Friday, April 27, 2012

Obamacare - Medicare Advantage - #3839 - Sebelius Refuses to Shut Down 'Demonstration Project" Criticized by GAO - Hot Air (2) Top 10 Most Expensive Obamacare Taxes and Fees - Heritage Foundation

Earlier this week, the New York Post warned readers that the Obama administration planned to use an $8.3 billion in HHS appropriations as a “slush fund” to hide the impact of ObamaCare on choice options for seniors on Medicare Advantage, that would otherwise have hit just before the election in November. That same day, the General Accounting Office blasted the Obama administration for its attempt, and called on HHS to reverse itself. Today, Rep. John Kline, chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, confronted HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the GAO report, but Sebelius remained defiant — and insisted that the Obama administration would proceed with its slush-fund plans: U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today vowed to continue a controversial “demonstration project” that has come under fire recently by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO). The Democrats’ 2010 health care law cut $200 billion from Medicare Advantage, a program that currently serves 12 million seniors. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cuts will result in 5 million fewer seniors participating in the popular program. The GAO recently criticized an $8 billion national demonstration project run by the administration that may have been intended to mask the impact of these cuts until 2013. The GAO reports the design of this project “precludes a credible evaluation of its effectiveness.” The GAO has called on HHS to cancel this unprecedented multi-billion dollar program. However, when asked by Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) if the administration would follow the GAO’s recommendation, Secretary Sebelius stated she has “no intention of canceling the project.” Read more........

Top 10 Most Expensive Obamacare Taxes and Fees - Heritage Foundation - As Heritage has warned before, Obamacare is on track to makes things a lot worse. The President’s health law will be partially paid for by tax increases and the creation of new taxes. When Obamacare first passed, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that its tax hikes would total $502 billion over the next 10 years. But most of the new, higher taxes don’t kick in until later in the decade, which means that once all of the law is fully implemented, the taxpayers’ tab will be much bigger than originally estimated. A new study by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) revealed today that Obamacare will impose higher taxes totaling $4 trillion between now and 2035, with substantial hits on working Americans. That works out to more than $1.7 trillion over a decade—more than triple the original 10-year score. Below is a list of 10 of Obamacare’s most costly taxes and fees, drawn from research by Heritage tax policy expert Curtis Dubay: 1. Hospital Insurance Tax. Beginning in 2013, Obamacare increases the Hospital Insurance (HI) portion of the payroll tax from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent for families earning more than $250,000 a year and for single filers earning more than $200,000 annually.  Read more.........

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