We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
No genius can figure out what government could do "for us" if it really tried. Easier to figure is what it might instead do "to us" once it really decided to save us: narrowing choices, curtailing the varied freedoms of action Americans still enjoy. That's why there's this lawsuit in Florida (as in other venues), where the wait-a-cotton-picking-minute spirit has Our Protectors at least momentarily on the defensive.
If the Feds can tax a non-activity (ie not buying the insurance plan they want us to buy), they can tax anything we don't do, "for our own good."
I am annoyed with Obamacare for at least three additional reasons:
1) I am very happy with my catastrophic ("major medical") insurance plan. It covers nothing elective or "preventive," no obstetrics, no vision, no dental, and has a $5000 deductible. I can see any physician I choose. Even including the deductible, it's relatively cheap. Under Obamacare, I cannot own this insurance.
2) The politicization of medical care promises to be an unholy mess.
3) There will be perverse incentives for your doctors to under-treat you.
I'll say tax. I am covered on my wife's plan. Starting next year 2011 her employer will give her a dollar amount on her health care package, which we will have to report as income. I figure that's an additional 15 to 20 grand that we will have to claim. I could be wrong, but that is what I am hearing.
"3) There will be perverse incentives for your doctors to under-treat you."
Worse. There will be a requirement to under-treat you because the treatment they are allowed to provide is determined solely on basis of momentary cost.
IOW if there's a cheaper alternative to the treatment that is most effective in your case they'll be required by law to choose that cheaper alternative.
This will be the case even if that cheaper alternative has a higher possibility of adverse side effects, even life altering side effects.
If the choice for example is amputation of a limb or long term medication, amputation will be mandated because even with the "free" prostetic limb (cheapest model of course, a wooden peg leg will do for you) it'll be the cheaper solution (and they can always set a steep deductible on "medical aids", and will, so you'll end up paying for that prostetic yourself).
I have the same opinion of the individual mandate whether it's termed a tax or a fine: it's against the Constitution and it's against everything a free nation should be.
It is also true that the Demcare plan will probably lower the standard of healthcare, stifle innovation, and lower people's standards of living for many reasons, all of them bad. But thing #1 is the anti-liberty idea that the government may order anyone to purchase insurance or any other product or service.
Before the trolls get going on driver's insurance, I will remind them that states only require "financial responsibility" to protect others in case you cause them a loss or injury. You can (but no one does) post a bond instead of taking out an insurance policy. Your bank may require you to insure your home or car while it is under lien, but after that the decision is yours.
I've commented this on other Maggie's posts, but at first I suspect that your employer will only be required to list the company expense to your W-2 as a non-taxable amount (like they do now with 401K matches...I believe it's code C or D on the W-2). You're correct, the end-game 3-5 years from now is for it to be taxed. But full Obamacare has to take effect first.
Soviet of Washington
I pay $235/month for a $10,000 deductible (covers me and my better half). Blue Cross of NC. Is my plan going to be cancelled? They haven't sent me any warnings. I think it's too much money for what I get, but it's preferable to any gov plan. My company will no longer have employees. I hire everyone through a temp service. I think we're all going to work for GE or the Gov if they have their way. Small companies don't seem welcome by the bureaucrats, they just want more sheeple to do what they're told.