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Obamacare: Highly Compensated Individuals & the Second Amendment


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://freedomoutpost.com

 

Posted by:Sid Wolf

gun

“Prohibition on Discrimination in Favor of Highly Compensated Individuals” is a section found in Obamacare. Within in it is a sub-section protecting Second Amendment gun rights, with respect to wellness and prevention programs. The language appears, on the face, to prohibit the use of any data collection with regard to the ”the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition.” However, does this section really provide adequate protection for gun owners, and more specifically our veterans?

The Section reads as follows:

SEC. 2716. PROHIBITION ON DISCRIMINATION IN FAVOR OF HIGHLY COMPENSATED INDIVIDUALS.

(a) IN GENERAL.—A group health plan (other than a self-insured plan) shall satisfy the requirements of section 105(h) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to prohibition on discrimination in favor of highly compensated individuals).

(b) RULES AND DEFINITIONS.—For purposes of this section—

(1) CERTAIN RULES TO APPLY.—Rules similar to the rules contained in paragraphs (3), (4), and (8) of section 105(h) of such Code shall apply.

(2) HIGHLY COMPENSATED INDIVIDUAL.—The term ‘highly compensated individual’ has the meaning given such term by section 105(h)(5) of such Code.”.

(e) Section 2717 of the Public Health Service Act, as added by section 1001(5) of this Act, is amended—

(1) by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as subsections

(d) and (e), respectively; and

(2) by inserting after subsection (b), the following:

(c) PROTECTION OF SECOND AMENDMENT GUN RIGHTS.—

(1) WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS.—A wellness and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—

(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully-possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or

(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual.

(2) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any information relating to—

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;

(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or

(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.

(3) LIMITATION ON DATABASES OR DATA BANKS.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used to maintain records of individual ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.

(4) LIMITATION ON DETERMINATION OF PREMIUM RATES OR ELIGIBILITY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.—A premium rate may not be increased, health insurance coverage may not be denied, and a discount, rebate, or reward offered for participation in a wellness program may not be reduced or withheld under any health benefit plan issued pursuant to or in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act on the basis of, or on reliance upon—

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or

(B) the lawful use or storage of a firearm or ammunition.

(5) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS.—No individual shall be required to disclose any information under any data collection activity authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act relating to—

(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition; or

(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition.

To imply that the healthcare database would not be used in any database is to ignore history and an earlier Executive Order: a) Action #2 Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system and b) Action #16 Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, Public Law 103-159 basically requires the Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) to request background checks on prospective firearm transferees and that the US Attorney General establish the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Under this law some military veterans are being denied their right to own a gun ….not for any crimes committed, but because of psychiatric determinations or evaluations based on issues related to PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome).

Here are just a few reasons, under the Brady Law, where an individual can be denied, when undergoing a background check: a) 18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (3) Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance; b) 18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (4) Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution; and c) 18 U.S.C. §922 (g) (6) Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.

Given the above, one conclusion can be drawn –”It does not prohibit the use of a database to determine who has a psychological ‘disorder’ like ADHD or PTSD. And it does not prohibit the ATF from trolling the database for persons with these disorders (independent of any issue of gun ownership) — and sending their names to the FBI’s database of prohibited persons because of any of the reasons stated above under 18 USC §922 (g). Further, HIPAA would not prohibit this ‘law enforcement function,’ and Obamacare has significantly broaden the list of people whose determination is an ‘official’ determination similar to the VA psychiatrists who have disarmed approximately 150,000 veterans.”

Everyone goes to the doctor for one reason or another, so under this law and the Executive Order issued by this administration, questions about guns in the home will be asked of literally every individual in the nation and not just those with “mental health issues.” Kris Zane rightly asks, “What about post-partum depression or other ‘depressive’ disorders? This and PTSD could be easily—but falsely—’proved’ or be temporary issue. What about a child who tells the doctor that mom and dad have been arguing? Would this be considered a ‘mental health’ issue because at any one time any one of us could be categorized as being ‘depressed going through a difficult time in our lives?’”

What has not been discussed in the media is the reference to Section 105(h) of the IRS code and ramifications for employers as well as employees regarding health insurance and compliance.

There are other sections in Obamacare that reference and require fully-insured plans which lose “grandfathered” status comply with the requirements of section 105(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

According to a memo from Davis & Harman LLP, titled “New Nondicrimination Requirements for Insured Group Health Plans,” the rules “prohibit health plans from discriminating in favor of “highly compensated individuals.” These rules already apply to self-funded plans, but will now apply to fully-insured plans, which have lost grandfathered status, which went into effect on the first plan year beginning after September 23, 2010.

“The penalty for an employer who sponsors a fully-insured plan which violates these rules is severe,” the memo continues. “They would be liable for an excise tax of up to $100 per day per employee ‘discriminated against.’ Below explains some of the rules and what must be done to make sure their benefits, eligibility, and contribution structure are in compliance.”

Suppose a “highly compensated individual” is promised benefits for life under a self-funded health care plan and he incurs $100,000 of medical costs in connection with an illness. The $100,000 of benefits will be taxable income under Section 105(h). Most lawyers warn organizations that self-insured plans should not create exclusive eligibility rules only for higher-ranking executives in connection with retirements or separation of employment. Under Section 105(h) only highly compensated individuals are subject to the above adverse tax consequences. However, most of these individuals comprise roughly 25% of the workforce, and are usually an employer’s most senior and vital employees.

Section 105(h) defines“Highly compensated individuals (HCI or HCE)” as individuals who are:

  1. one of the 5 highest paid officers,
  2. a shareholder who owns (with the application of section 318) more than 10 percent in value of the stock of the employer, or
  3. an individual who is among the highest paid 25 percent of all employees (other than excludable employees who are not participants).

Benefits Testing: Under the benefits test, all benefits provided to “highly-compensated employees (and their dependents), must be provided for all other participants (and their dependents). In other words, HCEs must not be provided better benefits (or the opportunity to elect better benefits) than NHCEs.”

However, for testing purposes, employers may exclude from testing:

  1. employees who have not completed 3 years of service;
  2. employees who have not attained age 25;
  3. part-time or seasonal employees;
  4. employees not included in the plan who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, if accident and health benefits were the subject of good faith
    bargaining between the employee representatives (UNIONS) and the employer; and
  5. employees who are nonresident aliens and who receive no earned income (within the meaning of section 911(d) (2)) from the employer which constitutes income from sources within the United States (within the meaning of section 861(a) (3)).

Hopefully, this section protects the rest of us, but I have not been able to get clarification of this since this “entire” section of the Act addresses “highly compensated individuals” and the “exclusion” portion of this section seems to protect “unions” excluding the rest of those individuals that do not fall into the other 2 categories.

I did find this on a BCBS website in South Carolina which relates to what is currently being discussed in the news regarding “grandfathered plans” but this statement is troubling. “Prohibition of Discrimination Based on Lawful Ownership or Possession of Firearms or Ammunition – Plan may not base eligibility, premiums, discounts, rebates or rewards on the lawful use, ownership, or possession of firearms or ammunition, nor may a plan request this information as part of a wellness program or for any use related to the Health Care Reform Act. These prohibitions do not apply to a grandfathered plan.” It’s apparent, the healthcare law is mandating insurance companies drop current healthcare plans, not only to include all the new requirements, but to have everyone bound by this section of the law with the intent of everyone ultimately being included in any database that currently exits under the Brady Act.

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/12/obamacare-highly-compensated-individuals-second-amendment/#l7DwG2Cjt1yezX8w.99

New ObamaCare fees coming in 2014


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://nypost.com

 

Posted by:S.A. Miller and Geoff Earle

Modal Trigger

New ObamaCare fees coming in 2014

Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

WASHINGTON — Here comes the ObamaCare tax bill.

The cost of President Obama’s massive health-care law will hit Americans in 2014 as new taxes pile up on their insurance premiums and on their income-tax bills.

Most insurers aren’t advertising the ObamaCare taxes that are added on to premiums, opting instead to discretely pass them on to customers while quietly lobbying lawmakers for a break.

But one insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, laid bare the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”

The new taxes on one customer’s bill added up to $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually, according to Kaiser Health News. It boosted the monthly premium from $322.26 to $345.40 for that individual.

The new taxes and fees include a 2 percent levy on every health plan, which is expected to net about $8 billion for the government in 2014 and increase to $14.3 billion in 2018.

There’s also a $2 fee per policy that goes into a new medical-research trust fund called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Insurers pay a 3.5 percent user fee to sell medical plans on the HealthCare.gov Web site.

ObamaCare supporters argue that federal subsidies for many low-income Americans will not only cover the taxes, but pay a big chunk of the premiums.

But ObamaCare taxes don’t stop with health-plan premiums.

Americans also will pay hidden taxes, such as the 2.3 percent medical-device tax that will inflate the cost of items such as pacemakers, stents and prosthetic limbs.

Those with high out-of-pocket medical expenses also will get smaller income-tax deductions.

Americans are currently allowed to deduct expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their annual income. The threshold jumps to 10 percent under ObamaCare, costing taxpayers about $15 billion over 10 years.

Then there’s the new Medicare tax.

Under ObamaCare, individual tax filers earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 will pay an added 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on top of the existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax. They’ll also pay an extra 3.8 percent Medicare tax on unearned income, such as investment dividends, rental income and capital gains.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration touted a surge of more than 2 million visitors Monday at HealthCare.gov, plus about 250,000 calls to ObamaCare call centers.

“Volumes remain high but not equal to [Monday] and we have not had to deploy our queuing system on the site,” said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, referring to a virtual waiting room that is activated when the site is overloaded.

“We are taking thousands of calls at our call centers, which remain open until midnight, and we are seeing thousands of visitors complete enrollment online,” she said.

It wasn’t smooth sailing for everyone on the troubled site.

Software techie Jeff Karaaro tweeted in frustration: “Got three different codes trying to submit plan choices. No [one] can tell me what they mean. I nor call center can complete my application due to error.”

http://nypost.com

 

Ten Broken Obamacare Promises


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.heritage.org

 

Posted by:Alyene Senger

Since the passage of Obamacare in 2010, many of the President’s famous promises have been routinely broken. As he so ironically threatened in 2009, “If you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out.”[1] To that end, here are 10 promises of Obamacare that have already proved to be broken.

Promise #1: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.”[2]

Reality: Millions of Americans have lost and will lose their coverage due to Obamacare.

Obamacare has significantly disrupted the market for those who buy coverage on their own by imposing new coverage and benefit mandates, causing a reported 4.7 million health insurance cancelations of an existing policy in 32 states.[3]

For those with employer-sponsored insurance in the group market, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance by 2018.[4]

Moreover, the Administration itself has admitted that employers would not keep their existing health plans. Federal regulations written in 2010 estimated that 51 percent of small and large employers would lose their “grandfathered status” by 2013—meaning a majority of employers would not keep their existing health plans.[5]

Promise #2: “[T]hat means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.”[6]

Reality: Many Americans might not be able to keep their current doctor without paying extra.

Many plans offered on Obamacare’s exchanges have very limited provider networks, decreasing the chances consumers will be able to keep their current doctor without paying more money.[7] Furthermore, many Americans who purchase coverage on their own have had their existing health plans changed or canceled due to Obamacare, resulting in some people being unable to keep their current doctors without paying additional money to do so.

Due to the significant payment reductions included in Obamacare, seniors with Medicare Advantage plans may be forced to find new doctors. The largest provider of these plans, UnitedHealth, has recently reduced its provider networks in several states.[8]

Promise #3: “In an Obama administration, we’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.”[9]

Reality: Premiums for people purchasing coverage in the individual market have significantly increased in a majority of states.

A Heritage analysis shows that, on average, consumers in 42 states will see their premiums in the exchanges increase, many by over 100 percent.[10]

For people with employer-sponsored coverage, costs also continue to increase. For families, premiums from 2009 to 2013 have increased by an average of $2,976.[11]

Promise #4: “[F]or the 85 and 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing’s already happened. And their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better and more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else.”[12]

Reality: Obamacare imposes certain new benefit mandates on those with employer-sponsored coverage—a majority of Americans.

These mandates increase the cost of coverage. In fact, federal regulations written in 2010 assumed “that the increases in insurance benefits will be directly passed on to the consumer in the form of higher premiums. These assumptions bias the estimates of premium changes upward.”[13]

But higher premiums not only cost people more money; they have other impacts on coverage as well. For instance, as a response to the direct cost increases associated with Obamacare, UPS dropped coverage for spouses of employees if they are offered coverage through their own employers.[14]

Promise #5: “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.”[15]

Reality: Obamacare contains 18 separate tax hikes, fees, and penalties, many of which heavily impact the middle class.

Altogether, Obamacare’s taxes and penalties will accumulate over $770 billion in new revenue over a 10-year period.[16] Among the taxes that will hit the middle class are the individual mandate tax, the medical device tax, and new penalties and limits on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts.[17]

Promise #6: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits—either now or in the future.”[18]

Reality: Obamacare’s new spending is unsustainable.

Obamacare was passed into law relying on a wide variety of unrealistic budget projections. A more realistic assessment reveals that it will be a multi-trillion-dollar budget buster. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimated the cost of Obamacare over the long term if certain cost-containment measures were overridden. Under that alternative scenario, which assumes that “historical trends and policy preferences continue,” the GAO found that Obamacare would increase the primary deficit by 0.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).[19]

Senator Jeff Sessions (R–AL) and the Senate Budget Committee staff, who commissioned the GAO report, translated the 75-year percentage estimate into today’s dollar amount, which would be $6.2 trillion over the next 75 years.[20]

Promise #7: “[W]hatever ideas exist in terms of bending the cost curve and starting to reduce costs for families, businesses, and government, those elements are in this bill.”[21]

Reality: Health spending is still rising and is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.8 percent from 2012 to 2022.[22]

While growth in health spending has been slower recently compared to the past, that is largely due to the sluggish economic recovery. Indeed, Obamacare’s new entitlements will help drive greater health spending in 2014 and beyond.[23]

Promise #8: “I will protect Medicare.”[24]

Reality: Obamacare cuts Medicare spending.

Obamacare makes unprecedented and unrealistic payment reductions to Medicare providers and Medicare Advantage plans in order to finance the new spending in the law. The cuts amount to over $700 billion from 2013 to 2022.[25] If Congress allows these draconian reductions to take place, it will significantly impact seniors’ ability to access care.[26]

Promise #9: “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American.”[27]

Reality: Millions of Americans will remain uninsured.

Despite spending nearly $1.8 trillion in new spending from 2014 to 2023, the law falls far short of universal coverage. Indeed, Obamacare is projected by the CBO to leave 31 million uninsured after a decade of full implementation.[28]

Promise #10: “So this law means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.”[29]

Reality: Obamacare has not increased insurer competition or consumer choice.

In the vast majority of states, the number of insurers competing in the state’s exchange is actually less than the number of carriers that previously sold individual market policies in the state.[30] And at the local level, for 35 percent of the nation’s counties, exchange enrollees will have a choice of plans from only two insurers—a duopoly. In 17 percent of counties, consumers will have no choice—a monopoly—as only one carrier is offering coverage in the exchange.[31]

—Alyene Senger is a Research Associate in the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

 

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