BY KEVIN BOYD (20 HOURS AGO) | HEALTH, NATION, POLITICS
After the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, Vermont requested a waiver from the Federal government because it was planning to create a single-payer healthcare system.
According to its proponents, a single-payer health care system would have the government act as the sole agency to collect healthcare fees and pay out healthcare costs. It would be mostly free at the point of delivery. Supporters claim that it would result in a more efficient system and would cut healthcare costs.
On Wednesday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin abandoned his quest to bring single-payer to Vermont. According to Vtdigger.org, the plan would’ve required massive payroll tax increases on Vermont businesses and their workers.
Shumlin said that the latest economic modeling showed the cost of providing high quality health coverage to all Vermonters would be prohibitive.
The price tag for a publicly financed universal health care system turned out to be $2.6 billion, not the $1.6 billion to $2.2 billion that Shumlin and his team originally believed. The objective was to replace what Vermonters now pay in premiums with taxes.
[…]The Shumlin administration revealed Wednesday that his health care reform team was considering an 11.5 percent payroll tax on employers and an income tax with a sliding scale from 0 percent to 9.5 percent, depending on income and family size. The maximum income tax a family would pay was capped at $27,500 per household. In previous news reports about the single payer financing plan, the payroll percentage was pegged at 5 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
Twitter’s reaction was mixed, with single payer supporters showing a combination of disappointment and insistence that Shumlin wasn’t doing *real* single payer:
Here’s a good quote from William F. Buckley, the founder of National Review:
Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.
It was at the point when single-payer moved from theory to reality, implementation, that it fell apart. Eventually, the bill comes due for even the best sounding ideas. More often than not, the costs are not worth the benefits.
Single-payer healthcare almost always winds up costing more than planned and that’s why it often gets abandoned, just as Vermont did. The way to decrease costs in healthcare is the way to decrease costs in the rest of the economy, through cutting waste and supporting free market competition.
Michelle Obama is once again coming alongside the usurper-in-chief to help stir up more division. And once again, just like her husband, she’s lying to do it. What once was used as a story from Mrs. Obama to promote that she had done a good deed has now been changed to claim that she was discriminated against because she’s black.
Michelle Obama was recently interviewed in People magazine,
The protective bubble that comes with the presidency – the armored limo, the Secret Service detail, the White House – shields Barack and Michelle Obama from a lot of unpleasantness. But their encounters with racial prejudice aren’t as far in the past as one might expect. And they obviously still sting.
“I think people forget that we’ve lived in the White House for six years,” the first lady told PEOPLE, laughing wryly, along with her husband, at the assumption that the first family has been largely insulated from coming face-to-face with racism.
“Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs,” Mrs. Obama said in the Dec. 10 interview appearing in the new issue of PEOPLE.
“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”
However, in a 2012 interview with David Letterman, Obama told a different story… about the same story.
“No one knew that was me,” Obama said. “Because a woman actually walked up to me, right? I was in the detergent aisle, and she said — I kid you not — she said, ‘Excuse me, I just have to ask you something.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, cover’s blown.’ She said, ‘Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?’ I kid you not. And the only thing she said — I reached up, because she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down. She said, ‘Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.’ That was my interaction. I felt so good.”
First, I have to confess that I am not even buying that Michelle Obama went to a Target store, much less engaged in this now questionable scenario. Second, I have to wonder if she is not only a race baiter, but also a height challenged discriminator. She was obviously using the short woman down in the 2012 story to make herself look big (ok, she is big…and her biceps are fairly big….almost man-lie).
We shouldn’t expect anything but racism from Michelle Obama. After all, both she and Toni Townes-Whitley, the creator of the miserable failure that is the Obamacare website, were members of a racist groups at Princeton: The Organization of Black Unity (OBU) and the Third World Center (TWC), which engaged in a confrontation with Jewish students on campus.” And if you want to read more about Michelle’s own racist background, take a look at this piece.
michelle_obama05But there was also the view that Obama has of herself as “above the little people,” while at the same time trying to associate with them.
Mr. Obama then chimed in to People saying, “There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys.”
And that’s because you’re black? Seriously? Honestly, with the way he conducts himself, I’m not surprised if someone didn’t do that, but it would have nothing to do with the color of his skin, but the content of his character.
Mrs. Obama also said that he was at a black-tie dinner, and because he was wearing a tuxedo someone asked him to get their coffee. Again, Seriously? Sorry, I can’t take her serious.
“The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced,” President Obama said. “It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala. It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.”
Yeah, let’s just let that little statement sink in. I’m white and I’ve been asked in a grocery store by white people and black people alike if I work there. Does that make them racist? I think not. I’ve also been asked if I would retrieve something at a store for someone before. Does that make them racist? Again, I think not.
I’ve actually never been in a limousine and never parked at a place that required a valet, I wonder what Mr. Obama thinks about that. He probably thinks because I’m white that it’s not racism and he would be right. It isn’t racism any more than his wife’s bogus story about Target, his waiter’s tale or his claim about a valet. It’s all typical lies and BS from the liar-in-chief.
But hey, the Obama’s love to race bait because it’s what gets them where they want to go… Like a 17-day vacation they took at taxpayer expense to Hawaii just after the interview with People. That’s racism in America for you!
Obama knows nothing of what men like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. endured or what men like Vernon Johns endured for the sake of the black community. They weren’t standing with their hands out, living off the theft of those around them. They were looking to live their lives without being treated like animals. Now, we endure animals who only look to have a government steal from others and redistribute it to them.
As my friend Erik Rush recently wrote, “If one subscribes to Obama’s origins narrative (wherein he was sired by a Kenyan named Barack Obama), the president has no heritage linking him to black Americans, their history, or their struggles. Rush is exactly right. Obama can’t identify with black Americans simply because he is not a black American.
Budget cuts at the Internal Revenue Service will likely delay tax refunds, hinder taxpayers services, and hamper enforcement efforts, according to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
Koskinen said during a press conference before the beginning of tax-filing season that about half of people who call the IRS for assistance with their taxes will not be able to reach an employee, based on staffing levels. Fewer agents will mean slower auditing, leading to later refunds than in past years.
“Everybody’s return will get processed,” Koskinen said, according to AP. “But people have gotten very used to being able to file their return and quickly getting a refund. This year we may not have the resources, the people to provide refunds as quickly as we have in the past.”
The IRS says that in recent years it has been able to offer tax refunds within three weeks after electronic filing. Refunds averaged about $2,800 this year.
Yet budget cuts will prolong that period, Kosinen said, as the IRS has instituted a hiring freeze and eliminated most overtime.
The IRS budget was cut by $346 million for the fiscal year that ends in September 2015. The $10.9 billion budget is $1.2 billion less than the agency was allotted in 2010, according to AP.
Conservatives in Congress have worked to cut IRS funding in order to weaken implementation of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. Thanks to the law, taxpayers will have to report on their tax returns whether or not they have health insurance and if they receive tax credits to help pay insurance premiums.
Yet Kosinen said political games with the IRS funding won’t have the intended effect, as the agency must enforce the law meaning that other areas, like taxpayer services and enforcement, will suffer.
“In some ways, these budget cuts are really a tax cut for tax cheats,” Koskinen said.
“Because to the extent we have fewer people to audit and enforce the tax code, that means some people cutting corners on their taxes or not complying are going to get away with it, and that is a decision that Congress has made.”
READ MORE: IRS seizes hundreds of perfectly legal bank accounts, refuses to give money back
Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS employees, warned that funding cuts will mean “correspondence will continue to pile up and taxpayers will wait longer and longer for a response.”
“Starving the IRS hurts more than just the agency’s workforce, it hurts all taxpayers,” Kelley said.
Koskinen had previously expressed dismay over what awaits taxpayers and the IRS next year.
The 2015 tax filing season “will be one of the most complicated filing seasons we’ve ever had,” Koskinen cautioned last month at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants National Tax Conference in Washington, DC. “All we can do is try to maximize our services as well as we can; as well as we can is still going to be miserable. You really do get what you pay for.”
The tax-filing season will begin on time next month, Koskinen said, though the IRS has yet to set an exact date based on last-minute tax legislation passed by Congress this month.