September 21, 2009 Tax Cuts Do Benefit The Rich that’s because they pay almost all of the income taxes. IRS data for 2007 shows the top 1% of filers (AGI greater than $410,000) paid 40.4% of all federal income taxes, up from 39.9% the year before. Yet, those taxpayers made just 22.8% of all reported AGI. The higher 5% (AGI greater than $160,000) paid 60.6% of total income tax and made 37.4% of all AGI. The top 10% (AGI greater than $113,000) have 71.2% of the overall tax burden. The bottom 50% of all filers paid just 2.9% of the total income tax bill. So the tax burden is not even close to being shared!! Kiplinger Tax Letter 8/7/09 New York Makes Health Insurance More Affordable and Accessible On July 29, 2009, New York’s Governor Patterson signed into law, bills to accomplish the following: · Unmarried children can be covered under a parent’s group policy until they are age 29. Children can be covered regardless of financial independence. Payment is to be made by the families, not the employer. · COBRA will be extended from 18 to 36 months There You Go Again Obama is going to town hall meetings and accusing doctors of amputating legs in order to receive a $50,000 medical fee. The American Medical Association reports doctors get paid an average of $1,200 from Medicare for an amputation. Obama stated you can keep your health insurance company if you like under his plan. On page 16 of the proposed bill it states, if you change jobs you must be on the public option; if you resign and start your own business, you must be on the public option; if the company changes from an insurance company it must go to the public option. So exactly how can you keep your company other than by only staying with the same great blue chip company FOREVER? The Congressional Budget office stated that within the first thirty days, 75% of companies will transfer to the public option. In the second 30 days the entire health insurance industry will be bankrupt. Obama states there are no death panels in ObamaCare. In Section 1233 of H.R. 3200 there is a provision to offer government reimbursement to any doctor who gives end of life counseling, whether or not the patient asked for it and would appear to be to create an incentive for such a chat. The bill provides for an American version of the British QALYs. The woman, who liberals go ballistic over, Sarah Palin, wrote on her Facebook page that the Senate bill has QALYs in it. Republican Senator Grassley mentions this at a Senate Finance committee meeting and objects to its inclusion in the bill, whereupon Democrat Senator Baucus removed it from the bill. How can you remove from a bill what the President says is not in it? What is a QALY? A QALY is the concept in Britain’s free National Health Insurance system that is a black box actuarial formula known as quality-adjusted life years; a panel of bureaucrats determine who can receive what care and if a treatment is not deemed by the bureaucrats to be cost effective for specific populations, particularly the elderly, the National Health Service will not pay for it. In Britain, under its QALYs metric it generally will not pay more than $22,000 for treatments to extend a life 6 months. Today, in Britain, if you are a female over the age of 65 and have breast cancer the NHS will not pay for drugs to extend your life. It is cheaper to let you die. In Sweden, a senior over the age of 80 cannot get a hip replacement paid for by their socialist system. The bureaucrat, not your doctor, determines if you will receive care. Before Obama got defensive, he evoked the experience of his own grandmother musing whether it was wise for her to receive a hip replacement after a terminal cancer diagnosis. Obama is correct but deceptive; the way to reduce the cost of healthcare is to deny it except to healthy persons and not to give it to the elderly who obviously have outlived their usefulness. Wall Street Journal 8/14/09 p. A12, NY Post 8/21/09 p. 37 Obama-Are you giving us the straight scoop? What I Wish He Said We are old! Social Security and Medicare consume nearly $1 trillion annually and because of the country’s aging boomer population are the fastest growing portion of the entitlement pie. We are fat! Nearly one third of Americans are clinically obese (body mass index of 30 or more). Obesity leads to a legion of ills, from heart attacks and strokes to gut cancers and diabetes. The annual cost of treating diabetes and its effects exceeds $200 billion. We should borrow a page from JFK and commit our public schools to vigorous physical fitness goals. And parents: stop driving your kids to school. Buy a computer game called go outside and play! We are afraid of the lawyer! The biggest cost is not malpractice awards, which annually drive up US Healthcare costs by $20-$40 billion per year. Most costly is the doctor’s perceived threat of a career ending malpractice award and his or her incentive is therefore to practice defensive medicine. This occurs when a doctor, fearing a lawsuit, orders a battery of costly diagnostic tests to rule out the highly improbable, even when the obvious cause of a sickness or injury is staring him in the face. Surgeons put the cost of defensive medicine at $100-$178 billion per year. (Obama ruled out tort reform and Senator Max Baucus who had a separate tort reform bill with his name on it, removed it from the healthcare legislation. Trial lawyers are part of the financial support of the Democrat Party). Forbes 9/7/09, p.19 WOW! And speaking of Sarah Palin, can you imagine a more powerful example of the power of the Internet? She changes the political debate, not by giving a speech, but merely by putting information on her Facebook page. Wow! Epitaph for Robert Novak The muckraking journalist who was a stanch anti-communist, friend of LBJ and crucifier of Republicans who failed to live up to their small government principles and Democrats who sought to expand the welfare state. His recent advice to youth at a college commencement was, “Always love your country, never trust your government.” If you have any questions as to how this law or other tax matters may pertain to you, please call us. If you want to read more, visit the AOHL Newsletter Archives at www.lisch.com Remember, We’re Here For You!!