Obamacare

Is It a "Contribution" When the Government Forces Someone To Make It?

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The Massachusetts Senate moves forward with its plan to require financially sound hospitals to pay into a fund used to reduce health insurance premiums. Is it a tax? No. Of course not. They're calling it a "contribution." From the AP:

Wealthier hospitals would be required to make a one-time $100 million contribution to ease insurance premiums for smaller businesses under a bill approved Tuesday by the state Senate.
…Senate Republicans sought to strip the $100 million hospital assessment from the bill. Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei, R-Wakefield, said the assessment amounts to a tax increase on hospitals. He said some bigger hospitals might be able to afford it, but smaller community hospitals might not.

Fellow Republican, Sen. Robert Hedlund of Weymouth, said calling the assessment a "contribution" was disingenuous.

"Is this the proper term to use when the Legislature takes money from one private entity to give it to another private entity?" he asked. "We're going down a troubling path."

Sen. Mark Montigny, D-New Bedford, backed the assessment, saying that just because hospitals are considered charities doesn't mean some don't also have deep pockets.

"All charities are not created equally," Montigny said. "There are some struggling charities in this climate … and there are many in the exact opposite place."

The Republican amendment failed.

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  1. Nothing increases access to health care on the ground like stripping assets from health care providers.

    You’d think these idiots would have learned that the access problem in Massachusetts isn’t an access to insurance problem, its an access to health care providers problem.

    1. “You’d think these idiots would have learned that the access problem in Massachusetts isn’t an access to insurance problem, its an access to health care providers problem.”

      I just dont get this. People in general and democrats in particular seem to thinkt hat insurance access is the end game. In reality thought insurance != healthcare. And insurance is meaningless if you cant find healthcare providers. But to the avergae lefty that doesnt matter, because at least its fair and “good for society” if everyone gets sucky healthcare equally.

      1. “But to the avergae lefty that doesnt matter, because at least its fair and “good for society” if everyone gets sucky healthcare equally.”

        You hit the nail on the head.

        They are radical egalitarians who rabidly want equality of result – regardless of whether that equality level is at the bottom of the barrel or not.

    2. But solving the access to health care providers problem is haaaaard!

  2. Charity at the threat of gunpoint: The American Way.

  3. Give until we say it hurts.

  4. Will bullshit like this ever end? Jeez.

    1. Sadly, no.

    2. It will, but it will be after humans are dead.

      1. We used poisonous gases, and we poisoned their asses.

  5. Remember, your income taxes are voluntary, too, and not only that, they’re the price we pay for civilization!

    1. The price we pay for civilization is the brutal murder or logic and the gangrape of its corpse.

    2. And, don’t forget that FICA stand for Federal Insurance Contributions Tax.

      Funny, I always felt like they were taxes since I didn’t have any say in whether they were deducted from my paycheck.

      We have a new langauge now called Newspeak.

      But at least we now have a right to decent health care because Health Care Reform Act created the obligation to purchase state-approved medical insurance. Yes, our politicians create an obligation, and call it a right.

    3. Income taxes ARE voluntary.

      Senator Harry Reid – the intellectual giant of the US Senate – argues the case here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7mRSI8yWwg

  6. Sure doesnt seem like it now does it? I mean seriously.

    http://www.web-anonymity.cz.tc

    1. Can robots have intent?

  7. Note use of the descriptive “wealthier.”

    1. Where does a Hospital put it’s monocle? Obviously the tophat goes on the helipad.

  8. I’m pretty sure the right name for it is “tax”.

  9. “Is this the proper term to use when the Legislature takes money from one private entity to give it to another private entity?” he asked.

    I thought that’s called eminent domain for public benefit, no?

    1. No, I am pretty sure that the government can’t take your money under eminent domain. That is essentially what taxes are, though.

    2. No, “eminent domain for public purpose

    3. I thought that’s called eminent domain for public benefit, no?

      Even if they called it that, they’d have to provide just compensation for the seizure. And what’s just compensation for $100 million but $100 million in return?

  10. “We’re going down a troubling path.”

    orly?

  11. Give until it stops hurting.

  12. Is this going to be Obama’s way of avoiding new taxes?

    1. I was thinking the same thing, only from a slightly different perspective. My first thought was that this will go on as planned until someone realizes the govt will get less money. If you take $100MM from a company, that’s now an expense, a cost of doing business. If this company was profitable before and no longer is (or if its profit are less now, which they would be by definition), BOOM, less taxes to be collected.

  13. just because hospitals are considered charities doesn’t mean some don’t also have deep pockets.

    Nannybot sez: Equaliiiiiize!

  14. Gotta love “one-time” policies.

  15. From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs.

    Can we stop calling it Insurance, cuz that ain’t what it is, it is an entitlement with the “premium” really just a mechanism for the transfer of wealth.

    I read somewhere recently that the Feds are looking at ways to prohibit insurers from charging different premium rates for men and women, based on an fairness/equality argument. That’s bullshit too, so long as different groups have different anticipated cost/claim experience they should be charged different premiums for insurance.

    God I hate these fu**ers!

  16. Looks like we will be living out the “A government that will give you anything will take everything” axiom.

  17. It’s a contribution comrade – the One does not tax.

    And We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

    1. No comrade, we have always been at peace with Eastasia. We are at war with Eurasia.

      1. [del TXLimey 5.19.10@11:16AM to memory hole]

  18. Sen. Mark Montigny, D-New Bedford, backed the assessment, saying that just because hospitals are considered charities doesn’t mean some don’t also have deep pockets.

    Oh, so it is envy-based policy. Glad somebody was so forthcoming about it!

    1. So help me, OM, I cannot fathom why your former countrymen want to come here, only to be fleeced by scum like this.

  19. Is It a “Contribution” When the Government Forces Someone To Make It?

    They have to give back at least 33% of their licit, productive efforts back to “society” – Chad said so.

    1. Chad is also a vocal believer in one-world government, so anything he says is bullshit.

      Er, make that “everything”.

  20. Fellow Republican, Sen. Robert Hedlund of Weymouth, said calling the assessment a “contribution” was disingenuous.

    No!

    1. Well we have mandatory volunteerism, so a required contribution makes about as much sense.

      1. My kids’ school compels them to do mandatory voluntary service to the community.

        1. That’s an example of what I’m referring to. If it is a private school then I have no problem with such a requirement–if you don’t like it you can send your kid somewhere else. If it is a public school then that is different–it basically amounts to slavery.

  21. I see that the transition from English to Newspeak is progressing right on schedule.

  22. Two things:

    First, I hope it is clear to everyone now that in the end they will hock the TV from your house and the stereo from your car if that’s what they have to do to keep their impossible health care promises.

    Second, is it just me, or is the current political situation in the US striking for its lawlessness? They’re running around like chickens with their heads cut off, stealing from Peter today, Paul tomorrow, without any rhyme or reason or apparent plan. I mean, worse than usual. And no asset is secure, any more, and no legal status is secure – it doesn’t matter if you’re a nonprofit, it doesn’t matter if you’re a first-position bondholder, it doesn’t matter if you’re ordered to take certain actions by government officials, it all just doesn’t matter – because tomorrow some state legislator from nowhere can just say, “Give me 100 million” or Obama can just say, “You aren’t allowed to expand your hospital even if there’s demand” or “Well, we just SAY that the company unions get the entire company in the bankruptcy filing and you get nothing.”

    There was always state criminality and exploitation before, but it just seems so much more spastic and erratic now. Just sayin’.

    1. First, I hope it is clear to everyone now that in the end they will hock the TV from your house and the stereo from your car if that’s what they have to do to keep their impossible health care promises.

      Indeed. Which is why those libertarians hoping for bankruptcy are like turkeys voting for Christmas.

      1. I think you mean Thanksgiving.

        1. Actually, “Turkeys voting for Christmas” is somewhat more popular worldwide in English, since, well, the British and others use it. But whatever.

    2. Fluffy,

      My only beef with your statement is that it’s entirely too optimistic.

  23. You’ve got a nice hospital here. We wouldn’t want anything to happen to it.

    1. I’ve always heard it as “It would be a shame if something…legislative…happened to it.”

  24. No.

  25. I’m still waiting for that “Aha!” moment…

  26. What absolutely flummoxes me about this shit, is that by charging/forcing/taxing these hospitals, the result will be less healthcare.

    By taking monies away from these wealthier hospitals, these hospitals will have less revenue to increase beds, buy new equipment, pay salaries, bonuses, hire nurses, IT people, environmental services people, hire doctors, the list goes on.

    We’ve got an entire political wing in this country which is doing everything it can to reduce the amount of available healthcare and increase its costs, while selling their ideas as resulting in cost-cutting and access-providing.

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