To help pay for President Barack Obama’s health law, Congress enacted a 2.3 percent tax on the sale of medical devices used chiefly by doctors and hospitals, such as pacemakers and CT scan machines. Consumer items are exempted, including eyeglasses, contact lenses and hearing aids.
The tax took effect in January 2013. For the first six months of that year, the IRS estimated it would collect $1.2 billion from the tax. The audit said the IRS collected only $913 million — 24 percent less than the estimate.
The IRS estimated it would receive between 9,000 and 15,600 returns for the first two quarters of 2013, the audit said. But the IRS received only 5,107 returns, suggesting that thousands of companies either don’t know about the requirements or are simply ignoring them.
“Everything from this ill-conceived tax’s structure to its implementation has been a disaster,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. “It is no surprise that 79 senators went on the record to repeal this job-killing tax.”
Read the full article at FoxNews.com.
A national business group representing the nation’s large employers reported Wednesday that companies desperate to avoid a 40 percent ObamaCare “Cadillac tax” are finding ways to shift the costs to workers.
The so-called “Cadillac tax,” now four years away, will affect health plans that spend more than $10,200 per worker.
“The excise tax, when it hits in 2018, will affect both employers and employees,”said Brian Marcotte, president of the National Business Group on Health.
Employees will get incentives to reduce costs through such arrangements as wellness programs, including losing weight or stopping smoking.
Meanwhile, employers are shifting workers into plans with higher deductibles, just as ObamaCare does in the health care exchanges, and using health savings accounts to help defray the costs.
Another cost saver, Marcotte added, is to increase premiums for spouses who have access to other plans.
Rosemary Gibson of the Hastings Center said, “Employees are going to be paying more and more of their income for health care. And the same with people even on these exchanges if they don’t get subsidies.”
The “Cadillac tax” was originally intended to take effect sooner, but unions and other groups convinced officials to delay it until 2018, reducing the anticipated income from $137 billion to $80 billion over ten years. But many analysts predict it will be far less than that.
Read the full article at FoxNews.com.
ZDNET — Perhaps no news about HealthCare.gov, the Federal healthcare exchange website and supporting systems, is shocking anymore. We all know that it was an utter disaster at launch on October 1, 2013 and was completely unusable for some time thereafter. But eventually they got it to the point of being usable, so no harm no foul, right?
You may not think so after reading the recent GAO (Government Accountability Office) report HEALTHCARE.GOV — Ineffective Planning and Oversight Practices Underscore the Need for Improved Contract Management. The report is embedded at the bottom of this story.
Not only was the project a technical disaster — development was originally supposed to be complete October 1, 2013, but the schedule is now for the end of 2014 — but it has cost far, far beyond what was budgeted and far further than what could be called reasonable for such a system.
The report says (page 9) that, through March 2014, the total cost of the project was $946 million. $840 million of this was spent by the CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), with the rest by the IRS and Department of Veterans Affairs. But the development costs continue to rise and are likely already over $1 billion.
Read the full article at ZDNet.com.
Don’t get me wrong, while government run healthcare is one of the worst ideas since blood-letting–just handing it out to anyone without proper documentation is even worse. But the puzzling part is that Liberals have already set the standard that if something is really, super important (like voting multiple times for Democrat candidates) then an ID should not only not be required, but somehow racist or [insert pejorative, ad hominem adjective or adverb here] if it is.
So it’s understandable, that based on that idea, the Liberals in charge of ObamaCare have already been dishing out taxpayer funds to any Tom, Dick or Hernando that asks for it. So why demand ID now? It’s not like the Obama Administration cares about following the law. They burned that bridge long, long ago.
According to the ObamaBots, “Healthcare” [insert trumpet fanfare] is so important that the nation’s economy should be screwed up and the healthcare of millions of people put in jeopardy to insure that the 4 people who didn’t have healthcare, but wanted it, can now get it.
“We want as many consumers as possible to remain enrolled in marketplace coverage, so we are giving these individuals a last chance to submit their documents before their coverage through the marketplace will end,” Marilyn Tavenner, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, said in the statement. (as an aside: Isn’t it just so cute when Socialists use Capitalist terms like “consumer” and “marketplace” to describe socialist programs?)
So are the people running ObamaCare racists? I mean that’s what people who require IDs are, aren’t they?