Clinton Campaign Spokesman Brian Fallon Says Healthcare Insurance Premiums Aren’t Paid by Families and Employers, Because They’re Paid to Private For-Profit Insurers. Seriously.
“Bernie Sanders has called for a roughly 9-percent tax hike on middle-class families just to cover his health-care plan,” said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon, referring to legislation Sanders introduced in 2013, “and simple math dictates he’ll need to tax workers even more to pay for the rest of his at least $18-20 trillion agenda. If you are truly concerned about raising incomes for middle-class families, the last thing you should do is cut their take-home pay right off the bat by raising their taxes.”
— Clinton hits Sanders on middle class tax hikes, Annie Karni, Politico, yesterday
No, actually, that’s the third-last thing you should do. The very last thing you should do is fail to recognize that money is fungible. And the second-last thing you should do is ignore simple math.
As in: If you and your employer are no longer paying exorbitant premiums to Anthem Blue Cross, and are instead paying significantly less for your healthcare insurance in the form of a tax, you’ll end up with more, y’know, income. Especially if your employer uses the savings to increase your salary or wages.
Last weekend, the big read-my-lips-no-new-taxes-on-the-middle-class Clinton line was about the horror of Sanders’s plan to pay for guaranteed family-and-medical leave was through a payroll tax. But then Sanders pointed out that this would be a tax of (I think he said) $1.35 a week. Which, to many Democrats, sounds like a good deal.
So it was on to Plan B for the Clinton folks. Then again, Clinton really does seem to be a fan of Anthem Blue Cross, United Health Care, Humana, et al. And math is not her forte.
Yesterday, in a response to a comment to this post of mine, I wrote:
And, yes, I wish she would talk less like a Madison Avenue copywriter and more like some semblance of someone who can speak in normal and logical statements.
Either she’s trained her spokesman well or he’s trained her well. In any event, it’s a hallmark of the Clinton campaign.
But I doubt that misrepresenting to the public that Sanders’ single-payer healthcare tax would be in addition to premiums paid to private insurance companies is a very viable campaign tactic. Clinton is running a Republican-style campaign but she is not running for the Republican nomination. And this is, after all, 2015.
Love ya; Bev,
But the whole thing makes no sense to me .
Clinton’s point is obviously bs.
But almost as bad is even talking about a single payer plan. It ain’t happening, so why waste time even talking about it?
Clinton is running on the same ideas that the democratics’ have been running on for a long time. We’re not as bad as the republicans’.
Its time true liberals send a message to all democratics and make the senate and white house look like the congress. Only them will we see real difference in the parties.
If you question the above….ask yourself if Obama didn’t simply continue the Bush II policies; with minor change in war making.
I missed the part where Bush increased the marginal tax rates on the richest Americans by more than 60% and used some of those funds to pay for healthcare for the poorest Americans.
Nay, democrats when in control of both house and white house let stand the huge tax breaks Bush II gave.
EMichael, the only thing positive about Obama care is health insurers can not longer cancel health policy when you get sick or refuse to give you insurance because of an old health issue. But some question if these old abuses of have been eliminated.
Remember at this time in our history both parties seek rents to give to wall street.
PPACA Revenues and Payout
Story: Where Does the Money Come From?
Besides the Individual Mandate penalty/tax, there are numerous NEW or INCREASED taxes and fees to fund all that is required by this law.
•+.9% Increase in Medicare Tax Rate (plus next item…)
•3.8% New Tax on unearned income for high-income taxpayers= $210.2 billion ($200,000 for individual and $250,000 for joint filers)
•New Annual Fee on health insurance providers = $60 billion (For calculation – Sec 9010 (b) of the PPACA.)
•40% New Tax on health insurance policies which cost more than $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for a family, per year = $32 billion (inland tax as opposed to an importation tax)
•New Annual Fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs = $27 billion (For calculation – Sec 9008 (b) of the PPACA)
•2.3% New Tax on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices = $20 billion
•+2.5% Increase (7.5% to 10%) in the Adjusted Gross Income floor on medical expenses deduction = $15.2 billion
•Limit annual contributions to $2,500 on flexible spending arrangements in cafeteria plans (plans that allow employees to choose between different types of benefits) = $13 billion
•All other revenue sources = $14.9 billion
•10% New Tax imposed on each individual for whom “indoor tanning services” are performed.
•3.8% New Tax on investment income. Includes: gross income from interest, dividends, royalties, rents, and net capital gains. Investment income does not include interest on tax-exempt bonds, veterans’ benefits, excluded gain from the sale of a principle residence, distributions from retirement plans, or amounts subject to self-employment taxes. (The lesser of net investment income or the excess of modified Adjusted Gross Income over a the dollar amount at which the highest income tax bracket, typically $250,000 for married filing jointly and $200,000 filing as an individual).
Where Does the Money Go?
Below is a non-inclusive list of ways the federal government will spend your tax dollars according to the PPACA.
Medicaid Expansion: The PPACA gives money to States to expand Medicaid eligibility to Americans under the age of 65 who are below 133% of the federal poverty limit, but states can decline without losing existing funding. The Act gives States 100% Federal funding for the first 3 years for newly eligible individuals, beginning January 1, 2014 and ending December 31, 2016. January 1, 2017 the funding will be decreased to 95% with the next 2 years each decreasing by 1% until the year 2020 which will be decreased to 90%. 
Tax Credits: Tax credits will be available for individuals and families with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($43,420 for an individual or $88,200 for a family of four) that are not eligible for Medicaid, employer sponsored insurance, or other acceptable coverage. Other types of acceptable coverage would be Medicare, military insurance, grandfathered plans, and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Plan). This means that these tax credits are for individuals and families who obtain health insurance from the state run Health Insurance Exchanges. These are state-run bodies not to be confused as insurers that will regulate the private insurance companies to comply with the consumer protection set forth in the PPACA.
“Individuals with incomes below 400 percent FPL who purchases coverage in the Exchange are not required to spend more than a set percentage of their income on health insurance. If they cannot find coverage at a price that falls below this threshold, they are then eligible for a premium credit to ensure they do not spend more than a certain percentage of their income on health insurance coverage.” The tax credit is calculated on a sliding scale based upon income an individual or family’s income; from 2%-9.5% of their income. The amount of tax credit is reduced as individual and family income increases phasing out at 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Refer to chart below.
Cost-Sharing Subsidies: The cost-sharing subsidy applies to individuals and families who enroll in a qualified health plan in the silver level of coverage in the individual market offered through an exchange and whose household income is between 100 – 400 percent of the poverty level for a family. (Persons who are offered coverage through their employer also may be eligible for the subsidies provided through the exchange if their employer’s plan premium would exceed 9.5 percent of the employee’s income.) 
These subsidies are meant to limit out of pocket costs before the insurance companies pay for all medical expenses. It helps reduce out of pocket cost significantly for low to middle class. If you are 200% below the Federal Poverty Level, your out of pocket costs will be reduced by two-thirds. They’ll be decreased by half for persons below 300% and one-third for persons below 400% FPL. 
Both premium credits and cost-sharing subsidies are refundable tax credits paid in advance directly to the health insurer. Any costs above and beyond what the credits and subsidies do not cover are the responsibility of the individual or family. 
New High-Risk Insurance Pool: $5 billion will be designated to create a federal program which provides stopgap coverage to the medically uninsurable, due to a pre-existing condition, until the Health Care Reform is completely in place and Insurance Exchanges are created. 
Federal Agencies’ Administrative Costs: Beyond the expenditures listed above, another significant overhead cost will be the excess work required at the various federal agencies, for example, the IRS which will now be responsible for processing this new individual mandate fee/tax. Also, the new workforces and insurance exchanges which will be formed will also incur costs.
http://www.alignamerica.com/node/62 Obamacare’s Funding: Where the money comes from and where it goes?
If you do not know that taxes have been raised on the rich, there is no sense talking to you.
Store my PPACA answer to Beene away somewhere. He is just reading the NC propaganda. The alternative right now to this is “nothing.” Anyone who believes they could cram the public option or single payer through Congress is naive.
“EMichael November 19, 2015 9:42 am Beene, If you do not know that taxes have been raised on the rich, there is no sense talking to you”
Your probably right, I have a hard time finding a tax increase. When you give someone a dollar and ask for five cents back to give to wall street.
EM, I think it’s becoming clear that single-payer, Medicare-for-all is necessary now. Read this article from yesterday’s NYT:
Hi Run, my real problem with health insurance or Obama care.
1. Health insurance should be eliminated…total criminal enterprise in USA.
2. Most expensive in industrialize world.
3. Out comes worst of industrialize world, for the majority of citizens.
4. Need we mention pharmaceutical industry which government pays for the research beginnings and if it works; its taken private. Then make it illegal for Pharmaceutical Industry to compete in the market for a fair price.
I am grouchy today, the 35-something staples in my back are itchy as the skin tries to assimilate them. The outcome was so-far good.I believe we have done this before.
– Health insurance should be eliminated . . . total criminal enterprise in USA.
How is it criminal? Because they suddenly have a wealth of new customers as mandated by the PPACA and have more profit? They are still one of the lowest profit making industries and they are a pass through plus expenses. They get either 15% or 20% There is nothing credible to that statement pother than hearsay, innuendo, and supposition. How is this criminal?
– Most expensive in industrialize world. It is the most expensive in the world because our government allows health care to be the most expensive. This is not the fault of insurance. The issues lie with the healthcare industry and not the pass-through insurance companies. Mosy countries in the US have a two-tier system involving insurance.
– Outcomes worst of industrialize world, for the majority of citizens. If we talk to the pro-healthcare industry promoters, we have the best for which money can buy.
– Need we mention pharmaceutical industry which government pays for the research beginnings and if it works; its taken private. Then make it illegal for Pharmaceutical Industry to compete in the market for a fair price. The Gov and the Senators/Reps in the industry pockets control what goes on in Congress and we keep electing them to office. What is a fair price? Other countries do not allow what is happening in the US. Furthermore, if we can not control what happens in one industry, how do you expect to get either dingle payer or the public option? What you are wanting is just a dream. Until something changes, all the thumbs down on the PPACA to get to single payer or the public option is just that . . . a dream. I have seen the rhetoric by others and no one has taken on Congress yet. Plus, the y will not.
We totally agree.
And I wish I had my hair back. And my 32 inch waistline.
A real comment from some one who has to have insurance, her comment is about Obama care. URL was from Beverly
“It’s a constant, background nagging feeling of a chore undone,” she wrote in an email last week. “And still, it’s a huge improvement over the old days! I didn’t have to shop at all then; I was stuck with the same rip-off, narrow policy.”
“The alternative right now to this is “nothing.” Anyone who believes they could cramp the public option or single payer through Congress is naïve”
That will not change till we eliminate the old guard of the democratic party.
Same reason we did not get banking reform. Each new member of the house is placed on the banking committee so that they can build a war chest for the next election cycle.
Run its only a dream if we do no educate the public and denie those who want office to have office in the government, who fail to campaign tell the truth instead of what they think will get them elected.
My information comes from polling of that compares all countries, not our politicians or those benefiting from the present system.
Warren has proven you can tell the truth and win; we just need to support a lot more like her.
Run, have appreciated your advice on what’s available.
Ratings of health care in all countries; USA ranks 37th.
I would suggest you spend more time at NC.
Personally, I believe you, and those people over there, are responsible for most of the problems progressives in this country face.
Somehow you believe you are a part of the solution when you are a part of the problem.
EMichael, it is not my group that is supporting a system that has helped the Republicans move the nation from a creditor to a debtor Nation.
We simply say eliminate DINO.
How does this: “employer are no longer paying exorbitant premiums to Anthem Blue Cross, and are instead paying significantly less for your healthcare insurance in the form of a tax” slow the rising cost of healthcare? It doesn’t whether you go from a two tiered system which we have to government paying the healthcare cost. Insurance companies are not the cause of rising healthcare costs. They are the middle man to all of this and while the cost of them could be eliminated, much of it would still go to the Gov.
It is the free market free-for-all for healthcare cost which is rising at a rate second only to the cost of getting an education which is causing the issue and which every other country in the world has resolved except for us. Your conflating of this simple and yet important fact does nothing to improve the situation. Whether Sanders said this and HRC said that has no bearing unless you understand what the issues truly are as stated so simply. Whatever system is employed the causes of rising healthcare costs remain the same.
Fix the problem by what you say Bev and forget the rhetoric of politicians.
Bill, I do absolutely recognize that private insurers are not the direct cause of the spiraling increase in healthcare costs, but the system of huge fragmentation of insurers is, as I understand it, the reason that healthcare in this country is exorbitantly more expensive than it is any other modern economy in the world.
You’ve talked many times now, in depth and with specific examples, of how incredibly hard it is for anyone to actually pin down ahead of time what the cost would be for this or that in a hospital or medical lab, especially for something not covered by the person’s insurance, but also, good grief—like, why in heaven’s name was there a charge, to the individual or to the insurer, of $240 for the a nurse to give a patient a pill that wholesales for $4?
And why was the insurer charged $1,200 for two screws placed into a knee during knee-joint-replacement surgery, when the screws retail for $50 per screw?
The main reason, at least as I understand it, that Medicare Advantage has proven more expensive to the federal government is that the private insurer pays (in addition to its additional administrative costs) more for specific medical procedures and such than straight Medicare does. And then of course there is the profit-taking by the private carrier, although apparently that pales in comparison to the higher costs of the healthcare itself.
I mean, France and Taiwan are generally considered, I believe, to have the best and most cost-effective healthcare systems in the world. But would the costs be if these countries converted back to private-insurer systems?
Et tu, Bill?
Paragraph 1: No
Paragraph 2: No
Paragraph 3: No
Paragraph 3: Off Topic, No.
Paragraph 4: Same System; Different application
Read what I wrote again.
I am not surprised at all that you cannot do the math.
EMichael, please explain what math has to do with my statement. Which is a quote from a book written by a couple of MIT professors who probably do have an understanding of Math.
Or is it English you do not understand.
“Whether Sanders said this and HRC said that has no bearing unless you understand what the issues truly are as stated so simply. Whatever system is employed the causes of rising healthcare costs remain the same.”
Doesn’t the above statement, denies the revolving door in Washington where industry leaders do all they can to eliminate competition, and increase profits of their industry.
It has been suggested in some articles the reason the USA has the largest prison population if due to influence of private prisons.
What is in practice in other countries globally is “NO” competition for anything related to healthcare. Healthcare cost is dictated by the government.
Run, we agree that threw the revolving door in Washington for industry leaders threw bought politicians the government ultimately is responsible for health care prices.
We disagree on the value of knowing where our health care system ranks globally since its the most expensive in the world and ranks 37th.
Especially when all the talking heads and the forth rail are failing to tell the truth about our system.
Run, I believe if enough people knew where our health care system ranked globally we would see change sooner.
People already know we are the most expensive and what has happened? Nothing. There is no disagreement as there is no argument. You and the rest of the crowd are fixating on superficial stuff which detract from the overall problem of a Congress, a Republican led Congress protecting the healthcare industry from control and blocking Medicare from negotiating pricing in lieu of this. Everything, everything, everything is a reflection of what the healthcare industry is doing in the market place with few exceptions.
To write long dissertations on what some insurance company did or why Coops went bankrupt ignores the true problems;
– A free to charge whatever price they wish healthcare industry.
– A Congress who protects the healthcare industry from any type of control and their attacks on anything (such as Coops) which may rein in run away healthcare costs (the same as gun control).
– Blocking Medicare from negotiating pricing.
Everything else is akin to tilting with windmills.
The math question was:
“We simply say eliminate DINO.”
Obviously you cannot do it.
EMichael, your right I can not do it.
Maybe my one opinion can foster others to believe that just because someone is in the democratic party or has a label of democrat electing them only hurts the label. I would suggest Clinton is an excellent example of a DINO. And some of the fourth rail would agree.
Remember something about lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness.
You miss the real problem Beene.
If you can’t do the math, you should not talk.
At least near me.