Healthcare Business News

Other Voices

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: January 26, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

Not a nation of takers

“President Barack Obama began his second term … with a speech that recalled the words of the founders and civil rights pioneers to challenge the American people to come together to realize the dreams of earlier generations.

The newly elected president hit an appropriately high tone for an inaugural address on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. It had lines inspired by Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. A common theme was the idea that 'We, the people' are united in a noble cause to build a great nation. Now he must maintain those lofty principles as he goes to work to fill in the details of the plans he broadly outlined. …

He struck a defiant tone on preserving healthcare and economic security for retirees, a safety net for the unemployed, the disabled or disadvantaged.

In response to those who disparage 'entitlement' programs, the president said: 'The commitments we make to each other—through Medicare, and Medicaid and Social Security—these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.' ”

—Des Moines Register

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Bill comes due for RomneyCare

“The health reform that Mitt Romney passed in 2006 in Massachusetts presaged President (Barack) Obama's, and its results are showing what we can expect nationwide. The latest warning comes in a huge new tax increase proposed by Governor Deval Patrick.

The second-term Democrat followed his party's recent habit and proposed an increase in the state's single-rate income tax to 6.25% from 5.25%, the first in more than 20 years. The Bay State constitution requires a flat rate, so the governor is sticking it to all taxpayers.

Mr. Patrick will try to add progressivity by raising the personal exemption, which taxpayer groups will challenge as unconstitutional. His plan would also eliminate 45 income-tax deductions, for such things as the capital-gains exemption on the sale of a home, adoption fees and college scholarships. This is the left's idea for tax reform: raise rates and limit deductions—a revenue twofer.

Mr. Patrick says the money will fund the usual array of liberal programs. But this is salesmanship to disguise that the state's real spending driver is the exploding cost of RomneyCare. That law was supposed to save the state money.”

—Wall Street Journal

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