I would hope the Soldiers were welcome and not scorned.

I would hope the CIA would entertain a new headquarters in Marja. One where civilian members could turn the economic corner for the Afghans. Overwhelming turn the economic corner for them. I am quite confident there are schools to be built along side of police barracks, new shops, new businesses and NEW homes. Homes of quake-proof tragedy. Are the people hungry, ill? The basic needs of life when realized can be a very good 'bonding' ingredient.

Schools need books, police barracks need beds and shops need TV and their favorite 'tea.' And children needs "Sponge Bob Square Pants." All the cashmere wool from the goat farmers don't HAVE to make its way to Fifth Avenue, now does it? Goats are more important than donkeys. Absolutely. Milk, wool and meat. Sustaining livestock, not fashionable mountain travel that can be used to transport illegal goods and weapons.

...NATO also reported its forces had accidentally killed 12 Afghan civilians in a misdirected rocket strike in Nad Ali, the district in which Marja lies -- the first major episode of civilian casualties since the start of the offensive on Saturday. The alliance expressed deep regret and said it was immediately suspending use of the weapons system involved.

Afghan officials said 27 insurgents had been killed so far in the fighting in Helmand province, long a heartland of the insurgency. NATO reported the death of Western service member in an explosion Sunday in southern Afghanistan, but did not disclose the nationality involved, or say whether the fatality came in the course of the assault on Marja....

NASCAR Drivers are treated better.

Nodar Kumaritashvili prepares for the start of his first training run on Friday. His fatal crash happened during his second training run.

The athletes don't have a choice, but, to accept the challenge and hope all goes well. They could pack up and go home, but, to miss the opportunity of winning a metal at an Olympics Game is enough to die for.

The point is this is the beginning of their careers in some cases. They are the pride of their country. They have come to compete while obeying all the rules imposed upon them.

The Olympic Venue is NOT safe. There should be no solid objects that aren't wrapped in something to prevent injury at 100+ mph, yet alone 80 mph.

There should be padding at all the critical areas where sleds can become air bound, especially considering this incredible hairpin turn to the finish line. What is the Vancouver Olympic Organization thinking? Their venues are probably going to be toughest the world has seen and they accept carnage as a potential outcome to that reality.

I don't think so !