Obamacare

Max Baucus Calls Forcing People to Pay Thousands a Year For Insurance a "Tax Cut"

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Senate Democrats met tonight to talk about health care in the wake of Joe Lieberman's recent demands. After the conference was over, Sen. Max Baucus abused the English language near spoke to TPM — and floated what may actually be History's Worst Talking Point:

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) highlighted what could be the new talking point about the Democratic reform bill. "This is the biggest tax cut since 2001," he said, referring to the tax credits and subsidies included in the legislation.

That's right: In Max Baucus' fantasy America, a mandate to purchase insurance that you didn't have — at the cost of thousands of dollars per year — is actually a "tax cut." Oh sure, apologists will claim that insurance subsidies will save people a bundle. But the fact is that nearly half of those who buy insurance through the exchanges won't get subsidies, and for those people, average insurance premium prices will go up. And many of those who do get subsidies will nonetheless be forced to shell out for insurance they don't currently have — which, even with government assistance, will often still mean spending thousands each year that they don't currently spend. In other news, Baucus is renaming Tax Day "Free Pizza Night."*

*Not actually true.

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  1. You would think a guy with two heads would be smarter than that.

    1. You mean a guy with two faces?

      1. Well, yeah, that too.

    2. You mean a guy with two faces?

      1. I dunno, Harvey Dent seemed pretty smart before he got that acid thrown in his face and he went crazy.

  2. In Peter Suderman’s fantasy America, the market alone will provide avordable health care for everybody even though it never has.

    1. In Morris’ fantasy America, the unnamed IRS bureaucrat/accountant who penned the rule that companies could get tax breaks by extending insurance to their employees–and thus entrenching a fifty year absurdity of tying insurance policies to employment–never really happened.

      No, the government took no part in grossly manipulating and causing a massive distortion in the market process that has seen healthcare prices INCREASE ever since, when they were lower BEFORE that change when the market was more free. Nope, never happened.

      Whatever, shitbird.

      1. No.

        Special Edward’s fantasy is to have a Cleveland Steamer deliverd by John Edwards, webcast live on DailyKos.

        1. I thought universal health care would be the Cleveland Steamer…

      2. Or that our current health care system – where over 50% of all costs are paid by the gov’t – is a free market system.

        1. Only when the government pays every single cost will the market finally be free.

    2. In Morris’ fanstasy America, healthcare is a “right” and government has the authority to make sure everyone gets it whether they can (or are willing) to pay for it or not.

      In the real America, the government has no Constitutional authority to be involved in it at all and there exists no such thing as ANY affirmative right – to healthcare or anything else.

  3. Caption contest.

    “My dandruff shampoo works really well.”

    “Maybe you should try something else…like Selson Blue.”

    1. “Please tell this guy behind me that I don’t HAVE any blood to suck.”

      1. So thaaaaaaats what a reach around is.

        1. Creepy Guy: “Now, where did I leave my prosthetic fangs? Oh yes, here they are.”

          Max Baucus: *eeek*

    2. Saruman: If the wall is breached, Helm’s Deep will fall.
      Wormtongue: Even if it is breached, it will take a number beyond reckoning, thousands, to storm the keep.
      Saruman: Tens of thousands.
      Wormtongue: But, my lord, there is no such force.

      1. You won the thread and set off the dork alarm simultaneously. Impressive.

          1. Dammit, I SugarFreed again. Here, do it yourself.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSr8jKqYIWM

            1. You should be ashamed of yourself for submitting all of us to that music.

  4. Baucus is renaming Tax Day “Free Pizza Night.”

    With government cheese.

  5. This administration floats balloons like no other.

    I can see them now. “Hmm, they didn’t buy that last load of shit. Lets tell them Orcs are going to be invading next year and we will need a new stimulus package and single payer health care to ward them off. They should buy that. Max, run out there and see if they believe that.”

  6. Now that we’re going to get fucked by Max Baucus, can we all expect nominations to the position of US Attorney?

      1. Chinese interpreter: Are you going to nominate me to be US Attorney? I asked, are you going to nominate me to be US Attorney? Because you should nominate me to be US Attourney IF YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE SEX WITH ME!!!!!!

        1. Win.

  7. Alt-text contest: “I only hired the guy behind me because he made me look less creepy by comparison.”

    1. “I told the escort service that I wanted a smoldering, lustful, mature brunette, but I SWEAR I specified female, honestly!”

    2. “I vant to suck vor bloooooood.”

    3. There’s a monkey on my back

      1. Everybody’s got something to hide except for Baucus and his monkey…

  8. Peter Suderman’s head is so far up his ass that he can see light through his belly button,*

    *Not actually true.

    1. You’re not a very good troll.

    2. Yeah, because you obviously can prove that this IS a tax cut.

      Right?

      1. Duh! Cause Obama SAID that paying for insurance isn’t a tax.

        You’re not believing hard enough. Hope Harder!

        1. Hope Smarter Not Harder!

  9. Hijack:

    More awesome state education insight. From of all places ESPN.
    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4738805

    1. I went to Florida State and I object to the implication that only “honors students” are accepted there. That is just bullshit.

      Wow they made that second athlete they interviewed look like a dumbass though.

      1. I went there, too. I’m pretty sure the punter is the only real student on our football team.

        1. Hey, we had a Rhodes scholar on the team last year. Of course our GPA fell off a little.

      2. I don’t think they had to work to hard to make the guy look like a dumbass. He seemed pretty capable of it himself.

  10. “The government is good at one thing…it knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say ‘see if it weren’t for the government you wouldn’t be able to walk.'”
    — Harry Browne

    1. God rest Harry Browne’s soul. He was a good man.

  11. Humour aside, in Australia the gummint imposes a 1% tax on all working, for Medicare (1.5% > $75K). It’s not a perfect system BUT…I had a motorbike accident a cupla years ago (4WD driver got neg drive charge in court). I went to Intensive Care Unit at local major hospital, it took 11 days for the docs to tell my parents I would live, a month in ICU & and am still doing rehab. I had broken neck, 2 collapsed lungs (1 detached from chest), all ribs left side, sternum & left shoulder shattered. Also wacking great hole drilled in the head (brain trauma) and tracheotomy. Today I work part time, do rehab & am alive…for 1% of my taxable wage, prior to the accident. Medical cost to me? Zero. I am alive because of a scum-sucking socialist plot? Maybe/maybe not. If a country is wealthy enough to have a tax base is it not peurile to refuse to offer medical treatment to it’s population? I may lean towards small “L” libertarianism but I am not a utopian…and I am not dead. What would happen to a bike rider , in a similar event, in the States, if he had no health insurance? Would he even be admitted?

    1. Yes, of course he would. It’s against the law to turn away emergency services like that. And if he truly couldn’t have afforded the care for such an event like that one it would’ve “disappeared” in someway.

      1. True. Hospitals generally do drop a lot of charges when they know they have a charity case. The costs get transferred to others, which is the main reason behind the mostly surious “uninsured people cost the system money” argument, but it’s a small part of the overall system cost.
        Also, the hospitals no longer have a reason to overcharge and load up the bill with unnecessary test.

        Incidentally, how is it that people get away with bitching about how uninsured people impose costs on society, and simultaneiously claim that they aren’t getting care?

    2. In the US we pay a “Medicare” tax of 3% on all wages, from the first dollar earned to the last. But get this: It doesn’t go toward paying for your health care until you are 65 years old! In other words, you get taxed when you are young, healthy, and poor, yet don’t get any benefit until you are old, less healthy, and rich.

      There are many layers of stupid in there, but the bottom line is that the “Medicare” tax in the US, that is apparently two or three times higher than the tax of the same name in Australia, won’t help you in a motorbike accident unless you are over 65 or permanently disabled so you can no longer work.

      As uh notes, in the US you can’t be turned away from an ER. In the US such costs for those who can’t pay run around 40 billion dollars per year, all but 4 billion of which comes from the general fund of the federal government.

      This is pretty obviously the cheapest way to take care of such uninsured cases, as evidenced by the exceptionally high price tags that Congress’s attempts at universal health care are yielding.

      1. That’s called a Ponzi scheme – both Social Security and Medicare qualify for that category.

      2. Actually in the US, we only take that tax on the first $95K of income. Or we did. I can’t remember if that tax increase passed or not. It doesn’t affect me anyhow.

        1. Social Security caps out. Medicare doesn’t.

      3. Actually, it’s 1.4% on Medicare and 6.25(?)% on Social Security. Social Security tax is subject to a ~$106k/year limit (which rises every year). Medicare tax has no limit.

        1. The employer matches those percentages. That comes out of your pocket too.

    3. You wouldn’t have been turned away at the ER, and you probably would have received better care, too. We have the highest standard of medical care in the world because innovation is subsidized by those of us with insurance, but everyone benefits by that innovation, even those that have government Medicare (for the elderly) and Medicaid (for the poor).

      You also could have your care paid for by the driver of the vehicle (his insurance) that hit you, and probably sued for more if he were negligent.

      1. I went to Intensive Care Unit at local major hospital, it took 11 days for the docs to tell my parents I would live, a month in ICU & and am still doing rehab. I had broken neck, 2 collapsed lungs (1 detached from chest), all ribs left side, sternum & left shoulder shattered. Also wacking great hole drilled in the head (brain trauma) and tracheotomy.

        Uhmm…
        no he wouldn’t get turned away, but he would get stabilized and then if he wasn’t already at one, shipped off to a local county hostpital.

        Without ability to pay rehab/PT wouldn’t happen (unless some charitable organization stepped in or you paid out of pocket)

        even if you had insurane, your rehab/PT would most likely be limited by how much your policy allows annually. And they would prolly limit how much PT you are “entitled” to based on your injuries etc.

        You wouldn’t have been turned away at the ER, and you probably would have received better care, too.

        Doubtful. Without insurance/ability to pay you would get the bare minimum care required by law and you would get transfered to a county hospital right quick. I would wager you would get much better care in Australia than you would here as an uninsured patient without money to pay your bills.

        I’d say it’s a much better deal in Australia.

        So in the US, we pay more (both out of pocket and in taxes), get less and yet the Australian system is mocked and derided.

    4. You are lucky to be alive, and yet you’re celebrating the fact that it didn’t cost you any money to survive?

      IMO, just being alive should be sufficient cause for happiness. If I was in an accident like that, I wouldn’t mind paying off the debt for the next 10-15 years.

      Seriously. I don’t get people who survive a deadly accident or disease, and then bitch because they have bills afterwards.

  12. Tax CUT? They’re not even trying to make the big lies sound remotely true anymore.

  13. Obviously Max is for the legalization of whatever he is smoking/shooting/huffing/swallowing to make a statement like that.

    1. Sadly he’s huffing his vampire buddy’s farts.

  14. Redistribution of wealth is not a tax cut. You get mugged but you somehow get your money back is not the same as getting mugged and having the mugger give it to someone else.

    In fact, I’ll argue that only net taxpayers can actually get a tax cut. A “tax cut” for net tax receivers just puts them further in the hole.

  15. Pizza!

    Boy I do love pizza…

  16. Caption:

    “Dammit! The strings in my puppet keep getting tangled!”

  17. Caption: “Whoa! Lube up, Siegfried. Now I know how the taxpayer feels.”

  18. Alternative caption: “Do you like SAUSAGE in your pizza, Max?”

  19. I knew it! I always suspected that Baucus was a cousin to Zaphod Beeblebrox!

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