Below you see an abstract of a paper that is far too long to copy here but one should take a look at what I think is a well-reasoned interpretation of Constitutional Law. I read Health Care is not a right. I think it is!
Before the the articles on health care I wanted to give you this article on the record-breaking corporate tax cuts being given to the rich as we watch societal quality of life decline and people are dying,.....
Top U.S. tax breaks to cost $12 trillion over decade, benefit wealthy: CBO
WASHINGTON | Wed May 29, 2013 8:52pm EDT
(Reuters) - The top ten tax deductions, credits and exclusions will keep $12 trillion out of federal government coffers over the next decade, and several of them mainly benefit the wealthiest Americans, a new study from the Congressional Budget Office shows.
The top 20 percent of income earners will reap more than half of the $900 billion in benefits from these tax breaks that will accrue in 2013, the non-partisan CBO said on Wednesday.
Further, 17 percent of the total benefits would go to the top 1 percent of income earners -- families earning roughly $450,000 or more. The same group that was hit with a tax rate hike in January.
The benefits of preferential tax rates on capital gains and dividends, a break worth $161 billion this year, go almost entirely to the wealthy, including 68 percent to the top one percent of earners.
House Democrats, who requested that Congress' budget referee conduct the study, argued that it backs up President Barack Obama's proposed approach to tax reform and deficit reduction: raise revenues by limiting the amount tax preferences for the wealthy.
"This shows that we could achieve a significant amount of deficit reduction by limiting the preferences to the highest income earners," said Representative Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
Although the study did not provide income thresholds, U.S. Census Bureau data for 2011 shows the top 20 percent of household income extends to down to $101,582, a level that is considered middle-class in many parts of the United States. The lowest quintile topped out at $20,262 in the Census data.
But the study also showed that benefits for the largest of the tax preferences, the exclusion for employer-paid health benefits, worth $3.4 trillion over 10 years, are more evenly distributed, with well over half of the benefits going to the middle 60 percent of earners.
The middle 20 percent of earners also got the biggest benefit from excluding a portion of Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits, a perk worth $414 billion over 10 years.
Three other big tax breaks, the $2 trillion exclusion of net pension contributions and earnings over 10 years, the $1 trillion deduction for mortgage interest and the $1.1 trillion deduction for state and local taxes, also benefited the top 20 percent disproportionately.
Representative Sander Levin, the highest ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, the panel that is trying to advance tax reform this year, said the study shows that Republicans would have to greatly reduce tax breaks that benefit the middle class in order to achieve their goals of reducing tax rates and balancing the budget.
"The CBO report underscores the need to go beyond the rhetoric of lowering tax rates without indication of how that would be achieved or the implications for economic growth and tax equity," Levin said.
A spokesperson for Ways and Means Committee's Republican Chairman, Dave Camp, could not immediately be reached for comment on the study.
Republicans want to reform the tax code by eliminating certain deductions, credits and exclusions, but they do not want to divert any resulting revenues toward deficit reduction. Instead they want to use the savings to lower rates, which they say will accelerate economic growth and increase revenue collection.
Democrat Van Hollen said his favored approach would be to limit the total amount of deductions for the top 2 percent of income earners, or families earning $250,000 or more, while leaving intact much of the top 10 tax breaks, which also include deductions for charitable contributions and tax credits for earned income and children.
These latter two tax breaks, which are largely aimed at the working poor, provide two thirds of their $118 billion in 2013 benefits to the lowest 40 percent of wage earners, the CBO said in the study. Over 10 years, these two credits will cost $1.2 trillion.
Am J Bioeth. 2001 Spring;1(2):2-16.
Justice, health, and healthcare. Daniels N. Source Tufts University, USA.
Abstract Healthcare (including public health) is special because it protects normal functioning, which in turn protects the range of opportunities open to individuals. I extend this account in two ways. First, since the distribution of goods other than healthcare affect population health and its distribution, I claim that Rawls's principles of justice describe a fair distribution of the social determinants of health, giving a partial account of when health inequalities are unjust. Second, I supplement a principled account of justice for health and healthcare with an account of fair process for setting limits of rationing care. This account is provided by three conditions that comprise "accountability for reasonableness."
PROTECTING EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY
Maryland is a state that loves to ignore all that involves equality of opportunity. We have tiered this and tiered that,....so it is no surprise that Maryland was ready to deny access to care and allow people to die so health institutions can be profitable. Below you see the malpractice law that protects doctors from high malpractice costs. It takes away the jury's duty to set awards.
Maryland Malpractice Insurance Market Summary
Prior to tort reform Maryland physicians experienced skyrocketing premiums for their medical professional liability insurance. The insurance market was unstable and some carriers withdrew from it altogether. Over the years, beginning in 2005, the malpractice insurance has become stabilized; meaningful tort reform was passed in 2005 acting as the catalyst for stabilizing the medical malpractice insurance market in Maryland. Currently there are a number of admitted and non-admitted stock insurance companies, mutual insurers, and risk retention groups actively writing medical professional liability insurance competing for their piece of the $280,000,000 premium pie. The dominant physician insurer is Medical Mutual of Maryland insuring approximately 44% of the Maryland marketplace. There hasn’t been much competition historically save for the last six to seven years when other physician insurers began insuring Maryland physicians.
We’re anticipating the addition of 1-2 more insurers within the next 24 months. These market changes should bring the needed downward pressure on physicians’ and surgeons’ annual premiums for malpractice insurance.
Maryland Tort Reform
In 2004 the Maryland House of Representatives introduced the Maryland Patients’ Access to Quality Health Care Act of 2004. It was a struggle to eventually get this bill passed. Maryland experienced a big scare with the threat some large physician and surgical groups leaving their Maryland practices altogether with the struggle peaking when the bill was vetoed by the then Governor of Maryland. Eventually, however, in the first quarter of 2005 HB2 was passed and became law. One of the most important aspects of this bill was the cap it placed on “non-economic” damages. For incidents occurring between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008 the non-economic damages were limited to $650,000. Beginning in 2009 this cap automatically increases by $15,000. Currently for 2013 the non-economic damage cap for medical liability suits is $725,000.
In addition to the non-economic damage cap, the following provisions are included in House Bill 2 (Maryland Tort Reform):
- Statute of limitation: (1) Five years from date of incident or (2) three years from the date of discovery
- Letter of Merit required to prove medical malpractice
- Joint and Several Liability
We hear that Health Care is not protected under the Constitution. I dare say it would fall under guarantees of Life and Liberty.
If we have courts ruling against capping malpractice awards as violation of equal protection, then we need to look at the legality of denying care, especially since many of the people failing into little or no health care will be people of color and seniors.....RACE AND AGE DISCRIMINATION.
Equal protection and special legislation
 In 2005, a Wisconsin court ruled that a $350,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases violates the state's equal protection guarantee. In Ferdon v. Wisconsin Patient's Compensation Fund, the court ruled that there was no rational relationship between the objectives identified by the legislature that were intended to prevent a medical liability crisis in Wisconsin and treating people with more severe injuries and higher non-economic damage awards different from people with lower non-economic damage awards.
The Illinois Supreme Court found in the 1997 case Best v. Taylor Machine Works found that a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages was (in addition to serving as a "legislative remittitur") special legislation that made an arbitrary distinction between those who sustained major noneconomic damages in a single tort versus multiple tortious actions and between those that suffered minor amounts of noneconomic damages versus amounts about the $500,000 cap (such as a plaintiff who becomes permanently disabled).
In the 2010, case Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Section 2-1706.5 of Public Act 94-677, which placed caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice actions, violated the separation of powers clause in the Illinois Constitution and was therefore facially invalid. Additionally, because Public Act 94-677 contains an inseverability provision, the entire Act was held void and invalid in its entirety.
According to Covered California, a “Bronze” plan from the exchange with nearly the same benefits, including a slightly lower out-of-pocket maximum of $6,350, will cost him between $245 and $270 a month. That’s anywhere from 38 percent to 53 percent more than he’ll have to pay this year for comparable coverage! Sounds a lot different than the possible 29 percent “decrease” touted by Covered California in their faulty comparison.
A Society of Actuaries report released Tuesday forecasted that medical costs could rise by nearly a third across the country under the federal health reform mandates. For Marylanders who buy insurance individually, rather than through their employers, costs could rise by more than two-thirds, the society said. The increase will be driven by more chronically ill people gaining access to coverage as healthy people opt to pay the penalty for lacking insurance, the report said.
The Bronze plan is the lowest cost plan for those under 30. Imagine, you will pay $3,000 a year for a plan that will cap your cost to $6,350 out of pocket on care. So, if you have a moderately serious health incident you will have paid $10,000 in health care costs that year. Anything less will put you into the category of Medicaid or preventative care only. Remember the state calls it insurance, but it does not cover hospital care.
Demanding a new healthcare system
Demanding a new healthcare system
Which brings me also to the ACA. As stated in our policy on the DUH website, we do not support the ACA, nor do we condemn it in its entirety, recognizing that there are a few provisions that have been implemented that are beneficial to average Americans. But we will not perpetuate the falsehoods, myths, and dangers of the tsunami of "spin" that surrounds it and all posts that do will be deleted. If you're an ACA advocate, this is not the page for you, but there are many other pages where you'll be welcome.
Last but not least, a big change in DUH plans is currently in development and will be announced on this page, the DUH main page, and the DUH website, so watch for that in the next two weeks.
One of the greatest things I've learned since starting on my DUH path is that there are an amazing number of people out there who, by choice, circumstance, or experience, are dedicated healthcare advocates who care deeply and work in whatever ways they can to finally get the U.S. to join the rest of the developed (and even some of the developing) world in recognizing that for-profit capitalism will never work when it comes to healthcare. It has been a joy, an honor, and an inspiration to meet you through Facebook and the website and even in person and I look forward to continuing the journey with you!
People who once simply went to public health institutions like the University of Maryland Medical Center for access to ordinary procedures are being written out by private health system rules that move that state expense to these 'public insurance plans' that only allow access to preventative care....THEY ARE DOING THIS BECAUSE GOVERNMENT COFFERS HAVE BEEN GUTTED BY FRAUD AND CORPORATE TAX EVASION AND THESE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS ARE NOW SEEN AS CORPORATIONS MAKING PROFIT!
It is disgusting and the politicians behind these policies are guilty of murder!
Why support free health clinics? ‘We don’t have time to waste, people are dying’
Morgan Whitaker, @morganwinn8:45 PM on 05/29/2013
0 On Wednesday, Dr. Rani Whitfield, known as the “Hip Hop Doctor,” joined Rev. Sharpton on PoliticsNation to talk about why he’s become a passionate advocate for helping uninsured Americans get access to the health care through his work with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.
“I’m in a state that has one of the highest uninsured rates in the country,” he told Sharpton. “We’ve got the help these people. People are dying from largely treatable and preventable diseases.”
Protecting the uninsured is even harder in the 19 states opposing the Medicaid expansion included in Obamacare that helps to give health care access to many needy Americans who don’t qualify for Medicaid but often still need help with health coverage.
Governor Bobby Jindal has been a staunch opponent of the expansion in Louisiana, which would insure 214,000 people in the state and bring $15.8 billion in federal funding for the program.
“That’s why I’m so proud to be a part of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, we’re going to be able to provide health care–the safety net,” he said. ”While these politicians continue to bicker and fuss and fight about what they won’t do or what they’re not going to support, we’re going to provide health care to individuals free of charge.”
“We don’t have time to waste, people are dying,” he said.
As Rev. Sharpton explained on the show, the clinic needs viewer support to get that job done.
“Many people say to me all over the country, ‘What can I do to help?’ You need to take this opportunity where people have stepped out and have put themselves on the line to provide free health care to people who are not lazy, who are not doing nothing, who are not beggars, but just need help. Whatever you can do, whatever you can donate–we cannot live in a country where Americans who just don’t make enough to insure themselves, but suffer from diseases, can’t depend on other Americans to say ‘we’re a nation that helps each other.’ I want you to help fellow Americans. This is beyond politics. This is beyond ideology. This is beyond religious. This is looking in the mirror, saying ‘I’m doing something to help somebody in need. That is who I am, that is who I want to be.’”
We are not being told that the goal of Affordable Care Act is consolidation of the health industry into global corporations. As Johns Hopkins University in Maryland famously said....these private health system policies have already started to make Maryland health businesses profitable. LOOK TO SEE THAT THEY ARE ALL EXPANDING OVERSEAS AS THE GOAL IS PROFITS BY EXCLUDING ACCESS AND QUALITY CARE. Hopkins is a private non-profit that expanded all over the world mostly on taxpayer grants. Now these institutions are calling for laws that allow them to patent research at universities making them corporations.
ASKED TO PAY TAXES IN A CITY WHERE THEY OWN A GREAT DEAL OF REAL ESTATE.....JOHNS HOPKINS SAID 'NO THANK YOU'.
May 30, 2013 12:11 PM
By Ben Eisler, Terrell Brown Scroll
(CBS News) The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center -- named one of the ten best hospitals in the nation by U.S. News -- cares for the sick and saves lives.
As a non-profit organization, it also receives a tax break. But in recent months there have been questions raised as to whether the hospital acts more like a corporation, reaping big profits and driving up health care costs.
According to an audited financial statement, UPMC made $948 million in profits from 2011-2012. And while tax returns show it spends just two percent of its yearly budget on charity care, the hospital receives a state and federal tax break of about $200 million, according to city estimates. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is suing to revoke its non-profit status. His city stands to gain $20 million a year.
"I think they're going to be hard pressed to prove how they're operating the same way as the Little Sisters of the Poor or the Catholic Church, true genuine non-profits. UPMC? I'm afraid not," Ravenstahl told "CBS This Morning."
The mayor said he was also surprised to learn that UPMC's CEO, Jeffrey Romoff, makes almost $6 million a year. That makes him the highest paid CEO of any large nonprofit hospital in the U.S., according to a recent analysis by TIME. Romoff also has more than a dozen administrators that take in annual salaries of over $1 million, and according to the city, he has access to a private chef, chauffeur, and a jet, as well as one of the most expensive office spaces in Pittsburgh.
Professor Martin Gaynor of Carnegie Mellon has published papers on hospitals that enjoy non-profit status but do not always function like charities.
"There's a lot of concern here in the community," Gaynor told "CBS This Morning."
"They've taken some actions that don't appear to be consistent with an organization whose mission is to benefit the community."
Some of UPMC's funds are directed at facility improvement, but Gaynor has concerns about even some of that spending. He likened the new, state-of-the-art pediatric center to a palace.
"It's a tremendous asset to the community," he said. "On the other hand...one has to ask whether it was so important to make it so beautiful, or whether some of those dollars could've been used to better purpose -- to offer lower prices to members of the community, to offer more charity care."
While non-profits are required to serve the community, UPMC has closed hospitals in poorer neighborhoods and opened them in more affluent ones, claiming the hospitals they closed were underutilized.
Some of the concerns in Pittsburgh have been echoed across the country. America's hospitals have been growing. The bigger they get, the more power they have -- to set prices and force insurers to pay more. Patients foot the bill via higher premiums, copays, and deductibles. It's one factor behind the nation's increasing health care costs.
"At the end of the day, when hospitals charge higher prices, who pays for them?" Gaynor asked. "Dollar for dollar, the rest of us."
UPMC declined an interview request from "CBS This Morning" as part of this report. After the story aired, hospital spokesman Paul Wood claimed on the radio station KDKA that there is no chauffeur or private chef, and that the local tax break is actually $15 million. Their own website however, references an "executive kitchen," that serves thousands of guests every year.
Hospital spokesman Paul Wood also responded on YouTube to the mayor's lawsuit challenging its non-profit status. He argued that more than 2 percent of UPMC's budget goes to charity, if research and Medicaid patients are included in the calculation.