Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Republicans Back Tax Increases for Business To Interfere With Private Health Decisions

Republicans Back Tax Increases for Business To Interfere With Private Health Decisions

Republicans, says Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) are trying to limit "private choices by private individuals and businesses in the private insurance market." By their logic, he said, "the tax exemption for the Catholic church is the establishment of religion and ought to be forbidden by law."

Ultimately, the impact of tax like the one in the Republican legislation would likely be to phase out abortion coverage in the private insurance market. This would upend the long-standing bipartisan consensus, which does not enshrine the idea that the government should exert pressure on private entities to deny medical services they don't like. And -- speaking of bipartisan consensus -- it would run directly counter to the politically expedient conclusion by both parties that people should be able to keep the health care they already have.

"The Republicans in the House are proposing tax hikes because they don't like a health plan a private-sector business chooses," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). "What they want to do is essentially make abortion unavailable."

She sees the Senate as a backstop to preventing these measures from becoming law.

"I think we have 41 votes to stop it," Boxer said. "We have to be on our guard that these provisions are not slipped into a must-pass bill."

GOP allies in the business community are silent on the idea. The Chamber of Commerce declined a request for comment, despite the fact that the legislation would impact nearly all of their members.

But Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) thinks the curious timing suggests this is all about the health care law -- that prior to its passage, the same tax incentives existed, and yet this issue wasn't on the GOP agenda.

"Before the health care reform, when your company bought health insurance for you and it was not considered income, and therefore you weren't taxed on it, and it did cover all reproductive services, you could make the exact same argument. So this is no change, right?" Franken asked rhetorically, before joking, "You don't have to agree with me, you're a journalist, but I think my logic is impeccable."

So Republicans are Marxists on personal decisions made by employers, employees and their doctors when it comes to what kind of health insurance they can use and what it can pay for.

Sarah Palin has tried to make the mass murders in Tucson all about her pain and suffering, Cops: We Haven't Heard Any Of The 'Threats' That Nixed Palin Event

Law enforcement in Colorado has not received reports of any of the "threats" that a nonprofit group cited as the reason for canceling a Sarah Palin appearance.

"We've had no problems," Glendale, Colorado Police Chief Victor Ross told The Denver Post. "We are not aware of any specific threats."

On Friday, The Sharon K Pacheco Foundation re-announced that Palin would keynote its Patriots & Warriors Gala on May 2 in Glendale -- and that ticket prices had been reduced by half. (Earlier reports stated that the event was announced Friday, but the Post reports that it was first announced on the group's Facebook page on Jan. 10.) The event was to serve as an awards banquet and a fundraiser for military families and children who have lost loved ones in combat. But on Saturday, the foundation abruptly canceled, blaming an "onslaught of negative feedback." In the Facebook post announcing the move, the group said that although no specific threats had been made, an "increase in negative rhetoric against the former Alaska governor" after the Tucson shooting "raises concern for her safety and the safety of others despite the call for civility in America."

"I really did not want the families that we honor, that have been through some traumatic experiences, to have to deal with people's ill intentions just as it relates to Sarah Palin," Foundation director Leo Pacheco told KCNC on Saturday.

In addition to the Glendale police, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, the Denver Police Department and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation also told the Post they hadn't received reports of any threats related to the Palin appearance. Meanwhile, the foundation's website has been shut down for "revision," and all comments have been deleted from its Facebook page. The posts announcing Palin's appearance, as well as the one announcing the cancellation, also appear to have been removed from the group's Facebook wall. (The cancellation post is available here.)

It would not be surprising to find out Palin supporters made a few anonymous threats to make Palin look like the poor victim.