ObamaCare: A Tax By Any Other Name Is Still a Tax

Over the next few months, the editors of Parents.com will report on hot-button election issues that American families face today, from healthcare to education. In the spirit of offering diverse perspectives on the election, we’ve chosen three moms from across the political spectrum to be guest bloggers on Parents News Now. Each one of them will offer a unique take on the topics that they–and you!–are most passionate about. (Read the entire blog series.)

By Suzanne Venker

So I was walking back from my neighbor’s house about an hour after the health care ruling and saw my other neighbor Wilson heading out to his car. “Welcome to your new taxes!” I shouted.

It was a pretty bold move, even for me. I’ve had maybe three conversations with Wilson (that’s his first name) in total, so I have no idea where he stands politically. But in a characteristically hasty moment, I decided it didn’t matter. The latest health care ruling is already galvanizing Americans. I can feel it.

“I’m leaving the country!” Wilson shouted back.

“There’s nowhere else to go. This was it!”

“Canada?” he asked rhetorically. (I hope.)

“Nice try.”

“How ’bout Australia?”

“At least you’ll be far away from the mess here!”

My conversation with Wilson came on the heels of the one I had had several minutes earlier with the mother of my across-the-street neighbor. Donna had arrived early so that her daughter, a mother of two young girls, could take a 5-mile run before the Midwest heat reached record temperatures. Donna is 68, retired from the social security department, and very pissed off–although I hesitate to use this phrase. She’s so sweet even her angry seems nice. Mainly, Donna is just aghast that anyone would support ObamaCare.

“Do you think people don’t understand the ramifications?” I asked.

“No, I don’t think they do,” she said. “I had lunch the other day with a group of liberal friends and when the subject came up all they said was that everyone’s entitled to free health care.” But, she added, don’t ask them to explain how that would work exactly. “They have no idea.”

In other words, I said, it just sounds good.

“Right.”

And therein lies the chasm between two very distinct groups of Americans. The Left is motivated largely by emotion. If something sounds good or just, it should be embraced–regardless of its feasibility. Conservatives (and independents, for that matter) know better. Leftists can also be elitist. If someone doesn’t agree with their position, he must be educated so he can see things more clearly. Obama is famous for that attitude. When The People reject his policies, he insists he just hasn’t explained himself well. The condescension is so palpable I almost feel sorry for him. Almost.

Of course the idea of universal health care sounds good. (So does the idea of everyone being equally rich.) But where will the money come from? And what’s the fallout? The question is not, as Democrats claim, that Republicans don’t care about the poor or have a love affair with the rich. It’s that Republicans’ ideas and plans for how to make something work differ dramatically from the ideas and plans of those on the other side.

To Obama supporters, it’s all so simple: When we need money for an entitlement (a word they hate since it implies a gift, not a right), we tax everyone in order to pay for it. Doesn’t matter how much we need or how many plans we come up with; as long as Democrats appeal to people’s emotions, they have a winning strategy. “Tax the rich!” they shout. (Or, “End discrimination against women! They have a right to free birth control!”) Putting in such terms sounds so equitable: These guys over here have too much, while these other guys over here have too little. Let’s even it out.

But it’s never that simple–even if ObamaCare were just, which it’s not. The concept of universal health care rests on the notion that every person in America is entitled to health care. But that umbrella–and it bears repeating, the health of every single American–is so vast there’s no way to cover expenses without sucking everyone dry.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word health means “the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit.” How can it be right that every single American is entitled to be sound in body, mind, or spirit (and all this implies) through no effort or sacrifice of his own? Unless, of course, you believe one’s health is always out of one’s hands. Which it isn’t.

What’s the point of eating right and exercising, for example–or being a non-smoker, or being smart with one’s sexuality, if the person sitting next to you can do the opposite and still be rewarded? Reminds me of an eighth-grade student I once had (when I taught middle school) who worked her tail off all year to get a C+ in my class while her friends did nothing and got Fs. Doesn’t matter, the administration told me. “You have to pass those students, Suzanne. We have to move them on to the high school.”

And what about the long lines Americans will have to wait in? And the substandard doctors people who can’t afford to buy out of the plan will get as a result of ObamaCare? That’s not a scare tactic, that’s reality. And, I might add, an obvious one. Like the public schools in which I once taught, any system that’s rife with bureaucracy is doomed to fail. That’s why the private sector is so crucial. Let it work, and it will work for you. Cut off its supply and chaos ensues.

The only good thing about yesterday’s decision is that it makes the choice in November crystal clear. The power is now in the hands of the people, where it belongs. A vote for Obama means the end of America as we know it. Welcome to Europe. A vote for Romney means an opportunity to get on track. To do that, we need a health care system that empowers patients, reduces cost, and ensures access.

Repeal ObamaCare.

For an opposing view on the healthcare ruling, see Supreme Court Decision ObamaCare: We Should Rejoice and Why the Safely Insured Should Care About Universal Health Care.

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  1. by jenny

    On June 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you for putting into words the frustration I feel every time I read of people rejoicing over the ruling. They are not thinking long term. Sure it would be wonderful if everyone was rich and everyone had good health. But I’m a believer of you get what you put in. There are already too many people in this country who take advantage of the system. “Why work harder than I need to if I can sit on my butt all day and get by??” This is just opening the floodgates. As I stated in the comments of the first column, this is a pretty little box with a pretty little bow, but it was paid for with a check that has NO FUNDS to back it up. The American people are taxed like crazy as it is. So now we can be taxed even more to pay for healthcare for someone who, again, sits on their butt all day?? What is their motivation for getting up and making their lives better if the government just hands them everything for free? This country was built on hard work, not handouts!!

  2. by Erin

    On June 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Wow. Do you understand what the problems are with the current health system now? That costs are so out of control healthcare is unaffordable to those who need it? It’s not about providing healthcare to everyone- it’s about providing affordable and high quality healthcare. How would you propose we make that happen?

  3. by Gramiam

    On June 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    The “tax” is not a tax, but a penalty paid ONLY by those who choose not to carry health insurance. They can either pay the penalty or get health insurance. This “mandate” was a concept of the health plan in Massachusetts passed during the Romney Administration. The state now has the smallest # of uninsured in the entire country, and costs are way down. There is no excuse for not buying insurance under the plan because you can get subsidies to help for incomes under $70,000.and if your income is less than 133% of poverty level, you can get Medicaid. Nobody is claiming that everybody gets free care, just the opportunity to get coverage at a reasonable price.

  4. by Annalucia

    On June 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Hahahahahaha. Seriously lady?

  5. by Naomi

    On June 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Erin, I agree, wow. This is written by someone without any understanding of the current problems with our healthcare system. This statement alone is so offensive “How can it be right that every single American is entitled to be sound in body, mind, or spirit (and all this implies) through no effort or sacrifice of his own? Unless, of course, you believe one’s health is always out of one’s hands. Which it isn’t.” EVERY American is entitle to be in sound body, mind and spirit. How can you ignore the plight of those with poor health and tell them it is their fault? I know plenty of people that have had terrible illness and cancer that did not smoke, drink or abuse their sexuality. They lost EVERYTHING they have to just stay alive. Apparently it is their fault because they just don’t work hard enough to pay for the right insurance plan? Sorry but my auto mechanic works much harder and longer than most executives and he doesn’t have insurance. I think he would rather “wait in lines” than have no heath care at all. Also, perhaps instead of citing countries like Canada, why don’t we look to countries with sucessful socialized medicine and take a page from their book? This was writen by an extremely selfish, spoiled and short sighted woman.

  6. by CJ

    On June 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    UsiNg the definition of health to refute access to health CARE is nonsensical. The point is that ACCESS to care is one if the ways in which people stay healthy.

  7. by Craig

    On June 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    The funny part of this opinion is that the two anti healthcare for the poor people quoted here both get their healthcare /salary /pension from the public.

  8. by ?

    On June 29, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    @Jenny – Not everyone who doesn’t have health insurance is sitting on their couch all day. Some people work their butt off and their employers don’t offer it, or don’t offer anything their employees can afford to use. And looking for another job that will offer it means loosing job security because suddenly you’re the low man on the totem pole and there aren’t enough jobs to go around. And sometimes you have a preexisting condition that means that insurance companies won’t accept you. My husband works his butt off and we aren’t rich by any means but he does get decent health insurance through his employer, however my son has a medical condition that costs on average 10-20,000 a month, A MONTH! When he turns 18 and tries to get his own health insurance he would be denied because he has a pre-existing condition. So in your world because he doesn’t have insurance he must sit on his couch all day and not work for anything. He must just want to mooch off the government and take all the hand-outs he can get right? That’s what you’re saying isn’t it?
    I’m not saying obamacare is the answer, nor am I saying it’s wrong. I’m just saying that by generalizing everyone who doesn’t have health insurance, or everyone who has ever needed help of any kind as lazy moochers is incredibly closed minded, and maybe if you had to walk in the shoes of my disabled son you would understand what it’s really like to work hard but still come up short.

  9. by Sara

    On June 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Suzanne has oversimplified this issue. A third of my income goes to pay health insurance premiums. President Obama’s health care plan is called the Affordable Care Act, that is designed to make healthcare more affordable, not free (it should be noted though, that the Republicans who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and say this is akin to socialized medicine, do get 100% of their health insurance paid for by the American public). Despite what the “blogger” writes, healthcare should be available to all at price that is reasonable. I don’t understand why the Republicans are so intent on protecting the profits of the health insurance companies.

  10. by Sara

    On June 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Wow, such UNBELIEVABLE ignorance and selfishness. Parents should pull this article and FAST. I am a well off professional and yet many of my co-workers are uninsurable. Do you know what that means? It means they were perhaps stay-at-home moms and had a stroke. Yes, a stroke for a young woman is possible. Or perhaps they DID take control of their health and went to Mexico for surgery because our “excellent” insurance did not cover surgery. Guess what, now they are uninsurable. Do you know how you find this out? When you are denied, they sure won’t tell you that before you make decisions about your health.
    This author is LUCKY she hasn’t been faced with what so many of us have.
    Does she have an answer for WHY this health plan was so revolutionary and good when Romney rolled it out? Hmmm, sounds like the current backlash is aimed not at the actual bill but at Obama.
    How about this, instead of getting all worked up about the taxes that as of yet she has no idea about and get FURIOUS about the taxes that she IS paying because Republicans work very hard to protect corporations from paying their fair share? OR she could get worked up that a healthy 30 year old woman pays more than $600/month for insurance because shareholders want to see a profit every month, maybe the top 1% could chip in a little more… OR she could put some effort into making herself a better person and stop worrying about what other people are “taking” from her. Seriously be thankful that you are in a position where you can help instead up putting a foot in the face of those behind you.

  11. by Ranting Brit

    On June 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    WOW, how selfish! Spending a fraction of your income to ensure your fellow Americans recieve a basic standard of care shouldn’t take a second thought. To deny the sick because you think you are above them is inhumane. I’m from the UK and whilst there could be a lot of improvements to the NHS and I do not fully agree with some things they offer such as repeatedly treating the same people for the same self-inflicted problems, cosmetic surgey and IVF. I for one could not imagine being in a country that calls itself developed yet does not care for its inhabitants.

  12. by Proud American

    On June 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I am SHOCKED to see this(ignorant, IMHO)opinion posted on Parents.com. What I got out of this article is “The only good thing about yesterday’s decision is that it makes the choice in November crystal clear. The power is now in the hands of the people, where it belongs. A vote for Obama means the end of America as we know it.”
    If this is what Parents.com will be publishing, CANCEL MY SUBSCRIPTION!!!

  13. by Free Market Constitutionalist

    On June 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Wow.
    I actually am glad Obamacare passed. America needs to be run into the ground before any political revolution will take place. We need to evolve from the two party system that Washington warned us about. The mindset of the American Left is just as this blogger described. It feeds off feeling.

    Anyone with any history in economics knows that the only way to make healthcare affordable is to abolish any form of insurance. If no one had it, medical costs would drop dramatically. A free market society is the only one in which you are truly free.

    This, much like Social Security and many other government programs, is a glorified Ponzi scheme. And while we ruin Bernie Madoff’s life and deem him a horrible human being, the Left blindly subscribes to the same thing.

    This might not make sense to many of you. Read Bastiat. Read Adam Smith.

    Benjamin Franklin once said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety.”

    And that’s the world you are preparing for your children, ladies. Good job.

    Of course, you probably think America was supposed to be a democracy too.

  14. by elisha

    On June 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    When my husband returned from his second deployment four years ago and returned to civilian life we could not afford insurance for us and our daughter, not even close. Yet we didn’t qualify for medicaid nor did we really want to take it without paying our share. He ended having to return to the army even though we were so happy about being civilians and not having to worry about our family being apart for another year. We had no choice if we wanted insurance. By the way I also now have a ‘preexisting condition’ it’s basically the same as anemia but it’s rare and not well known. When my blood was drawn recently it was discovered (thalasemia) so now we wouldn’t have insurance for me as a civilian without the new healthcare act. I know because my sister has the same disorder and have their pay goes to insurance and there was only one company that would accept her. So are we just lazy people just sitting on our butts looking for a handout? Parents.com I’m surprised you posted this rant, this blogger has anger issues.

  15. by Biggest tax hike on the middle class in history

    On June 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    There is no lockbox to ensure that the Obamacare Tax goes to pay for healthcare for others. It’s free money for the government! Pure profit! Billions and billions every year! Biggest tax hike in history! The Congressional Budget Office says 46% of the Obamacare Tax revenues will come from families within 300% of the federal poverty level–that’s $69k for a family of 4. But the Obamacare Tax is capped at 2.5% of income–so that’s only $1725 for that family, or $144 a month, to pay a tax for not having health insurance that they can’t afford…and that money doesn’t go to health care anyway. Okaaaay.

  16. by kh

    On June 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I think we need to look at what this plan is exactly going to accomplish. As a resident of MA, and living under health care regulations that are the model for Obamacare, I challenge you to tell me how this is going to change health insurance affordability. It is not going to suddenly make insurance affordable. It WILL allow individuals with pre-existing health conditions obtain coverage. If you are self employed, good luck. We pay nearly $21,000 per year to maintain our coverage. If we don’t we are penalized. How do you honestly call that progress? The “subsidies” some comments refer to are not assistance in paying premiums on a plan, it is a state administered health care plan. The ability to “shop” for the best affordable coverage is limited to choosing a plan from companies that offer coverage in your geographical area. Of course, there are plans that will cover things like emergent care and catastrophic illness with lower premiums, but these plans will cost a fortune in deductibles and co-payments for any routine care. Plans that allow for well-visits and practical coverage for families will have much higher premiums.
    I am surprised that so many are jumping on Parents for posting an article that doesn’t support Obamacare when there was one posted in ardent support previously. Can we have differing opinions?

  17. by RunnersWife

    On June 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Good grief! Just because someone is against Obamacare doesn’t mean they have no clue about the problems with our current health system! There are plenty of other ideas the Obama administration chose not to pursue because their preference was to put more control in the hands of government & raise taxes.

    I resented Nancy Pelosi saying before its passage, “Let’s pass the bill, then we’ll see what’s in it.” HUH??? You’re going to mess with the nation’s healthcare, but not allow anyone to actually READ the bill from cover to cover & verify cohesion between the different parts before putting it up for a vote & shoving down all of our throats? (The various parts were all drafted by different people.)

    Sorry, Nancy, I wouldn’t trust you in a million years to know & pursue what’s best for my family & the rest of America!

    To those who slam insurance companies, I say this: What on God’s green earth makes you think that dealing with the government for healthcare will be any easier?

    FYI, this also ties into the sluggish economy as there are numerous small business owners who have gone on the record saying they will not hire more people if Obamacare stands. Why? Because in spite of their business growing, once they have over a certain number of employees, penalties kick in for not offering health insurance, not offering the right types of health insurance, etc. The government nails them with so many regulations & penalties, it sucks out the very profits they were going to use to hire more people & grow their business.

    What about tort reform? What about interstate commerce? If I live in Pennsylvania, but find a health insurance plan in Texas that suits my family’s needs, then let me buy it. Oh wait, that would mean that I’m making a decision ON MY OWN, something this president has a huge problem allowing.

    In a matter of a two-week span last year, my husband was suddenly diagnosed with & rushed into surgery for a massive brain tumor. All I can say to the government is that they better not touch the relationship between my husband, me, & his team of doctors with a 10-foot pole. I saw firsthand that in the U. S. we have the best medical talent in the world. The government would be wise to butt out & let doctors do their jobs… help their patients & pursue research that assists them in doing so.

    A friend of mine had a health issue, went to see her PCP, he couldn’t resolved it, so she was referred to a specialist whom she was able to see in 2-3 weeks. A relative of hers had a similar issue that came up in the same timeframe. Her wait to see the specialist? One year. Why? She lives in Canada.

    I bet a number of pro-Obamacare folks also don’t know that his slogan of “FORWARD” has numerous ties in history as the same slogan/mantra used by known socialists. We may need solutions to significant issues in our healthcare system, but we DON’T need socialized medicine to solve them!

  18. by Alina Navarro

    On June 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

    You go Girl!! Great Blog Post! I work for my three different income sources. No handouts here.
    Read this about our Economy & where it is going…
    http://www.moneynews.com/StreetTalk/Trump-Obama-Stupid-Country/2012/06/15/id/442491?PROMO_CODE=F354-1 ….Yes read the whole article with stats & video of the disaster that is coming!

    God Bless us & protect us….But we Still need to fight this!!

  19. by Seraphim

    On July 2, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I agree with some opinions on both sides. I agree the changes aren’t perfect. There are many “ideals” that would help this be a better bill. The premiums for decent coverage are still ridiculously high, for one. However I believe that it is a step in the right direction. Both my husband and I have pre-existing conditions that have led us to not be able to get coverage.

    When I was paying for insurance before, and needed treatment for an illness out of my control, my insurance sneakily put premiums paid for 6 months back in my account, and dropped me. All those pricey tests that I wouldn’t have had done as I couldn’t afford were now mine to deal with. And I also couldn’t afford the surgery I needed and now am left wondering if that “mass” is a tumor or not… As a 30 year old healthy woman I find this appalling.

    I think there might be substantially less serious illnesses if preventative care were covered for all Americans and they could get things taken care of before they got serious. Not receiving medical care because you can’t afford it is a third world country problem…

    Oh, and as for pregnancy… previous to this new bill, would not be covered for 12 months of paid premiums. So, we are paying out of pocket (responsibly) for ours. But it would have been nice to be covered in case of complications.

    This is a very heated topic and different people will have experienced things on both sides of the fence. To repeal it altogether would just stick us back in the medical dark ages we were in, you should move to improve. Not repeal.

  20. by Marie

    On July 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    This was clearly written by somebody who has never, ever had to worry about whether her children would be able to get healthcare. She’s never had to worry about her child being denied insurance because she was born with a heart condition, or had to tell her son to simply suffer through bronchitis because they can’t afford to take him to the doctor.

    Her thinking goes that since SHE and her family already have healthcare, nobody else is entitled to it, so who cares if they get it? It’s not MY problem if your child dies because you couldn’t afford care. So why would I want to pay an extra tax just to save your child’s life?

  21. by Sara

    On July 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Every other developed nation in the world has universal healthcare. They look at us aghast, that we live in the richest nation on earth and are against a system that would cover all children because we don’t want to pay for it.

    Universal healthcare isn’t perfect, and different countries have their problems with their systems, but there’s a reason that NO country is looking at our system and saying “hey we should do that!” NO ONE wants to trade what they have for what we have. No one wants to live in a country where families lose their homes because their child needed chemotherapy. No one except conservatives in the United States.

  22. by Tj'smommy

    On July 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I don’t know where you got the idea that everyone was going to get free healthcare. The Medicaid expansion didn’t pass. The idea is not to have a free for all, that the taxpayer has to pay for, it’s to require folks who can afford to buy insurance, to buy it! Your idea sounds dangerously close to the ‘Survival Of The Fittest’ idea. It d

  23. by AJ

    On July 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    It’s interesting that so many of the commenters here who disagree with the author of this post assume that 1. she is ignorant; 2. she lacks compassion; 3. an expensive government-controlled healthcare system is the only way to solve the problems of the accessibility of healthcare in this country.Proud American is going to cancel her subscription to “Parents” because she disagrees with something the magazine has published. This is the problem with liberals: no compromise, and no exchange of ideas. If you disagree with me, I’ll shut you down. Just because you disagree with the author of this post does not mean she is ignorant. Most of the time I disagree with our president, but I don’t think the answer is to call him names and demean him.

    I work full time for a nonprofit organization, and my health insurance premiums for a family of four just went up 25 percent in one year. Most of my coworkers have opted out of the health insurance offered because they simply can’t afford to pay the premiums. So they have no health insurance because they can’t afford it but now will be subject to paying a tax/fine. That makes great sense. I now work a quarter of the year just to pay for insurance for my family. And all of this is because of the regulations imposed by the Affordable Health Care Act.

    If this is the affordable health care promised by our government, I’d like to try something else, thank you. Have you ever noticed that when the government involves itself in something where it previously wasn’t involved that costs go up and efficiency and quality go down?

    Maybe government intrusion isn’t always the answer.

  24. by Derick Marrello

    On November 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he’ll be a mile away–and barefoot.

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