Category Archives: Health

When Is a Tax Not a Tax?

When Obama sez so, that’s when.

Jake Tapper dissects Obama’s twisting and turning during his interview with George Stephanopoulos yesterday. Stephanopoulos pressed Obama to explain why a federally enforced penalty on those who choose not to sign up for the individual health program is not a tax.

Stephanopoulos cited Merriam Webster’s Dictionary definition. “Tax — ‘a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.'”

“George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now,” said the president. “Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition….I absolutely reject that notion” that it’s a tax increase.

But as Tapper reveals, the proposed bill itself specifically uses the phrase “excise tax” to describe the penalty.

It’s all right there on page 29 of the bill: “Excise Tax. The consequence for not maintaining insurance would be an excise tax.”

So the Jedi Master waved his hand and declared, “It’s not a tax.” And it was so.

UPDATE: Even the AP gets it.

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Obamacare Examined

Last week President Obama tried to assuage critics’ fears of public run health care by drawing a comparison between the US Postal Service and UPS and FedEx. He explained, “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.” Ah, so we can relax now. Public health care will be no more efficient or competitive than the Postal Service. That’s reassuring, huh?

Caroline Baum takes a closer look at this and other statements Obama has made, and finds  a disturbing lack of understanding of the most basic free market principles. Baum concludes:

The proliferation of Obama’s gaffes and non sequiturs on health care has exceeded the allowable limit. He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money). He has failed to explain why increased demand for medical services without a concomitant increase in supply won’t lead to rationing by government bureaucrats as opposed to the market. And he has failed to explain why a Medicare-like model is desirable when Medicare itself is going broke.

The public is left with one of two unsettling conclusions: Either the president doesn’t understand the health-insurance reform plans working their way through Congress, or he understands both the plans and the implications and is being untruthful about the impact.

Okay for Thee, But Not for Me

If the Democratic health plan is so great for the nation, why have its authors exempted Congress from it?

The irony here is that under the health reform he is sponsoring, it is unlikely that Sen. Ted Kennedy would have gotten the treatment he needed for his brain tumor if his case had to be reviewed by some cost-effectiveness board.

The likelihood is that if Ted Kennedy were British and subject to the tender mercies of that nation’s National Health System, he’d be dead by now.

How to Fix the Health Care Mess

In the midst of a bruising debate over what kind of government health care plan Congress should implement, a small town newspaper editor suggests two simple steps that would dramatically reduce the cost of health care — without government intervention.

Huh?

In an AARP town hall meeting, Vice President Joe Biden made the following statement concerning Obama’s health care plan:

“People . . . look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.”

So according to Joe, we have to spend money to keep from going bankrupt.

If that is the logic that drives this administration — and the American people are okay with it — there is no hope. I tell you, we’re doomed.

The Dems’ Health Plan

And this is supposed to be an improvement??!!

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Religion and Self-Control

Atheists have been working overtime lately trying to portray religion as the primary source of much of the world’s suffering and evil. Convince people to abandon religion, they say, and our lives would be a lot better.

But the evidence doesn’t support that view. John Tierney quotes one researcher, Michael McCullough, who has been studying the coorelation between religion and self-control:

I’m not claiming that religion is a panacea, but the scientific support for the idea that religiosity is associated with many benefits for health, well-being, and social adjustment is now quite overwhelming.

Which is what the Bible has been claiming for over 2,000 years.