Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 12:12 PM ET, 03/ 8/2011

Senate Democrats weigh making big mistake on health-care reform

By Ezra Klein

I’m getting some worried e-mails from Hill staffers who think Senate Democrats might rubberstamp a policy House Republicans passed to undermine the Affordable Care Act. It’s the sort of policy decision that won’t get much attention but could have some very big, and very bad, effects, so let’s take a moment and go through it.

If you’ve been paying attention to the debate over the Affordable Care Act, you’ve probably heard about the 1099 provision. Essentially, small businesses manage to avoid paying taxes on a lot of small transactions. The 1099 provision would’ve forced them to report those transactions, raising about $20 billion over 10 years. But it would’ve require a lot of paperwork. So much paperwork, in fact, that Democrats agreed to repeal it.

When the Senate repealed the provision, they paid for it by canceling other spending that Congress had authorized, but that hadn’t yet been put to a particular purpose. House Republicans took a different approach. They’re trying to sharply increase the amount of subsidies that families will have to pay back if their income increases during the course of a year. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a longer explanation of how this would work, but here’s the short version:

Under their proposed policy, a family with income at 225 percent of the poverty line who needed subsidies for the first half of the year but canceled them mid-year when the husband got a better job could get a bill for more than $4,500 at the end of the year.

A more worrying example goes the other way: Imagine a family where the breadwinner makes much more than 400 percent of poverty, but loses his job late in the year. He tries to apply for subsidies so the family can keep getting health insurance but is told that he shouldn’t bother — because his total income that year will still be above 400 percent of poverty, he’ll get a bill at the end of the year forcing him to pay back the money.

The Affordable Care Act, unfortunately, already includes a “payback” policy along these lines — the House Republicans are just proposing to make it much, much worse. This will do two things: make people hate the Affordable Care Act for bait-and-switching them, and keep people from entering the exchanges because they’ve heard horror stories of huge bills. It’s clear why the GOP wouldn’t mind that outcome, but there’s no reason for Democrats to accept it. The Senate should stick with the 1099 repeal that the Senate has passed.

By Ezra Klein  | March 8, 2011; 12:12 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Cutting Medicare is hard
Next: No, Republicans don’t have a health-care plan. Yes, they do need one.

Comments

so why not compromise and require people to pay the monies back at the end of their following year based upon the new/ higher salary?

Why not the same level of concern for small business owners burdened by the 1099 law as there is for people that get increases in pay during a year's time. Why not as much worry about the negative stimulative effects to them? What if we could get someone like Mark Zandi to say that the 1099 law would cost 700,000 jobs or so, would that change your take on it???

Or you could pro-rate the subsidy by the month? Would that be all that difficult or would the corresponding loss in revenues be too detrimental?

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 8, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"Essentially, small businesses manage to avoid paying taxes on a lot of small transactions. The 1099 provision would’ve forced them to report those transactions, raising about $20 billion over 10 years. "

This is misstated. The small businesses responsible for filing the 1099 paperwork aren't the ones who owe the tax. It's the people who receive the 1099's who weren't reporting the income. Of course, this is already a requirement for anyone who provides $600 or more during the calendar year and is unincorporated.

This is part of why it is so unpopular. The people being tasked with assisting the IRS aren't the ones who owe the taxes that are not being uncollected.

Posted by: jnc4p | March 8, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Bad cut and paste. Should read:

"This is part of why it is so unpopular. The people being tasked with assisting the IRS aren't the ones who owe the taxes that are not being collected."

Posted by: jnc4p | March 8, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The Form 1099 fiasco was yet another shameless budget gimmick used to sell ObamaCare.

When is Mr. Klein going to acknowledge that his pet project is not paid for in any sense? Even Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged last week that the Democrats double-counted the $500m in Medicare "saving," much of which was probably phony anyway.

Posted by: ElmerStoup | March 8, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

"This is part of why it is so unpopular. The people being tasked with assisting the IRS aren't the ones who owe the taxes that are not being collected."

+1. The 1099 law as written was simply ridiculous. It would mean that a freelance writer traveling on business would have to supply a 1099 to the hotel he stayed in, the airline that sold him his ticket, and the restaurant where he entertained some clients. Ludicrous, and impossible to enforce.

Posted by: AuthorEditor | March 8, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

There is no problem if things keep going as it is everybody will have an exemption to the the health care law. Wait only those in the dems corner are getting these exemptions like unions that push for it now don't want to be apart of it.

Posted by: tateofpa | March 8, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"The Affordable Care Act, unfortunately, already includes a “payback” policy along these lines — the House Republicans are just proposing to make it much, much worse."

Is it your position that there should be no payback of a subsidy if the income level of the recipient changes during the year? Or are you arguing for some sort of prorating procedure?

Posted by: jnc4p | March 8, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Using Ezra's examples (at 225% of the poverty line), I think it is not cost-efficient to seek a payback when a recipient accepts an employment opportunity mid-year that takes them from just under to a little over the threshold of the subsidy.

In the real world, a modest pay increase at that income level does not mean the sudden ability to save for a big tax bill come the following April 15. It is more likely to mean the difference between paying one's utility bills on time instead of juggling which ones will be overdue, or fixing the car when it breaks down instead of leaving it parked and rusting.

I expect the net result of seeking "payback" will just be a lot of new uncollectible back taxes, and more expense to the IRS than it is worth. Better not to create all that paperwork for the government and for the employers, and better not to create disincentives to low income workers for accepting a modest step up in compensation.

If a low income worker manages to "graduate" from the subsidy, we should simply celebrate (rather than penalize) their new independence, and not tie ourselves in knots trying to recover a pro-rated amount of their final health insurance subsidy.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 8, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, you mean that the lobbyists carefully crafted bill might not survive??
Guess it really does not matter, these lobbyists will just write another on for Congress to enact!!

Will either political actually have the "guts" to really reform health care in this country or will they allow special interests to dictate their actions, once again.

Whatever happened to that government by the people for the people?
It seems to have vanished........ guess we would need lobbyists to throw money at these career politicians!!

We now have a Cashrarocy, instead of a Democracy in this country.
The best government that the moneyed can buy!!

A BALANCED BUDGET IS VERY POSSIBLE ........
Oh the uncollected taxes from the above sources are estimated to be about 14 trillion dollars!!

Posted by: bkarpus | March 8, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Reminds me of filling out the FAFSA for grad school after having spent two years working full-time and realizing that having had my own salary put me in a much worse position than someone just finishing undergrad, by some several thousand dollars they expected me to be able to fork over, nevermind that I would be leaving my job to go to school. >.<

Posted by: arm3 | March 8, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the clawback is that it operates in a way that makes more income result in less money.

Let's say a family of four is making $89,000, which qualifies them for some degree of subsidy (slightly less than 400% FPG). If that subsidy comes to $2,500 (number chosen at random), then any raise between $400 and about $3,250 (since the wages are taxable but the subsidy is not) would result in a net loss to the family's income. As such, the policy would become a disincentive to take a more lucrative (and theoretically more valuable) job, creating some drag on the economy. This is the same problem with other benefit programs with a sharp drop-off at certain income levels.

An ideal structure would have benefits taper off such that each dollar earned over the threshold would still have some utility, which is to say that earning an extra dollar should result in a gain, even if that gain is less than a dollar. F

Posted by: Anonymous_Coward | March 8, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. Open QuickBooks. Go to reports. Want all disbursements for the last year, grouped by payee, only show summary (who, total paid). (Actually, it's probably already a standard report in any accounting package.)

Don't know if QB has a 1099 report format, but that won't take them long if they don't.

Wow. Elapsed time? Less than lunch time.

Oh, that's right. It's gummint paperwork, so it's really, really burdensome.

Posted by: GBMcM | March 8, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

The level of sneaky evil is strong with these republicans who always seem to complain that the democrats like to force people to behave a certain way by taxation. This is just the same thing and if they get away with it, they will turn around and blame the democrats.

Posted by: EducatingTheFools | March 8, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Like the federal government doesn't steal enough money now.

Posted by: drowningpuppies | March 8, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey, GBMcM:

Are you going to go get the TIN's of the roughly 100 folks I need to 1099 or will you pay for my accountant's time to do that? Nah, I didn't think so. Nice, banks get to do this at 10k, but Democrats seem to think that small business owners should do it for 600 bucks. Stupid.

Posted by: Gooddogs | March 8, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

GBMcM:

Speaking as a CPA, I can assure this Form 1099 reporting would much more difficult than you think it is. Suspect you're not an accountant. For example, you first have to get the vendor's tax ID number. That's often easier said than done.

Posted by: ElmerStoup | March 8, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@GBMcM "Hmm. Open QuickBooks. Go to reports. Want all disbursements for the last year, grouped by payee, only show summary (who, total paid). (Actually, it's probably already a standard report in any accounting package.)

Don't know if QB has a 1099 report format, but that won't take them long if they don't.

Wow. Elapsed time? Less than lunch time.

Oh, that's right. It's gummint paperwork, so it's really, really burdensome."

The burdensome part comes in getting all the taxpayer ID numbers (for corporations) for everyone you have to 1099. More substantively, since Wal-Mart already pays it's taxes, what's the purpose of 1099'ing them? Complying with the existing law of producing 1099's for anyone who provides $600 or more during the calendar year and is unincorporated captures 99% of the issues.

What's particularly stupid and insulting is this being enacted at the same time Obama is spouting off about reducing business paperwork and regulations to stimulate growth.

"The last barriers we’re trying to remove are outdated and unnecessary regulations. I’ve ordered a government-wide review, and if there are rules on the books that are needlessly stifling job creation and economic growth, we will fix them. Already we’re dramatically cutting down on the paperwork that saddles businesses with huge administrative costs."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/why_obama_and_the_chamber_are.html

Posted by: jnc4p | March 8, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

It's no surprise that republicans policy initiatives make government less efficeint, and has a goal of making people think less of government. They did this with welfare reform, which if we repealed welfare reform we could increase the number of people on welfare by 100% without increasing costs by two cents.

Posted by: mynameisblehbleh | March 8, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say it was good policy. But if it survives, it won't be the end of the world.

"Before I do business with you, I need your TIN" will become standard and expected.

No, I'm not a CPA, but I wrote software for CPAs for years and years (directly for CPAs, not for a salesman to sell to CPAs).

BTW, many states jigger their sales tax laws around mid-December in sometimes unbelievably complex ways, all of which needs to be in place on Jan. 1.

Posted by: GBMcM | March 8, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

GBMcM:

Writing the software the easy part. How about dealing with the mismatch list the IRS sends you each spring?

You have to research a list of names and numbers that don't agree with the IRS database or face a $50/mismatch penalty.

But then again, why does Mr. Klein care? The Form 1099 information reporting was only part of ObamaCare as a budget gimmick to pretend this monstrosity was paid for.

Posted by: ElmerStoup | March 8, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

It's no surprise that republicans policy initiatives make government less efficeint, and has a goal of making people think less of government. They did this with welfare reform, which if we repealed welfare reform we could increase the number of people on welfare by 100% without increasing costs by two cents.

Posted by: mynameisblehbleh | March 8, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

er, uh, efficency would be not having the idiotic reporting needed in the first place but again as we all know the Democrats were scrambling for revenues to try to show it was deficit neutral so here we go. Then after the fact its "overly burdensome" so we should get rid of it.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 8, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

OK -- so there are links to the poverty line. Why not extend them, perhaps an affordable health care surcharge if someone is say 10 times the poverty limit (that would be something like $250K a year), and an additional surcharge if someone is say 40 times the poverty limit (something like $1M). Tell folks the plan is derived from the Republican idea.

Posted by: Barry8 | March 8, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Why don't the rotten bastards just figure out how to do a national sales tax, and knock off the nickel and diming B.S., I mean look folks, we put a man on the moon in 1969, but here we are 42 years later and the losers in congress still can't figure out (or don't want to because some lobbyist is paying them off for sleeping with the congressmans wife) how to screw the American taxpayer fairly, but they have done a great job on figuring out pay and benefits for themselves though, what lovely folks we vote to tell us they are from the government, we're here to help you, yeah right, in a pigs ass, oooppsps sorry Senator Boxer, did not mean to hit so close to the kennel, I mean home.

Posted by: CanIpulltheswitch | March 8, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

If GBMcM whines so much about his job why doesn't he fing one that isn't so "onerous" and taxing on the poor person.

Their comments are typical of short sighted self absorbed people who don't really want to work for a living. I'm certain that GBMcM is one of those that will say we shouldn't leave all this debt on our sainted grandchildren, but probably has no problem with Republican plans to gut programs that will leave our grandkids with polluted air, water, food, and continued reliance on fossil fues and service jobs.

Posted by: ken40 | March 8, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Einsteins are not needed to determine that our tax codes are woefully burdensome and in need of thoughtful reform. Let's hope this latest Republican effort might just be the proverbial straw to effect reform which will bring our country into the sunlight of justice for all.

Thank you, Mr. Klein for your article on this important issue.

Posted by: arlyatMyPost | March 8, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say it was good policy. But if it survives, it won't be the end of the world.

"Before I do business with you, I need your TIN" will become standard and expected.

_______________________________________
And that is precisely the little, incremental bs that is destroying small companies. I have three employees. I have tried, hard as anything, note to just go to contractors for everything, like big business. Guess what, I am really thinking about getting rid of everyone and working out of my house. It's just the little things that make people do stuff like that.

Posted by: Gooddogs | March 8, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Ez, thank you for your opinion. Did not want it; did not need it; and certainly, don't believe it. But, know that you will get a shout out from Obama one of these days! Heck, he might even hire you as one of his community organizers one of these days -- a mini czar of something!!

GO GET A JOB EZ!!

Posted by: wheeljc | March 8, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Did President "Talks" write this? Balderdash.

Posted by: treedbrent | March 8, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

This all seems very simple to me. You get subsidies throughout the year based on your income. You get lucky and your income increases so you have to pay the subsidies back. Where's the problem.

For every contrived scenario where someone will be disadvantaged by the Republican proposals there will be millions that will simply play out as expected.

On the other side the Democrats will save money that has not already been spent, ie stimulus cash. Why don't they take this cash and pay down some of the debt. Sorry, according to major liberals like Michael Moore there is no debt. Why don't we simply follow Mr Moore's suggestion and take it from tax paying Americans.

Posted by: mckenna7 | March 8, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

People who are barely above the poverty level cannot afford to pay an increased subsidy. Even if their incomes increase during the course of the year, they would remain in a difficult economic situation. Also, it appears the payback situation would result in a paperwork nightmare for all concerned. Democrats, please vote no to subsidy paybacks!

Posted by: nikki163 | March 8, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Dear Ezra,

Since you have obviously never owned a business, you have no clue what a non-productive burden this would have placed on all small businesses.

Most of the so-called revenue increases, would be from penalizing and hounding the business for non-compliance with this draconian law, not actual additional taxes collected by implementing this law.

The IRS is hated enough, without having to make them enforce another hair-brained scheme law, dreamed up by congress.

Posted by: bruce22 | March 8, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm really glad to hear that a family won't have to pay back any money if the wife gets a better paying job instead of the husband. Sheesh, Mr. Klein - I expect better from you.

Posted by: esq19 | March 8, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Sounds reasonable enough to me. There should be no subsidies in the first place and the Medicaid expansion should also be repealed.

Posted by: chrojo01 | March 8, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Its really hard to care about health care when Republicans are busy stripping away workers rights, defunding OSHA,the EPA, NOAA and any other government agency that attempts to disseminate scientific facts and evidence based policy. Next we will be arguing about whether or not the constitution is real or simply a hoax foisted on the American people by those pesky liberals.

Posted by: tryreason | March 8, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

hey izzie best news i have read from you now we can get rid of the over 1000 exemptions to the law given mostly to obama cronies and unions (or both the same thing) we need to start over and take the best of obamacare (portability, children up to 26, no preconditions) and make a bill of 300 pages or less which anyone and everyone should read and not give exemptions to cadillac union or employer packages for taxes also get rid of berwick a waste of a doctor who treats paper and not patients please note that England and Canada are changing from Obama medicine to American medicine why should we follow a failed program

Posted by: drjeffkunkes | March 8, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Who dislike the Healthcare bill?

Facts: Those against the Healthcare are the ones who insurance already.

Fact: Insurance companies who now can't drop people once they get sick. Thats why people have insurance not for when they are healthy.

fact: Republicans turds in washington who have gov't healthcare.

Posted by: Realistic5 | March 8, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

And why would a Hill staffers care, pray tell?
Sounds like the authors of the bill are taking this personally...

Posted by: kingtroll3 | March 8, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Why not just go to a value added tax or a flat tax and then we can do away with 15,000 pages of regulations and the IRS. That should save about 300 or so billion a year. It would also increase the income. Too bad our accountants in washington can not figure that our. Small buwsinesses need about 100 or so laws recinded for them until they become as big as the bad corporations. The corporations pay for ways around them while the small businesses can not afford that.
BTW When i saw small i mean less than 1 million gross per year and less than 10 employees. I have to put up a wall just to hold all the manatory posters. Wake up America

Posted by: tkearns | March 8, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Ezra says: "Under their proposed policy, a family with income at 225 percent of the poverty line who needed subsidies for the first half of the year but canceled them mid-year when the husband got a better job could get a bill for more than $4,500 at the end of the year."

CPBB says: "Families with incomes between 200 percent and 250 percent of the poverty line would pay up to $1,500 (rather than $1,000)"

Ezra: $4500
CPBB: $1500

Somebody is wrong here. Who is right?

Posted by: asudnik | March 8, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Klein is simply confirming that the Affordable Health Care Act is a big mess created in a cloak and dagger manner by Nancy, Harry and friends.
The 1099 fiasco was the first big realization that they didn't know what they were doing.
If people are turned off by the whole bait and switch that is occurring already based upon all the either "unread" or not understood aspects of the HCR, then GREAT!!
Let's get rid of the monstrosity and let Obamacare begin again with the promised transparency that has not yet occurred.

Don't try to cover with more of the nonsense that Mr. Klein is pushing.
Pathetic maneuver.

Posted by: pjcafe | March 8, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

ken40 - you appear to have completely misread my comments. For the record, the 1099 reporting requirements (if they survive) will be an annoyance, then a minor annoyance, not the horrendous burden so many predict. But it's also a pretty lousy way to track down tax cheats.

Posted by: GBMcM | March 8, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope Ezra Klein is reading some of the comments written here.
Maybe he can share the reactions he is receiving with his friends Bill Maher and Chris Matthews.

Between the three of them they will be able to create another scam to push on American taxpayers in order to defend Obamacare.

Talk about deceptive, disingenuous, biased reporting. What a bunch Ezra and his guys are.

As Ezra and Bill Maher seemed to agree on Maher's foul-mouthed cable show, Americans just need to redistribute their (meager, hard-earned) "wealth." That will solve the problem - just let government have whatever they want from our savings -- we can trust our gov't to do the right thing.

Posted by: pjcafe | March 8, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"Affordable Care Act"????....oh, you mean OBAMACARE.

Impeach Obama.

Posted by: JCM-51 | March 8, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Ah, so now we are getting a REAL LOOK at the HEALTH "DEAL," THAT IS NOT!

A 3.8% TAX ON SALE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES when seniors so frequently downsize to better enjoy the "NEST EGG."
That would be $3,800 on every $100,000,

Not to worry? The chaotic fiscal management of Treasury Secetary Geitner has allowed the housing market to disintegrate rather than stay on top of the issues of deliberate practices of financial institutions to thwart short sales to avert foreclosures; or to modify mortgage payments to avoid foreclosures; or to oversee refinancing and reign in Credit Bureau and the clear comraderie with financial institutions because lower scores equate to higher fees, costs, and interest rates.

Posted by: SavvyRead | March 8, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh what the heck...repeal the whole health care bill and then end all Medicaid monies going to all the states from the federal government, and let the states figure it out for themselves. When they have to raise taxes on their people to cover their people without health care maybe they'll wise up to a national health care system that doesn't involve a private company having to ante up health care for their employees (while their true mission should be making their product) or another company(insurance) getting rich off of people needing health insurance. What a sick system we have.

Posted by: Sherry91 | March 8, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Any bill regardless of its intent, that provides subsidies for people making $77,000 dollars a year, is just plain a bad bill in the first place. If this idiocy doesn't break the country (and it will), then it will certainly break a lot of productive citizens ( and that is certain ). This bill is ignorant, written to fail, and passed politically by a failing party. (and it will fail). The bill doesn't even accomplish its original purpose of insuring all citizens. It is estimated by the democrats themselves that over 30 million will still be uninsured at the end of the first 10 years. It is time to dump this bill, shred it and never look back.

Posted by: texian1 | March 8, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

We already knew that House Republicans are total shills for our corrupt Medical/Pharma cabal; it's shameful that some Democrats are joining them in this sleazy practice. I guess it's the same old same old; money talks and big money talks loudest!

Posted by: JONWINDY | March 8, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Better yet, why not pass one that's legal per the constitution ? Ah, gee that's a thought.
Create a health care law that is optional & affordable. That way, anyone who wants healthcare can buy it.

Posted by: garybelcher1 | March 8, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive (Sir Walter Scott).

As Nancy P said presciently, in gist, we have to pass this bill before we know what's in it.

As we come to know what's in it we've come to believe that Pelosi/Reid/Obama set out to deceive by, inter al., saying $500 billion would come out of Medicare (apparently waiting to forward a budget with that $500 billion still there).

Anything at all that might be done to facilitate the repeal of this infamous legislation would of course be more than welcome, to the nation a boon--and then some!

Posted by: Gonzage1 | March 8, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, you're cute, but your writing s*cks.

Posted by: rpcv84 | March 8, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

You're worried about collecting a TIN? In any country with a value added tax (coming soon to America in order to help balance the budget) the TIN is required on each and every invoice, and VAT taxes are due each month.

Posted by: jackintheboxjf | March 8, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

The 1099 provision is an abomination.

And if they want to raise taxes on business, then raise them.

Instead, the 1099 provision is widely understood to be a kind of stalking-horse to bring in a VAT tax.

Its an overreaching government at its worst.

Ezra knows this, but he's "playing" dumb.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 8, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, that's right. It's gummint paperwork, so it's really, really burdensome"

You're missing the point. If you bought a case of paper at Staples, you'd 1099 them. Stop for a burger at the airport on that business report. 1099 them. That cab? 1099 them. The airline? Yep, 1099 them. The breakfast at Denny's, yep, 1099 them.

If you think that's really a great idea, then you must've thought the novel 1984 had a happy ending.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 8, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

"You're worried about collecting a TIN? In any country with a value added tax (coming soon to America in order to help balance the budget) the TIN is required on each and every invoice, and VAT taxes are due each month"

Thank you for confirming this was all about trying to get a VAT in place to charge us when we make our money and when we spend it.

The sooner these kinds of people go away from Washington, the sooner the economy will recover.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 8, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

It is because of machinations like this that government should never be involved in the first place.

Posted by: bryanread | March 8, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

"Let's pass this bill so we can see what is in it." Hey Nancy and your legion of ill prepared minions, like opening a septic tank and then not prepared for the stench of the contents? Every month or so since the Democrats alone passed this legislation, there is a lot of stench being revealed, and like the fools and simpletons most are as supporters, if the Democrats themselves don't add more to the mess, the Republicans will equally dump their quick fix but equally stool laden contents of alleged fixes.

Hey, you know what they say about everyone's fecal material, just ask your nose! Except in this case it came from alleged brains of consultants and experts in various fields to aid the health care industry. But, health care is NOT an industry, and unfortunately, politicians don't know or understand that, do they?

Hmmm, why is it fairly much every "industry" government gets involved in ends up looking and smelling like a septic tank? Could it be that is what politicians add to the mix!?

Posted by: Joelhassfam4 | March 8, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Is this opinion or reporting? I see nothing indicating it to be opinion, so the last sentence is inappropriate. A paper concerned with a reputation for integrity would not run it, so no surprise navel-gazing WaPo does. Disgusting. I thought Brauchli was supposed to be a solid newspaperman, but WaPo has significantly declined on his watch. Salon, anyone?

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 8, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

This bill is so flawd, the Administration has already granted 1040 waivers to companies all across America!!!! As Pelousi said, "we have to pass it to know what's in it".

Well now we know and it ain't good!!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 8, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, I love your commentary, but the gender bias in the language of this piece doesn't live up to your sterling intellect. In both of your examples, the primary income earner is a man. A breadwinner needs not be a "he." As the son of an executive mom and a stay-at-home dad, and as the boyfriend of women who were med-students, helicopter pilots, and farmers, I ask that you consider your pronouns carefully before you post them.

This might seem a trivial point in the context of the healthcare debate, but these things matter.

Posted by: notfloats | March 8, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"A breadwinner needs not be a "he.""

Note that proper English usage is "he" as a neutral pronoun.

Note also that the word "History" is also gender neutral.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 8, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

As someone who has run several small businesses, I don't really get how the 1099 requirement is so "onerous." No one does bookkeeping by hand anymore. In any accounting program, you click on the area that says "print 1099's" and you're done. All the information was already entered to cut the checks to pay your bills. So low-income folks are about to get scr*wed and support for ACA will diminish to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

Posted by: akindependent | March 8, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

"So low-income folks are about to get scr*wed"

A person losing access to a subsidy - losing access because he makes too much to qualify, to a subsidy forced out of his neighbor's pocket - is getting screwed. Got it.

"support for ACA will diminish"

A feature, not a bug.

Posted by: justin84 | March 8, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

"A breadwinner needs not be a "he.""

Note that proper English usage is "he" as a neutral pronoun.

Note also that the word "History" is also gender neutral.
>****
Thanks, Ombudsman1, there are many very sensitive individuals that think that every thing is racist, or nonPC, or gender biased. I hope they will grow up some day.

Posted by: papamckie | March 9, 2011 12:14 AM | Report abuse

The Affordable Health Care Act aka Obamacare is affordable to whom? You!

Obama promised that Obamacare would lower health insurance premiums.

Is your health insurance premiums increasing or decreasing?

If you are a government employee please disregard the question, since the taxpayers pay for your health insurance.

Posted by: Chuck8764 | March 9, 2011 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the White House should send a message to the Senate leadership to check this out and not give away the store.

Posted by: ronjeske | March 9, 2011 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Some of you need to find out what happens in the real world. My wife and I live on a retirement income of $2500 a month. Medicare and health insurance is $325 a month which is 12% of our income and does not include copays for medicine and doctors. We are lucky not to have to pay rent. I am 70 and my wife is 67 and hopefully we don't outlive our small savings. We pay $139 a month for health insurance which is secondary and pays very little on dr. bills but does pay for medicine after reaching the decuctible. I think this country needs to do something about health care.

Posted by: nspg01 | March 9, 2011 3:00 AM | Report abuse

The whole underlying theory behind the 1099 scheme was a fraud. There is no 20 billion.

And, take note Democrats, it isn't a zero sum game. If it was, why aren't the Republicans raising taxes to cover the gaps their budget created. Don't play into Republican hands by buying into that.

The 20 billion didn't exist, never has, and doesn't have to be replaced.

If you believe you want to replace that myth, eliminate any tax breaks given to companies who have moved jobs over seas, or across the borders, during the past 25 years.

Posted by: JohninConnecticut | March 9, 2011 7:09 AM | Report abuse

its amazing to me that we can think people getting $450 Billion PER YEAR are getting screwed.

Do me a favor and screw me like that will ya.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 9, 2011 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Government healthcare is just underfunded healthcare eventually run by the government.

"You're too fat. Lose 20 lbs. or have your healthcare privileges suspended."

"Motorcycle injuries are expensive. Stop riding your bike or have your privileges suspended."

"You need knee replacement surgery, but since your lifestyle (overeating) is part of what got you there, just settle with taking these pain pills instead."

What government can give you, government can take away. If government controls your healthcare, government controls YOU.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | March 9, 2011 9:35 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats must want to rob everyone blind just to bankroll Obamacare!...God help us,if Mittens Romney ever get elected
President as Romneycare will send us all to
the poorhouse even faster yet now then!

Posted by: Jan1977 | March 9, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

What cracks me up is these are responses to a left-wing columnist and 90% of the comments are from clear thinking, pragmatic individuals that are easily poking HUGE holes in this poor excuse of legislative output. The few liberal posts that try and defend Obamacare have little to do with the reality of complying with just one item in the 2000 pages. Pathetic.

Blow it up. Start with Tort Reform and competition in every State for Insurance Coverage and then start talking reform. Anything short of that will be a train-wreck like this Bill is.

Posted by: BillyD | March 9, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Yawn. All irrelevant. SCotUS is going to flush the entire law anyway. Remember, the non-severability clause written into the HC law.

Posted by: illogicbuster | March 10, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company