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To Larry:

March 23, 2010

Barack Obama's Health Care Reform...Not So Much Reform

A sunbed, with lights offImage via Wikipedia
Tanning Tax

I said it in my last post, most people including those who voted in favor of this bill and probably most who did not vote for the bill ever read it.

In case any of you are interested, here is a link to Bill HR 3509  It is well in excess of 2000 pages and will take a lot of time to read.  I am going to read it a little at a time over the next few days and weeks.  As I find things of interest, I will post them here.

In glazing though this document today, I found this section which I find utterly ridiculous with no bearing on providing health care to the American people.  It is a TAX on Tanning Salon services.  Yes, you read it right - for those of you that go to tanning salons or even use a tanning bed - you will have to pay a 10% tax for doing so.  Unlike  the provision allowing uninsured people to obtain insurance - which does not go into effect until sometime in 2014 - this provision goes into effect July 1, 2010.  Amazing, when it comes to a benefit for the people it takes years to go into effect.  When it comes time for the Government to collect tax - it happens almost immediately.

Look out folks, the air that we breath in some areas is considered dangerous and it is very likely that to offset health care costs for those braathing "bad air", we will all sometime in the near future have to pay a tax for breathing.

Here is the section on Tanning:

‘‘Sec. 5000B. Imposition of tax on indoor tanning services.

8 ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—There is hereby imposed on any
9 indoor tanning service a tax equal to 10 percent of the
10 amount paid for such service (determined without regard
11 to this section), whether paid by insurance or otherwise.
12 ‘‘(b) INDOOR TANNING SERVICE.—For purposes of this
13 section—
14 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘indoor tanning
15 service’ means a service employing any electronic
16 product designed to incorporate 1 or more ultraviolet
17 lamps and intended for the irradiation of an indi18
vidual by ultraviolet radiation, with wavelengths in
19 air between 200 and 400 nanometers, to induce skin
20 tanning.
ICES.—Such term does not include any phototherapy
23 service performed by a licensed medical professional.
24 ‘‘(c) PAYMENT OF TAX.—
HR 3590 EAS/PP
1 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The tax imposed by this sec2
tion shall be paid by the individual on whom the
3 service is performed.
4 ‘‘(2) COLLECTION.—Every person receiving a
5 payment for services on which a tax is imposed under
6 subsection (a) shall collect the amount of the tax from
7 the individual on whom the service is performed and
8 remit such tax quarterly to the Secretary at such time
9 and in such manner as provided by the Secretary.
10 ‘‘(3) SECONDARY LIABILITY.—Where any tax im11
posed by subsection (a) is not paid at the time pay12
ments for indoor tanning services are made, then to
13 the extent that such tax is not collected, such tax shall
14 be paid by the person who performs the service.’’.
15 (c) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of chapter for
16 subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended
17 by this Act, is amended by inserting after the item relating
18 to chapter 48 the following new item:
19 (d) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this
20 section shall apply to services performed on or after July
21 1, 2010.
Health Care Reform or Health Care Tax?

Where will the money come from?

A question always raised when politicians talk about any program that will directly benefit the people. There always seems to be conversation as to the costs of any new program and questions as to where the money will come from.  More tax seems always to be the answer and that raises objections and the debate continues for years (like health care)  Yet, there always seems to be a way to come up with money "they" want when "they" want to spend it.

  • Money for bailouts - easy - just create it!
  • Money for war - easy - just create and increase the deficit.
  • Money for no bid contracts - like Halliburton, easy - just give them the contracts and pay them what ever they want.
  • Money paid in foreign aid - easy - we just pay it out.  No discussion, no vote no accounting to the taxpayer.  Trillions spent on this alone.  We support others before we concern ourselves with our own homeless, hungry and starving children.  Criminal!

    Money for anything "For The People" - hard - they never know where to get it.
We don't know if all the TARP money will ever be paid back. Some has, some hasn't and some won't be paid back.

The money spent on the wars will be a liability for generations to come.  (What ever happened to the oil revenue that was to be used to offset our cost?  Where does it all go?  hmmmm.)

Money paid to Halliburton and all their subsidiaries for services in Iraq and Afghanistan - I would have to believe - is more then we should be paying or could be paying had those contracts been put out to bid.  I am sure that over the years billions of dollars in excessive fees have been paid.  We will never know because no one will tell us and Halliburton is NOT a US company so we can't audit their books

This country is guilty of abusive spending and always has been.  There is no real oversight or proper financial management of the use of our money.  The old $700 hammer syndrome still exists.  In case you forgot or not old enough to remember, the U.S. was caught paying that much money for hammers.  Hammers was used as a symbol of gross overpayment of many items purchased by the government.

Money for many things that would directly benefit the people could be found if sound fiscal oversight at every level of our government would be exercised.  Trim the fat and reallocate it but don't tax tanning in a salon.  How soon before there is a tax for sunbathing on public beaches? 

It is ironic that when it comes to helping our people there is always months and years of debate questioning "where the money will come from".  Our ranks of unemployed, homeless and hungry are growing.  Our own children are literally starving and many will die for lack of health care.

We are smarter then this and can certainly do more then what we are doing.  We have two parties fighting over their own political agendas and personal gain without once considering the good of the people.

To both Democrats and Republicans, left, right and center - along with all of the other variations  - start working for your country not your parties.  Listen to the people and act together on their behalf. 

In the next post:  States take action and sue.
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  1. Chomsky: Health bill sustains the system’s core ills

    The decades-long critic of corporate power alleged that premiums won't stop rising as the package is designed in no small part to funnel money into the pockets of the health care industry. "The bill gives away a lot to insurance companies and big pharmaceutical corporations," he said.

    The legislation forbids government from negotiating prices with pharmaceutical companies or permitting the importation of drugs. Nor does it provide competition to private insurers, an oligopolistic industry that will maintain its impunity from antitrust laws. But despite this, Chomsky, an advocate for a single-payer system, said killing the bill wasn't a better solution.

  2. I am not a proponent of socialist health care, but I know it when I see it and this isn't it.

    It doesn't guarantee universal health care.
    It doesn't have single-payer health care.
    It doesn't have a public option.
    It will force people to buy products from private corporations that will continue to be exempt from anti-trust laws.

    Here is a footnoted fact sheet compiled by a group that desperately wanted a socialist version of health care reform and protested the bill that was passed to the end:

    Fact Sheet - The Truth About the Health Care Bill

    Truth ... care-bill/

    The HCR bill is, at its heart, an insurance company bailout bill. If it were a socialist bill, health care company stocks would be tanking, not soaring to their highest levels since the financial crisis began. The insurance companies desperately need a bailout due to not only the same types of bad assets that banks are hiding but also because with unemployment up (and not going down anytime soon) there are a lot less healthy people that they can collect premiums for. But after the bank bailout politicians knew that they wouldn't be able to pass it so they included it in a massive HCR bill. It's not socialism; it's just another example of crony capitalism brought to us by the corrupt politicians in Washington.

  3. It seems all reform has been sabotaged.

    There is just enormous amounts of money being poured into lobbying in Washington on behalf of the financial services company. $150 million in 2009 went into lobbying from the commercial banks and the investment banks. Now, that doesn't talk about real estate, that doesn't talk about the insurance companies, it doesn't talk about mutual funds. That's just commercial banks and investment banks. $150 million spent lobbying. That is a powerful force.