The government has been making their big push for universal healthcare over the last two weeks, but without any real plans for how to pay for such an extensive entitlement program. The new cigarette tax is one item that will be used for revenue, but the government has shot itself in the foot by giving the FDA sweeping new powers when it comes to the tobacco industry as the government tries to curtail smoking. There is a type of schizophrenia involved when considering the full circle of taxing tobacco products more to entice people to quit smoking, even as the need for new smokers grows to supply the funds needed to fund healthcare, which has huge expenses resulting from smoking health issues requiring the government to get more people off of the nicotene, even as the President continues to chew Nicorette and secretly smoke. Whew – did you catch all that?
The bottom line is that the government needs more funds when it comes to financing healthcare and the only revenue the government receives comes from the tax payers. And so new healthcare overhaul legislation will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. The cost of the healthcare legislation is over the $634 billion President Barack Obama proposed in his budget request to Congress as a 10-year down payment for the policy changes. Rep. Charlie Rangel projects that the cost will eventually be over $1 trillion.
The healthcare bill also contains a public option via online exchanges and requires employers to provide health benefits or face penalties. There is also the possibility of an end to the income tax exclusion for employer-paid health benefits. Taxes on the health benefits of employees could be implemented as well to pay for the uninsured.
The President wants a bill on his desk by October and is promising that his healthcare plan will not add to the deficit – and I live on Mars!