Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Obamacare" is now the law. See this map I put together that shows who will win the Presidency in November...

This map shows all the States and general level of the population without health insurance. I put a yellow star on the States that are considered Electoral College Toss Up States.

Look at the States that are Dark Green AND have a star on it---High Uninsured and a Toss-Up electorally---Alaska, Nevada, North Carolina and Florida.  Florida is the Big One with 29 Electoral College votes up for grabs---Advantage and Re-Election(?) for Pres Obama.  We elect Presidents through the Electoral College, not popular vote.  This matters!

Latest CBO (non-partisan govt office) revenue and cost estimate for the ACA ("ObamaCare"). "We are going to need a bigger Revenue Boat"...

This is the latest (March 2012) revenue and cost estimate for the now legal American HealthCare Act (ACA--aka--"ObamaCare").  CAUTION: notice the cost numbers are positive and the revenue numbers are negative here.  The bottom line number is "$1,252 Trillion" accumlated DEFICIT over the 11 year projection.  This is in ADDITION to any existing budge deficits occurring during this time span.

In other words, on average ($1,252T divided by 11), the Federal budget is going to require an additional $114 billion each year to pay for the ACA.  Again, this is over and above what the budget collects and spends currently on everything else.  This is a fact---I did not make up these numbers and they did not come a biased think tank. (Click on image to make larger)

Source: CBO Analysis March 2012
My educated guess is that this underestimates the costs and overestimates the revenues.  So the deficit in the program will likely be larger.  How much (?), no idea. Other than this has been the case for just about EVERY other sweeping program implemented in the last 20 years.  Am I wrong?

Given these numbers, where is the additonal revenue going to come from? Just askin'...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

IF the Individual Mandate is upheld, here is a chart showing the Tax (or "fee") you will pay for not being insured...

If by some unexpected circumstance the Individual Mandate is declared Constitutional by the Supreme Court today, the chart below shows how the tax (or "Fee", I think it is actually called in the ACA bill) will play out for you.

Source: HERE
Example: If "1 Adult" in 2014 decided not to buy their own health insurance they would have to pay 1% of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI--- your income that is taxed AFTER you take deductions from your actual ("Gross") income you earned in 2014).

Let's say for 2014 you calculate your AGI to be $15,000 (your gross income would actually be, perhaps, $17,000). One percent of $15,000 would be $150. That is higher than $95 (the minimum) so $150 would be your tax for forgoing the purchase of health insurance.  This is in ADDITION to any other Federal Income tax you may owe.

Notice in 2016 that percentage increases to 2.5%. Assume your income stays the same, then your tax would be 2.5% X $15,000 = $375. However, the minimum in 2016 is $695 so that is what you would pay instead of the $375.

It the purchase of insurance cost you more than the tax (or "Fee) then you are better off just paying the tax. It will be cheaper for you.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dispatch from the Political Middle.

"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes, but I think we already overpay for what we get in Federal Government". ---words of a fictional "Politically Middle Voter"(really, me)

A bit of a pardox.

I think for a lot (most?) of people in the political middle, or people who just don't have the time or bandwidth to pay close attention, this is a fairly accurate "macro" view of the discussion on whether to raise Federal taxes or not.

However, if you apply this sentiment to individual programs, on a "micro" level,  I think you get a different outcome.  For example insert key words above with ANY Federal progam and see how you feel about it.  Examples:

"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes for National Defense, but I think we already overpay for what we get in National Security". 
"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes for Social Security and Medicare, but I think we already overpay for what we get in Social Security and Medicare benefits"
"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes for Income Support programs for low income people, but I think we already overpay for what we get in return for helping low income people."
"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes to fund public employee pensions, but I think we already overpay for what we give in retirement benefits for public employees."
"We probably should pay more in Federal Taxes to fund vital infrastructure projects, but I think we already overpay for the infrastructure we currently have".
If you are an ideologue and have definitive opinions on these issues, then these are easy for you. But if you are in the "Middle" it is not necessarily so clear.

As I think of more and more individual Federal programs, I find it more difficult to square the two clauses of the phrase I constructed.  How about you? Help me out.

You can do this at the State and Local level as well---insert police, firemen, and teachers (Oh, My!!).

Refer back to the original sentence that started this posting.  I blame current and past (40 years)Legislative and Executive branches for our jaded view expressed in the second clause in the sentence.  I resent this because it forces me to ponder the first clause. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Terrific interactive of "What Kills Us" since 1900. Whether you are taking a class or interested in the topic of healthcare, you will find this helpful...

A great set of  charts and graphs related to "what kills us" over time.  Worth a look if you are interested in, or taking a class in  healthcare, demographics, sociology, history, etc.  Go HERE (New England Journal of Medicine) for a terrific interactive and look at this information from many different angles. 

Source: Business Insider
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