Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

“If you like your plan, you can keep it.”: Wanna bet?

THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG!

“…analysts said as many as 2 million could lose the prescription drug coverage provided by their former employers, leaving them to enroll in Medicare’s program.”–Analysts

Mark Steyn:

But just because America already has the highest corporate tax in the OECD is no reason why we can’t keep going until it’s double Sweden’s and quadruple Ireland’s. I refer you to the decision last year by the doughnut chain Tim Hortons, a Delaware corporation, to reorganize itself as a Canadian corporation “in order to take advantage of Canadian tax rates.” Hold that thought: “In order to take advantage of Canadian tax rates” – a phrase hitherto unknown to American English outside the most fantastical futuristic science fiction.

Ask yourself this: If you impose a sudden 35 percent tax on something, are you likely to get as much of it? Go on, take a wild guess. On the day President Barack Obama signed Obamacare into law, Verizon sent an e-mail to all its employees, warning that the company’s costs “will increase in the short term.” And in the medium term? Well, U.S. corporations that are able to do so will get out of their prescription drugs plans and toss their retirees onto the Medicare pile.

So much for “If you like your plan, you can keep it.”

No big deal. This new law will still help because “Your employer, it’s estimated, would see premiums fall by as much as 3,000 [dollars], which means they could give you a raise!”

So far just three companies – Deere, Caterpillar and Valero Energy – have calculated that the loss of the deduction will add a combined $265 million to their costs. There are an additional 3,500 businesses presently claiming the break.

Okay, okay; so you can’t keep your plan even if you like it, and it isn’t saving your employer money so there’s no raise coming…but at least “This bill will lower the deficit!”:

The cost to taxpayers of that 28 percent benefit is about $665 per person. The cost to taxpayers of equivalent Medicare coverage is about $1,200 per person.

So we’re roughly doubling the cost of covering an estimated 5 million retirees.

Alright, alright; I can’t keep my plan, this is costing my employer money, not saving it, and it raises the deficit, not lowers it–but what about this: “I also have a health care plan that would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums.” Do I still get my $2,500, or is that double-counted and already included in the $3,000 my employer was supposed to save? You know–for my raise?

Oh.

Well, at least I still have a job.

Medtronic has just announced that the new Obamacare taxes on its products could force it to lay off 1,000 workers. What do those guys do? Well, they develop products such as the recently approved pacemaker that’s safe for MRI scans or the InterStim bladder control device. So that’s a thousand fewer people who’ll be working on new stuff. Well, so what? The public won’t miss what they never knew they had.

I know how the public feels. …………..

Steyn goes on to discuss the Value Subtracted Tax (a la Krauthammer) and some national security issues, ending with a call for a Constitutional Convention. Read it all.

Speaking of the VAT, we’d better get informed:

“I would say put everything on the table and subject it to the scrutiny that it deserves,” Pelosi told Rose when asked if the value-added tax has any appeal to her.

“Somewhere along the way, a value-added tax plays into this. Of course, we want to take down the health care cost, that’s one part of it,” the speaker added. “But in the scheme of things, I think it’s fair look at a value- added tax as well.”

Pelosi said that any new taxes would come after the Congress finishes the healthcare debate…

Bonus Steyn movie review of Barbarian Invasions:

Sébastien flies back, and is horrified at the conditions his father is being treated in. “I’m lucky I’m not in the corridor,” says Remy. His son contacts an old friend in the medical profession. Like many (most?) Québécois doctors, he’s now working in America, at a hospital in Baltimore that could help with the diagnosis if the chaps in Montreal were able to e-mail them a scan. Unfortunately, the only machine in the province that can do the scan is 90 minutes away in Sherbrooke and there’s a six-to-twelve month waiting list, by which time they’ll have to dig Remy up to do it. Or he can have it done tomorrow, if he drives an hour south to Burlington, Vermont and pays $2,000. For Americans, one of the odder aspects of the movie is to hear patients refer to “Burlington” the way outlying residents of Oz speak of the Emerald City – a glittering metropolis on the far horizon where all things are possible. Montreal has a population of two million. Burlington is a city of 40,000 people, and to most Americans a peripheral backwater. But, in Her Majesty’s northern Dominion, the public health system is such an article of faith that no private hospitals are permitted: Canada’s private health care system is called “America”.

But what if…

UPDATE: I see Mike has already posted on Steyn’s column below. Thing is, they’re so rich, we always pull different quotes and there’s still more.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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