Mid-afternoon drive by

From The American spectator:

Caterpillar, the first to speak out, reported it will take a one-time write-down of $100 million in order to account for the elimination of a federal tax refund it has been receiving for providing drug benefits to its retired employees. In the following days, AT&T, Verizon, 3M, Deer & Co., and AK Steel Holdings announced they would take similar write downs. AT&T’s new tax bill will come to over $1 billion. The news is a body blow to major companies hoping to recover profitability and add jobs.
If all this sounds familiar, it should. It is exactly what Republicans predicted would happen if Obamacare became law. If existing employee benefits were taxed or made more expensive, the GOP argued, employers would either have to absorb the loss or start pushing their employees into whatever “government option” became available. When the Bush Administration adopted Medicare Part D in 2003, companies threatened to do just that, dropping their coverage and letting retirees buy into the federal program. The government offered a tax refund of about $650 per retiree in order to keep Part D costs down. Now the Obama Administration has decided to eliminate the tax refund in order to pay for the larger entitlements in the new bill.
All this, however, was too much for Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He demanded that CEOs from the major companies appear before him on April 21 to explain just what’s going on. “These assertions appear to conflict with independent analyses,” said the chairman, “which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs.”

So, Waxman’s gonna haul ’em all to Washington to ‘splain themselves. Money paragraph:

This is typical of Washington — too many lawyers, too few people who understand business or energy or insurance or medicine or whatever the government has decided to regulate. The laws of a society are supposed to administer justice and make things run smoothly. Instead, the law in America has become a tool for forcing other people to do what you want. That’s why everybody wants to become a lawyer and nobody wants to become an engineer, scientist, doctor or — god forbid — an insurance company executive. Now that the results of Obamacare are emerging, the demonization of insurance companies that greased its passage will soon extend to American business as a whole.

Oh, what if we’d had ACTUAL health care reform? Obama said everything had been discussed, but that isn’t exactly true, is it?

The fairest and most efficient reform would be to give everyone the same tax benefits. Allow individuals to put aside $3,000-5,000 tax-free to cover their medical expenses. A portion could be used to buy “catastrophic coverage,” which is really plain ordinary health insurance for major expenses. This is what medical savings accounts (MSAs) do. Indiana has provided coverage for 45,000 low-income individuals by giving them $1,100 tax-free for their medical expenses and covering them beyond that up to $300,000 through commercial insurance policies. Unfortunately, the program — which is highly successful — is outlawed by Obamacare. Congress does not like to see people left to handle their own affairs.

Because “we” can’t be trusted to handle our affairs or manage our money.

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6 Comments on “Mid-afternoon drive by”

  1. wiserbud Says:

    heh. You silly. You honestly think this is about health care in any way, shape or form?

  2. agiledog Says:

    And you owe me SOMETHING for that video. I may have to go field strip a dual-barrel Holly carb or chop down an oak tree with an axe, just to regain a sense of manhood after watching that.

  3. MCPO Airdale Says:

    AD – It’s Fa-Bu-Lous!

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