Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Snippets

There is SO much to write about, I just don't know where to start. I think I'll just post some questions that are a foggin-up my mind these days.

1) Why are some of those most vehemently opposed to the health care reform bill also the recipients of public-funded socialized medical insurance? If you work or have retired for the city, borough, state, feds, or if you're a veteran, a teacher or a senior on Medicare and are bitchin' about the bill, why is all right to subsidize you, but it is not OK to make sure all also have insurance?

2)Did Mike Chenault really work every day of the past year? He claimed per diem for them all. When he went on the all-expense-paid trip to China, did he also claim his per diem? Mike collected more money than any other legislator - nearly $90,000.  Really, he never went fishing, never went on a vacation, never took a day off...what dedication.  Considering what laws DO get passed, maybe he should think about taking a day or two off.

3)Sean Parnell recently went on a cruise ship convention junket to Florida and now wants to reduce the $50 tax that the cruise ship passengers pay to help mitigate the problems the hordes create in those port towns and to monitor the sewage and garbage the ships dump at sea...so, all one has to do is wine and dine the guv and he becomes a lapdog?

4)A couple of rich Texans want to put a coal mine right through the Chuitna River drainage across the inlet, and then sell the coal to China. And Mayor Dave thinks that this might be a good idea? So, we should destroy a healthy salmon stream for...?

5)Alaska Department of Fish and Game shoots collared wolves just outside of Denali National Park and kills off a pack that habituated the park. In a recent OpEd piece in the PC, Corey Rossi, writing as the assistant commissioner for AK Fish and Game, defends aerial hunting stating that it was designed to put more food on Alaskan tables. Why did he fail to mention that Board of Game also refused to prohibit Outside big game hunters from shooting moose in those same areas? If there so few moose for subsistence hunters that we have to shoot animal predators, why is there enough for rich dude predators from the lower 48 to come and take some too?

6)The same Corey Rossi was just appointed as the Alaska Director of State Wildlife Conservation. Turns out the man has no wildlife qualifications. He's not a college graduate and has had no training in that field. Well, he did take a biology course at a JuCo and he was once paid $11/hour to trap rats. Apparently the man is a personal friend of the Palins and had the assistant commissioner job created just for him (note to Tea Baggers, SP increased the size of gov't). A few people who have some real knowledge have raised a fuss (and read the ADN OpEd piece here). So, we are worried about our kids falling behind in math and science, so we put a political appointee with no credentials in a job where some education and understanding might be an asset? Those darn real scientists ruin everything.

I'm not out of questions, just out of time right now...

5 comments:

Rodney said...

The health care bill mandates that all people to have health insurance - it doesn't pay for everyone's health insurance.

A lot of the money to pay for the mandate comes from redefining any employee health benefit as taxable income, instead of tax free benefit as it currently is.

So everyone who gets health benefits through an employer will be taxed on the value of those benefits - hence a new pool of money to pay for the health care bill.

So if you are a family of four, and one spouse is employeed and you get family coverage, and the bill for that costs the employer $15K, it is currently not taxed as it doesn't have to be reported on a W-2.

Starting 2011 it will.

So working families with health insurance can expect to be taxed additionally for receiving their health care insurance through their employer.

Souldotna said...

While the bill won’t pay for everyone’s plan, it will subsidize plans for those who can’t afford it. If you do have employer-based coverage, however, and don't spend more than 9.5 percent of your income on premiums and the plan covers at least 60 percent of medical costs, you are not eligible for premium subsidies. That subsidy increase will go up to $88,000 a year for a family of 4.

Your numbers for when the tax kicks in on ‘Cadillac plans” are wrong. First it would be delayed until 2018, and it would be imposed only for plans that cost your employer more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. And it will be subject to a 40% tax only on the portion of the cost that exceeds the limit.

If you are very rich, you’ll pay more. There will be a Medicare payroll tax to investment income as well as wages for individuals making more than $200,000, or married couples above $250,000. Starting in 2018, people with certain high premium plans will be hit with a 40 percent excise tax, not on the whole premium, but just the share of the premium that exceeds certain high thresholds. If you make more than $200,000 as an individual or a quarter-million as a couple, you will pay a higher Medicare tax.

Souldotna

Rodney said...

W-2 Reporting. Effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2010, the Reform Act requires employers to report on Form W-2 the aggregate cost of health coverage (determined on a basis similar to that under COBRA) received by an employee under the employer’s healthcare plan. For this purpose, FSAs, HRAs, and Archer medical savings accounts are excluded from the cost analysis.

Am I missing something here then?

Are you saying that on my w2 in 2011, my employer's contribution to health insurance is not going to be reported on my w2?

Cause that is what it looks like to me, as reported in multiple news sources.

And if it is reported on my w2, then I am going to be paying taxes on my current health care benefits, which are currently tax deductible.

Cadillac Plans have nothing to do with my employer reporting how much they contribute to my health insurance plan.

If I am wrong, great, I won't have an additional 10K on my w2, but I think I will as I read the news reports.

Souldotna said...

I couldn’t find out if the amount your company actually spends on your health policy will reported on your W-2s, but if it does, it WON’T be counted as taxable income. If it were shown, it would be like if you now had a 401 or 403 retirement plan. Both your pretax income and your taxable income is shown on your W2, but you only pay taxes on the latter. I suspect that if it is on there, it is a way for your employer to show the feds that they are contributing to your plan. If you work for a company with more than 50 employees, they must provide a plan.

As far as taxes on your health plan, it’s only on the so-called Cadillac Plans and even that won’t start until in 2018. Taxpayers that have plans with premiums of $10,200 or more for singles and $27,500 for families would be subject to a 40 percent tax on only the excess premium. Retirees and workers in high-risk professions like firefighting would have higher thresholds ($11,850 for singles, or $30,950 for families), and it would be tied to inflation. Unions fought for the high cut-offs, so most all of us who have plans from work should be OK and we should thank those unions for looking out for the average joe.

In 2013, affluent families with annual income above $250,000, or individuals making more than $200K would be required to pay an additional 3.8 percent tax on their investment income, while contributing more to the Medicare program from their payroll taxes. And eventually, the most expensive insurance policies would be subject to a new tax.

Keep in mind that W cut the tax rate for the super rich and since then, those breaks have cost the US about as much as what HCR will cost. One of the ways that he cut taxes for the super rich was that those who earned most of their $ through investments paid at a lower rate than someone who actually went to work. The new tax would just put the investor class back at the same rate as those who have a job. By the way, that tax rate would just be put back to the rate that it was under Saint Ronald.

eliminatehypocrisy said...

Oh my goodness...that photo headline is hilarious. You are bad. So very bad. ROFL


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