Tag: "tax"

Health Costs in Canada Increased 2.85 Times Faster Than Inflation in the Last Decade

New research from The Fraser Institute shows that health costs in Canada increased 53.3 percent since 2014. During the same period, consumer price inflation increased 18.7 percent and cash incomes rose only 34.7 percent. And the taxes taken to fund the single-payer system have risen significantly:

Health care in Canada is not “free.” Canadians often misunderstand the true cost of our public health care system. This occurs partly because Canadians do not incur direct expenses for their use of health care, and partly because Canadians cannot readily determine the value of their contribution to public health care insurance because there is no “dedicated” health insurance tax.

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Should Taxpayers Spend $250,000 to Give an Uninsured Person 16 Days of Healthy Life?

ObamaCare spends a lot of money that could be better spent elsewhere:

money-crossroadsSo, even when we combine the most optimistic estimates of gains in mortality and morbidity, the average uninsured person would gain about 16 healthy days a year…As a comparison, 75-year-olds with foot problems prior to chiropody treatment rate their quality of life at .956. For the average uninsured person, having health insurance coverage provides health benefits that are roughly equivalent to averting the foot problems experienced by typical 75-year-olds.

More importantly, even using the most optimistic assumptions, ObamaCare does not appear to be very cost-effective in relative terms. That is, we could attain the equivalent gains in health status for only 4% of the trillions that will be spent on ObamaCare. Conversely, for the same massive expenditure, we could attain up to 27 times as much improvement in health status. In light of this rather egregious squandering of other people’s money, it’s little surprise that opposition to ObamaCare has been so persistent and widespread.

From: Christopher Conover at Forbes.

Tax Credits Cure Food Sales Tax Complexity. Why Not Use Them in ObamaCare Reform?

California’s tax treatment of food and ObamaCare’s tax treatment of health insurance have something in common. Both sets of regulation are so bad that people buying the same product can be taxed or subsidized differently in ways that are almost impossible to decipher.

As Joe Eskenazi of SF Weekly explains, California taxes the same bunch of carrots differently depending on whether the “buyer is a homeless shelter (no), a racetrack (yes), an ostrich farm (no), or a zoo (maybe).”

Sold in combination, a cup of coffee and a cup of gazpacho are a taxable meal. Sold separately, they are not. Cream-filled donuts are not taxable, but a croissant sandwich is. A cold sandwich with hot gravy poured on it is taxable even if it is cooled to room temperature. So is a previously hot, but currently cold, soup.

At first, the state held that movie popcorn was heated food. The movie theaters disagreed. They claimed that the lights over the popcorn were dehumidifier lamps, not heating lamps. They hired popcorn experts to measure the internal heat of the popcorn piles. Multiple hearings and many dollars later, the California Board of Equalization ruled that the heat in the popcorn was indeed a by-product of those dehumidifier lamps. Movie popcorn became a tax exempt food.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Window Sill with HandsThousands of 2-year old and 3-year old toddlers are medicated for ADHD.

If you lied about your earnings when you applied for ObamaCare, you can be fined $250,000.

If a family of four raises its income from $35,300 to $47,100, ObamaCare hikes its taxes 13 percent.

Zeke Emanuel thinks ObamaCare needs a Czar.

Medicaid fails preventive health: Patients arrive at hospital in worse shape, suffer more complications, and stay longer than privately insured.

Are ObamaCare Taxes Hurting the Medical Device Industry?

ObamaCare imposed an excise tax on medical-device makers that they have been lobbying relentlessly to repeal, arguing it kills jobs. However, according to Alex Lykken of Pitchbook, an information provider that collects and analyzes data on financial deals, ObamaCare’s medical-device tax has not had an impact on venture financing of new medical device companies:

Devices & supplies financings, believe it or not, hit a 10-year high in 2012, two years after the ACA was passed and just a year before the medical device tax went into effect. It seems odd that VC firms, which look several years down the road before investing, would complete more financings and invest more capital in the industry every year right until January 2013.

There is another plausible explanation: Device makers have global markets, and investors are looking to them, not the U.S., for growth.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Why thretirement-crackede disabled on Medicaid can’t afford to retire. Here’s how Chile solved that problem.

ObamaCare pushes doctors and hospitals to consolidate; then the FTC and the DOJ claim they’ve violated anti-trust law.

30 percent fewer “young invincibles” enrolled in ObamaCare than expected; administration gets two Pinocchios.

More than 1,100 IRS employees who owe back taxes received more than $1 million in bonuses and more than 10,000 hours in time-off awards.

Lying With Statistics?

Scot Winship reviews Thomas Piketty’s book, Capital in Twenty-First Century:

The Piketty and Saez data for the U.S. indicate that between 1979 and 2012, the bottom 90 percent’s income dropped by over $3,000.

But this ignores transfer income, such as Social Security. It ignores employer benefits, such as health insurance. And it ignores charges in household size over time.

When I incorporate these improvements using the Census Bureau data, I find that median post-tax and -transfer income rose by nearly $26,000 for a household of four ($13,000 for a household of one) between 1979 and 2012.

Twofer: Ryan’s Medicare Plan Saves Taxpayers $20 Billion and Reduces Seniors’ Premiums

Paul Ryan keeps making his Medicare reform proposal more politically palatable, while still saving money all around:

08Ryan’s plan has gone through several versions, but all of them have been based on the old bipartisan idea of “premium support.” The idea was that instead of paying for senior citizens’ medical services directly, the federal government would help them purchase private coverage plans.

The CBO still projects savings for the federal government — $15 billion — but it shows that beneficiaries will pay less, too.

(Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg View)

Did You Fill Out Your Tax Return Correctly?

Toy Businessman on a Pile of MoneyThe results for the EITC are not pretty. The Internal Revenue Services estimates that 21 to 25 percent of EITC payments were issued incorrectly during the fiscal year 2012, totaling from $11.6 to $13.6 billion in too much money being paid out to taxpayers. As a result, the Office of Management and Budget has labeled the EITC a “high-error” government program. Projections by the government show that the rate of error is expected to remain stubbornly high.

…[T]he IRS estimates that 21 percent of those who are eligible do not claim the credit at all. And so the EITC cuts both ways: both too much being handed out to taxpayers and too little.

Jia Lynn Yang.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Food Stamp recipients outnumber women who work full-time

Obama has proposed 442 tax hikes since taking office

Which chain do you think is more heavily celebrated on the website of the American Cancer Society? CVS, which will stop sales of all tobacco products, or Walgreens, which won’t?