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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

health bill penalties

Just the Facts, Ma’am, Just the Facts

I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but some folks have actually complained about the information I’ve tried to supply the last few weeks regarding the House Health Care Bill.

Most, but not all of the questions have arisen from someone jumping to an unwarranted conclusion based upon the information over which they simply skimmed.

For example, in one section of the bill, it talks about end-of-life counseling. One gentleman chided me for knot doing my research, referring me to a Snopes’ article on euthanasia.

I never mentioned euthanasia. I mentioned end-of-life counseling, which is in the bill--and not a bad idea either if that’s all it is. It was this gentleman’s assumption that connected the two.

That’s what I mean about jumping to conclusions. Several have suggested I used biased sources, left- or right-wing pundits. They’re all over the place, but they’re just as bad, as uncertain as flipping a coin—usually.
My primary source of information is the house bill itself. On one hand, I have the bill so I can go through it line by line; on the other, I have my document upon which I relate my own personal interpretations of the rules.

I might pose ideas with which you might not agree, but they are not lifted verb-by-verb from another’s equally inept interpretation.

Now, all that being said, and with assurance I’m not copying right- or left-wing regurgitation ad nauseam, let’s talk more about the bill.

Now when the president says ‘everyone’ will have health insurance, he ain’t just whistling Dixie (except for himself and those around him). Not only does the bill lay hefty penalties up to eight percent of the payroll on employers who fail to offer acceptable health plans, but they hit taxpayers with similarly harsh penalties.

In section 59B, we read the penalty for having no coverage. The bill states in subsection (a), TAX IMPOSED- in the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of acceptable health insurance according to subsection (d) at any time during the taxable years, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of: the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year---but it shall not exceed the applicable national average premium for such taxable year, an amount determined by the Secretary and the Health Choices Commissioner (this is a new one on me too).

The penalty is even more harsh if you fail to cover your dependents. You think that’s not going to burst the bubble of those young, first-time voters who were dying for a change?

Makes you wonder how those Washington whiz kids are going to handle the cardboard-box-sleeping-under-the-bridges constituents in their voting blocs.

Now, a couple pages farther in the bill, AND THIS REALLY TICKS ME OFF, page 170 to be exact when the bill addresses EXCEPTIONS TO THIS PENALTY. Nonresident Aliens - Subsection (a) – (the subsection mentioned above) – shall not apply to any individual who is a non-resident alien.

By the way, a non-resident alien is a person who is not a US Citizen and who does not meet either the ‘green card’ test or the ‘substantial presence’ test described in IRS Publication 159, US Tax Guide for Aliens.

The way I read this is that American citizens will have to pay the penalties, but illegal aliens will not.

I wish you critics would read it and tell me if I’m wrong on this interpretation. If I’m right, does that mean you and I are paying for old Tequila Joe?

Now, if you’re good hearted enough you don’t mind illegals wading across, how about picking up my share of their insurance tab?

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