Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Health care reform punishes handicapped, tanning, personal responsibility

Posted by sanityinjection on March 22, 2010

Like most pieces of major legislation, the health care reform bill is long and complicated. In their attempts to fund a dramatic expansion of health insurance coverage and costs, Democrats pulled out all the stops and reached for every possible revenue source short of across-the-board tax increases.

Some of the revenue provisions in the bill may surprise you. According to Bloomberg, the reform bill imposes some bizarre punishments. For starters, the bill places a $2500 cap on pre-tax contributions to health care flexible spending accounts or FSAs. In other words, don’t be too responsible in trying to set aside funds for your own health care needs when you should be burdening the insurance system with those costs like a good socialist.

Here’s another: If you visit a tanning salon under the New Obama Order, you’ll pay a 10% excise tax on top of the price. Presumably this is justified by findings that tanning beds increase the risks of cancer, thereby burdening the health care system unnecessarily. But I think it would be hard to prove that the impact is so great as to justify such a tax.

Perhaps most incomprehensively, if you purchase a medical assistive device such as a wheelchair, you’ll be slapped with a new 2.9% excise tax. That may not be enough to bankrupt anybody, but what pray tell is the rationale for soaking disabled people? What crime against the Welfare State have they committed? It’s not as if they can simply choose to forego their wheelchairs rather than pay the excise tax.

Maybe the Democrats counted on a belief that tanning salon patrons, disabled people and responsible working stiffs don’t vote in great numbers. Let’s hope that, in the words of President Ronald Reagan, “They counted wrong.”

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16 Responses to “Health care reform punishes handicapped, tanning, personal responsibility”

  1. Sounds like sour grapes to me. Knew they wouldn’t be long in coming. Too bad the repugs didn’t wanna play ball and get a bi-partisan bill passed. In fact, the GOP’s all or nothing strategy all but assured a dem victory here. thanks guys.

    • This is a typical misrepresentation of the American political process. You can’t blame a lack of bipartisanship on the party that doesn’t have any power. There is always a motive for the minority party to play ball in order to have some legislative achievements to point to. The lack of bipartisanship on the issue can and should be blamed solely on the Democrats.

  2. Really..? I can and do blame lack of bi-partisanship on the Republican’ts. No power? Remember the jubilation at Scott Brown’s victory? Jim Bunning?

    Is that why the lock-step unaninimity in voting against it in both chambers? Is that why the continual scare tactic politics and outright lies by the conservative media? Is that why the reluctance to participate in the summit after asking for bi-partisanship? Is that why after 12 years in power the GOP did nothing to ease the burden on middle america? Is that why they did everything they could to kill it under clinton? and in previous administrations?
    No, republicans don’t want bipartisanship here because they don’t want the bill. In spite of the scary BS they spread through their media lapdogs, the real reason they don’t want the bill is because they are sympathetic to and in the pockets of bigpharma, big insurance, etc. and not at all interested in how it affects real americans and the huge negative impact it has on our economy.
    They had complete control under Bush the Lesser and could have passed Tort reform, ability to buy over state lines and any other pro-competition reform they wanted and didn’t. They didn’t because they don’t care and don’t want to do anything to hurt big business which finances their campaigns. It’s a shame too because there are some signs of intelligence in some republican congressmen and they could have had some influence on things that they SAY are important to them.

    • Wow, tell us how you really feel. I’m surprised you were able to take time away from the intellectual circle jerk over at the DailyKos to share your profound insight with us.

      Don’t you find it kind of hypocritical to be bashing the GOP for being insufficiently bipartisan when your entire online existence is devoted to defending one political party and slandering the other?

      Most of what you have written is such nonsense that it’s not even worth addressing. I do agree that the Republicans should have pushed harder for tort reform, but to suggest that they had “complete control” of Congress at any time since 2000 is simply counterfactual. It’s almost as if you believe that if you yell something forecfeully and often enough it will magically become truth. Sadly, that is too often what passes for “discussion” among liberals these days.

  3. According to republicans, Republicans DID have a majority for 12 years except for 2001-03 in the senate (okay you got me there)in both chambers(what do you call that if not control), Bush in the White House and a majority of cons on the Supreme Court.
    No I don’t find it hypocritical. I don’t hide what I stand for, it’s right in my on-line name. Further, I don’t defend the dems when they are wrong. Read all my posts, you’ll find some calling of dems out. And I don’t slander any party. Do you know the definition of slander? Part of it would be that what I write is untrue – which it is not; it is all verifiable fact.
    In fact, all of what I wrote in my above comment that you call “nonsense” is also verifiable fact.
    After listening to the lies by the conservative-controlled media for so long, I don’t really care to discuss these matters any more. I just call ’em like I see ’em.

    • The Republicans’ majorities never approached the size of the majorities the Democrats have now. There is a majority, and there is *control*. The Democrats are more powerful right now than the Republicans ever were under Bush.

      You are of course entitled to your opinions, but the fact that so many like you would rather strong-arm their opinions down everyone’s throat than actually have a thoughtful discussion with the other side is precisely one of the main problems in our political system today. If you study American history, you’ll find that the best and longest-lasting accomplishments happened when our leaders recognized that both sides have good intentions but disagree about the goals and the best way to proceed. Simply attacking and demonizing one side of the debate accomplishes nothing and does not move us forward. It seems like it’s more of a personal thing with you.

  4. You have got to be kidding me. You personally may be rational and capable of meaningful discussion, but your party as a whole has not been since clinton.

    Beck, limbaugh, coulter, thompson, boortz, dr. laura, hannity, malkin, savage?… is that what passes for thoughtfull discussion for you? Or maybe it’s things like:
    “baby killer”, “you lie”, signs about niggers and monkeys refering to the duely elected president, spitting on congressmen, record setting filibusters, your party has the record for deem and pass votes, your party forced the first two deficit-increasing reconcilliation votes ever over the protests of dems and then have the audacity to call the kettle black (no pun intended), McCain saying “no more cooperation” (as if there had been the previous 14 months).

    No one is strong arming anyone. The administration and congress were voted in by a clear (and real) majority based on campaigning on health care reform and they delivered it. The polls have always ALWAYS indicated that most americans favor health care reform and, in-fact, 13% of your “majority” opposed to it are opposed because it isn’t liberal ENOUGH.

    The reason Repubs haven’t had as commanding a majority in congress as Dems EVER is because the american people do not vote them in in those kinds of numbers. They obviously want a more left of center government, despite what your party keeps saying about “overwhelming” majorities and the will of “the people”.

    I agree with you about honest debate and thoughtful discussion. You’ll never see me going after republicans like lugar or kingston, nor will I defend democrats who lie or cheat. But I am tired of sitting and silently watching outright lies by a propaganda machine that starts in think tanks funded by big money elitists and is funnled through faux news, talk radio and print media until it filters into the mainstream media and consciousness. It is the reason a good percentage of Americans STILL believe Iraq had something to do with 9/11 and that the Health care bill just passed has federal funding for abortion. I am simply pointing that out and the hypocricy that is happening concurrently with it.

    • Last time I checked, none of the talk show hosts you list are Republican elected officials. In fact, I’d be willing to bet half of them aren’t even card-carrying Republicans. They are sensationalists who get paid to be outrageous. You liberals are supposed to be so intelligent yet you never seem capable of grasping that.

      I certainly will not defend racial epithets or reamrks like “babykiller”, but those are hardly representative of the GOP. If I had nothing better to do I could assemble a litany of outrageous remarks from Democrats starting with Jesse Jackson, Robert Byrd, Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton, John Murtha – but you and I differ because I don’t consider that sort of thing a productive use of time.

      I strongly dispute your statement that people want a more left of center government. No polls support that; it sounds more like wishful thinking than anything else.

      Fundamentally, you seem to be held captive by a paranoid fantasy of a vast right-wing conspiracy controlling the mainstream media. In fact, the editorial boards of most news outlets, as well as the vast majority of journalists are openly left-wing. If there is any conspiracy to hide the truth and manipulate public opinion, it’s on your side – or don’t you want to own Al Gore and George Soros?

      Obviously we are not going to agree on any of this. So let’s get back to the point of my post. Would you care to provide me with a rationale for punishing people for buying wheelchairs or saving responsibly for their own health care costs? Because that’s what the bill you’re celebrating does, and that’s fact.

  5. Okay, lets hit these points one by one:

    I never said the talk show hosts were elected officials (thompson was), but if you don’t think that colors the tone of the debate, you’re not living in reality. Do you actually think the tea party would be as large as it is without fox? Or the current on-line tax revolt? They influence public opinion, which influences the votes by elected officials. I grasp it perfectly. Your “you libs are supposed to be so intelligent” is a perfect example. Where do you think that misleading stereotype comes from? If comes from ivy-league educated lawyers who are media magnates, like coulter, who tell the american public that ivy-league elite liberals are looking down on you.

    I’m sure you could assemble a list of dispicable things said by dems. I won’t defend them either, but please don’t include dixiecrats, who, with very few exceptions have been replaced by republicans. Further, can you tell me the last time the tone of dems was as bad as this? I can’t honestly think of a time and I’m really trying to. Boehner calling congressional staffers “punks”, tea party protesters calling Frank a faggot. It isn’t the length of the list, cause it could be much longer, but the frequency with which it has been happening of late. If you feel that strongly about my specific tone, then please visit some sites like Drudge and point it out to them too. You probably don’t, so it isn’t a problem with my tone you have, it’s my point of view.

    I’m going to give you PLENTY of source for my assertion that Americans are more left of center than right. However, let me edumicate you a little first. Don’t confuse the number of Americans who claim to be “conservative” with the number who support liberal issues. Since the Nixon administration the word “liberal” has intentionally been demonized. You won’t even find liberal politicians who will claim to be liberal anymore. And everyone wants to think they are fiscally conservative. Every heard anyone say they are fiscally reckless? But while people shy away from the word liberal they support liberal ideas: The Health care bill is a prime example – only 4% of the nation said we should do nothing. Further, most support the public option. I have three polls on this post: http://cons-lie.com/2010/02/25/cons-lie-the-people-do-want-public-option/

    abortion: http://www.pewforum.org/Abortion/A-Slight-but-Steady-Majority-Favors-Keeping-Abortion-Legal.aspx

    Churchs out of politics: http://www.pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/More-Americans-Question-Religions-Role-in-Politics.aspx

    Homosexuality: http://www.pewforum.org/Gay-Marriage-and-Homosexuality/Most-Mainline-Protestants-Say-Society-Should-Accept-Homosexuality.aspx

    Copenhagen Treatey: http://www.gallup.com/poll/124712/Americans-Favor-Signature-Copenhagen-Treaty.aspx

    Party Affiliation: http://www.gallup.com/poll/125450/Party-Affiliation-Despite-GOP-Gains-States-Remain-Blue.aspx

    We could trade polls all day I bet.

    I’m not paranoid of a right wing conspiracy. What I KNOW is that grover norquist and his chums at places like Heritage Foundation, CATO, Focus on the Family and other “think” tanks send out daily faxes to talk show hosts with a list of talking points. Some accurate, but worded in a biased manner, others misleading and some downright wrong (or lies as we called them growing up). This is the reason some of these guys and girls sound like they are reading from the same script – they are! Some things, like iraq and the 9/11 link are also spread by politicians (bush, cheney, rice, et al. It isn’t fantasy. It happens and it DOES influence public opinion. AND the fact of the matter is, that while the majority of reporters and writers have a slight left bias, the vast majority of editors and owners have a strong right bias. This is verifiable fact.
    I’ll own Gore, proudly and Soros somewhat less so.

    And your final point: Who exactly is going to get punished for buying a wheelchair? And no one is going to get “punished” for saving responsibly. That’s good for them and I encourage it. But what about the children of either irresponsible or genuinely unfortunate parents, or the unfortunate parents themselves? WHat about the poor right wing voters who lost their job during this recession through no fault of their own, and now have burned through all their responsible savings, medical or otherwise? They can just die without insurance? I mean what’s your answer to health care costs that have increased at 300% the rate of inflation? Don’t say tort reform, as malpractice represents 1/4 of 1% of total health care expenditures, 1 and 1/2% if you include defensive medical practices. How about competition? Like a public option?

    • Your comment was so rambling and had so many links to polls that WordPress flagged it as spam 🙂 I’ll allow it in the interest of furthering what has become a better discussion, but please, for the benefit of my poor readers if not for me, try to be a bit more concise in future.

      It’s certainly fair to say that the “tea party” movement gained steam because of all the exposure on Fox News and talk radio. But those organizations didn’t start it and don’t control it – as some talk radio hosts learned when they tried to channel Tea Party support to right-wing GOP candidates like J.D. Hayworth and got rebuffed. The fact that the left-wing media’s incessant campaign to demonize Tea Party-ers as violent racists has not succeeded either suggests that there is in fact a genuine populist basis for the movement. I know it’s tough for those of you on the Left to believe that ordinary Americans can have opinions about things without having been brainwashed by somebody, but that’s how our democracy has survived this long.

      Have you ever met Grover Norquist? I have. You vastly overestimate the influence he or any conservative think-tankers have on anything. But their output doesn’t consist primarily of “lies” anymore than the identical talking points spewed by Brookings, NOW, and a host of other outlets. My favorite is the Huffington Post which somehow is now treated as a responsible journalism outlet even though 85% of what is found on their site is sheer lies.

      Finally, if you take the time to read through my other posts on the topic of health care, I have more than sufficiently answered your questions about how I would propose to solve the problems of the health care system. I agree that it is not sufficient to simply oppose the President’s reforms without proposing an alternative. The biggest LIE of the health care debate is the smear that Republicans have not put forth any constructive ideas on how to reform health care. The second biggest LIE of the health care debate is that Republicans are only motivated by being beholden to pharmaceutical companies (tell that to Paul Ryan and Tom Coburn, to their faces, I dare you.) Both LIEs have been spread in a coordinated fashion by the Obama Administration, the Democratic Party and their willing sycophants at the New York Times and the major broadcast networks, and by you. So my charge of hypocrisy against you stands; on your site you routinely commit the very sin you spend your time decrying.

  6. Transhumanist said

    Basic Health care should be provided to the people of this Republic.However before they punish those who tan,smoke,drink,ect. Maybe the should stop paying for soda,potato chips,cheese doodles,red meat,grain based poison,& koolaid w/tax dollars the burden on our healthcare is lowincome garbage eating mounds of junk food&having subsidized poorly bred youngins who are raised on the high fructose teat of the USA. Read the Zone diet,the Atkins diet,& life extension by Durk pearson&Sandy Shaw there’s an answer to healthcare it’s designer babies,low price fruits&vegetables&a high protein diet low in trans/animal fats.support genetic medicine!support compusory weightliftin!support Futurism!don’t support idiotic liberalism.

  7. Alternateview said

    Both Republicans&Democrats lie here’s some 3rd parties to google. ANP,America first party,the knights party,libertarian,National Socialist Libertarian Green party,Constitution party,Social Democratic Party,Eugenics party,Conservitive party,the light party,Black Panther party,larouch action party. These parties believe what they say.Go get some Representation damn it. Stop playing republocratic games&find a Party you believe in register&vote.I myself am a registered National Socialist you might be a Socialist or conservitive,or green partier. The point is get real representation not one party stupidity&lies

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