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View Diary: No CBO Score Tonight, Excise Tax Negotiations Back On (222 comments)

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  •  So instead of bringing others up (8+ / 0-)

    you'd rather knock the "Selfish people with decent plans" down?

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 05:40:31 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Tell me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerseyKC

      In this legislation what is the path for getting the 30 million currently uninsured on board with $25,000 insurance plans?

      Taxing such cadillac plans also has the benefit of putting in some negative feedback for cost control. For example, with my insurance I pay about 10% of the total bill. It's nice to have 90% paid, but 10% still gets one's attention. I think the value of my insurance is something like $6,000, single.

      And again, progressives have always been for graduated taxation. One could as easily say that the graduated income tax itself "knocks down people with decent" incomes rather than "bringing others up," but that would similarly be specious. It's called fairness.

      •  FSM give me serenity, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clues, nandssmith

        the last time I had a job the company would cover half of my premium and none for my wife. You pay 10%? Now I wanna tax your frigging insurance plan!

        8/29 changed everything Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.13 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.10

        by wsexson on Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 09:39:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not 10% of premium (0+ / 0-)

          ...10% of the medical bills, up to some limit. The premium (my part anyway) is $300/mo. As I say, the value is something like $6000, not too far from the $8000 threshold for the excise tax for individuals. If congress wants to tax at a lower level to get this thing passed, so be it. It's artificial and unfair to have large parts of compensation "off the books" so to speak. That's led to some of the severe distortions and unfairness we see in the health care economy. The people with the easy money of the cadillac plans rack the health care prices up (much like no-interest, no-doc mortgages juiced up the housing bubble), pricing the less fortunate out of the market.

          •  You need to recognize who is really (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q

            eating your lunch.

            And it's not a bunch of middle class working Americans who happen to have more expensive (notice I didn't say better) health insurance than you do.

            Do a bit of reading why don't you?  Someone upthread posted a nice list of what health insurance costs in Mass.  You seem to be taking your personal experiences with insurance and extrapolating them to the entire country.  That's a pretty ill-informed way to analyze the situation.

            •  I merely offer my own experience (0+ / 0-)

              ...as a anecdote, an example of a pretty good insurance plan that doesn't make the excise tax threshold. I believe I understand this system better than you do, if you can't see how these callac plans are driving up prices for all, and how they are off-balance-sheet compensation, as dodgy as that employed by Lehman Bros.

              Since you have done so much reading, tell me this: what percent of employer-provided plans reach this $25,000 or whatever threshold today? I'll tell you the answer without reading: pretty close to 0%. Even the Mass. example you refer to didn't make the cut, and it's unclear that that was employer-provided.

              With 30 million uninsured, spare me the sob stories about those getting an untaxed $25,000 subsidy, in the vaunted "middle class," which, going by polls and self-identification, comprises about 100% of the country.

              •  You don't "merely offer your own experience" (0+ / 0-)

                You speak as though you're a great authority on this issue.

                And even when you claim to "merely speak", you say crap like this:

                I believe I understand this system better than you do

                and this:

                I'll tell you the answer without reading: pretty close to 0%

                You should be embarassed to display such laziness in public in such a forceful manner.

                In 5 minutes of looking, I found:

                By 2019, according to the estimate, 37 percent of family policies and 41 percent of individual policies would be affected.

                The excise tax — which is placed on insurers, but is expected to be passed along to employers — could hit up to 19 percent of medical packages offered by employers in 2013, the first year it goes into effect, according to a separate Mercer analysis of data

                That article also states that

                The CBO forecast that 19 percent of employer sponsored plans would be subject to the tax in 2016, three years after it goes into effect.

                So although people's estimates vary, everyone seems to agree it's greater than 0.

                I've worked with labor issues for over 5 years now, and even I know that there are people here who know a lot more than I do on this topic, which is why I go out and find more information before I comment.  The fact that you waltz in with your own personal experience and make statements the way you do is pretty darn silly.

                •  It is 0% (0+ / 0-)

                  My point stands. You may want to read tea leaves 9 years hence, but it is 0% today. For your reading comprehension here is what I said again:

                  Since you have done so much reading, tell me this: what percent of employer-provided plans reach this $25,000 or whatever threshold today?

                  Taxing cadillac health plans is a cost containment measure (which supposedly is so lacking in this bill), so the effect will be to keep costs down, in the same way that when easy mortgage money dried up, housing prices plummeted. These effects and other legislation will play out in the next nine years.

                  This situation with cadillac health plans is exactly analogous to medicare seniors who want to "keep the government out of their Medicare." In fact, most of the opposition to these reforms comes from people with cushy health plans, and have the attitude that "what's mine is mine, and keep your hands off it." They don't really give a crap about the uninsured.

                  By the way, since I pay about $3600 in yearly premiums, my actual employer subsidy is more like $3,000. Oh cry me a river about Joe Hill and his $25,000 subsidy. I'll pay 40% if he will. That's a nice progressive taxation scheme.

                  •  lol (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Johnny Q

                    Since you have done so much reading, tell me this: what percent of employer-provided plans reach this $25,000 or whatever threshold today?

                    Well, since the bill is not passed yet and since these provisions don't go into effect until at least 2013, you are, of course correct.

                    By the same token I will say, How many people is this bill helping TODAY?  zero percent.

                    Taxing cadillac health plans is a cost containment measure (which supposedly is so lacking in this bill), so the effect will be to keep costs down, in the same way that when easy mortgage money dried up, housing prices plummeted.

                    Did you even bother to read the links I put in above?  The experts happen to disagree with you.  This tax will do nothing more than take away decent coverage for anyone lucky enough to have it and provide them with comparably shitty coverage like the rest of working America is going to get.  

                    Yes, certainly, the way to ensure all Americans have decent health insurance is to take it away from the few that do now.  Sensible.

                    Sorry, your arguments are ill-informed and you proudly state that you do no reading on the subject to better educate yourself.  This has become an exercise in teaching a pig to sing.

                    •  You are just a rude person (0+ / 0-)

                      I said I didn't have to read to come up with the common-sense fact that about 0% of employer-provided plans hit the $25,000 threshold today. That is a fact, and has nothing to do with whether this bill is enacted or not. I could as easily say, without "reading," that about 0% of people make, say, $1 million a year. A $25,000 employer-provided subsidy is about in that category, and it's unconscionable for anyone to cry poormouth over that when 30 million plus have no insurance whatsoever.

                      With all the talk of the "middle class" there is little focus on the poor, the lower class. The presidential campaign on both sides had a distinct bourgeois focus. For the several weeks of early voting in '08 my GOTV group taxied people to the polls, from urban housing projects, tenements and the like. More than once, chatting on the way, I heard the complaint that "the Democrats are always talking about the middle class, what about the lower class?" It's true. Nobody gives a shit about them. They voted for Obama but it was remarkable how they had no illusions about anything good coming their way. One elderly black fellow had been recently released from a 20-year jail term (I didn't ask for what). He was living in a flophouse and said when I dropped him off back home that he was going to watch the returns and drink a big glass of whiskey at midnight or whenever they announced Obama the winner. So he had that anyway.

                      I note that the reconciliation bill draft as scored by the CBO now indexes the excise tax at CPI, not CPI+1%, so those bourgeoisie with cadillac plans made a major sacrifice in this case. Oh, boo hoo.

                      Onward!

                      •  If I'm rude (0+ / 0-)

                        it's because I'm tired of beating my head against a brick wall.  I've now provided numerous links and plenty of quotes from reliable sources that say you're wrong.  You've provided....nothing.

                        John P. Yrchik, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association, has lobbied Mr. Courtney and other members of the state’s Congressional delegation, noting that the tax would affect teachers in 30 percent of Connecticut towns. In some towns, Mr. Yrchik said, health insurance premiums for teachers’ family policies already exceed $25,000.

                        Read up.

                        As it turns out, though, many smaller fish would get caught in Mr. Baucus’s tax net. The supposedly Cadillac insurance policies include ones that cover many of the nation’s firefighters and coal miners, older employees at small businesses — a whole gamut that runs from union shops to Main Street entrepreneurs.

                        Nationwide, about one in 10 family insurance plans would be subject to the new excise tax, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning policy and research group.

                        Bruce Hodson is a state employee in Maine and the president of Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, where the cost of a family plan is now running at about $20,500 a year. At the typical pace of health premium inflation, his policy could very likely set off the tax if it goes into effect in 2013, as the Baucus plan proposes.

                        At this point, I'm done doing your homework for you.  You can either educate yourself or continue to appear ignorant in public, it's all the same to me.

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