Posts tagged ‘Kaiser Family Foundation’

Most Obscene Example of Promoting Government Dependency I Have Ever Seen

We are going to cancel the health care policies of millions of middle class Americans, then raise their rates, and then give half of them taxpayer subsidies so it seems like they got a rate cut.

Industry experts like Larry Levitt, of the Kaiser Family Foundation, say the insurance companies have no choice. "What we're seeing now is reality coming into play," he said.

Obamacare forces them to drop many of their plans that don't meet the law's 10 minimum standards, including maternity care, emergency visits, mental health treatment and even pediatric dental care.

That means consumers have to sign on to new plans even if they don't want or need the more generous coverage. Industry experts say about half the people getting the letters will pay more -- and half will pay less, thanks to taxpayer subsidies. Levitt said, "The winners outnumber the losers here, but because of all the website problems, it's hard to find out who the winners are because they don't even know it themselves."

Millions of middle class people who were independent and paid for their own health insurance will soon be wards of the state.

 

And You Thought The Solyndra Handouts Were Over

Via the WSJ, the Solyndra scam continues

Having sold off its manufacturing plant, fired nearly 1,000 workers and proven the non-viability of its business model, Solyndra's only real assets are what the IRS calls "tax attributes." These are between $875 million and $975 million in net operating losses that can reduce future taxable income, which the IRS values as high as $350 million. Before it went toes up, Solyndra also accumulated $12 million in solar tax credits that can reduce tax liabilities dollar for dollar.

Tax-loss carry-forwards are routine but worthless if a company can't turn profits to pay taxes on. So Solyndra's owners are asking the court to liquidate the rest of the business and contribute a net $6.7 million to pay off creditors for pennies on the dollar. A holding corporation will then emerge from Chapter 11 that won't make products or employ workers, but it will get the Solyndra tax offsets.

The dummy company is owned by Argonaut Ventures I LLC, Solyndra's largest shareholder and the primary investment arm of the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Mr. Kaiser is a Tulsa oil billionaire who bundled campaign checks for Mr. Obama in 2008.

Wow, who could have predicted this?   Well, lots of folks, including me just over a year ago.   I actually underestimated the value, assuming the losses would be worth about $150 million in avoided taxes, not the $350 million the IRS now pegs them at.  If I can figure out this game, the Obama Administration had to know what was going on.

If the Administration allows this to happen (and remember that in the GM boondoggle,  Obama waived the traditional rules that have bankrupt companies losing their tax loss carryforwards, giving GM a multi-billion dollar tax subsidy almost no one counts in the bailout costs), this will make Kaiser's last cash investment in Solyndra one of the great crony deals of all time.

If you remember, Kaiser (via Argonaut) invested $75 million as Solyndra was going down the tubes.  No rational person could have thought that amount would have saved the company, and it didn't.  What it bought, we now know, is three things:

  • Kaiser got the US Government to give up their lead creditor position to Kaiser, basically putting the US Government behind the Obama donor to get repaid and reducing the taxpayers' influence in the bankruptcy
  • It gave Kaiser a few precious months to loot the company.  Between that $75 million investment and the bankruptcy, Solyndra sold off most of its liquid assets at a discount to .... Argonaut, the group controlled by Kaiser
  • It looks like Kaiser will get nearly a billion dollars in tax losses that can be used to reduce its future taxes by $350 million.

This Sounds Like A Really Good Plan

The largest government medical insurance program, Medicare, is threatening to nearly bankrupt the federal government with its rising costs that no one in 30 years has figured out how to manage, short of attempts at price controls (controls which are driving doctors out of the business).  Treat with extreme skepticism mystery double-secret methodologies that the Obama administration promises will cut costs 30% when no such savings have ever been achieved in Medicare.

The largest government run medical care organization, the VA, apparently provides awful service and is rife with fraud and errors due to poor accountability.

So, despite 89% of Americans reporting themselves satisfied with their medical care (one of the highest approval ratings for ... anything I have seen out of a poll) we are going to replace our current system with one run by the government.

Outstanding.

Postscript: You will often get quoted enormous numbers (often as high as 47 million) for the uninsured.  This seems to be the driving force behind the felt need for health care change.  But when someone quotes this number to you, ask for the number excluding a) college students; b) people who make over $50,000 a year who could presumably pay for their own coverage; c) illegal immigrants;  d) people transitioning between jobs and e) people already eligible for Medicare/Medicaid but don't bother to sign up until they are actually sick.  You will get a number a LOT lower, closer to 10-15 million.

If we need to do something more to help 10 million or so poor people, then lets help 10 million or so poor people.  Let's not screw up what exists for the other 290 million or so people in this country.  As I wrote before

But health care is different.  The author above is probably correct that some crappy level of terribly run state health care will probably be an improvement for some of the poor.  But what is different about many of the health care proposals on the table is that everyone, not just the poor will get this same crappy level of treatment.  It would be like a public housing program where everyone's house is torn down and every single person must move into public housing. That is universal state-run health care. Ten percent of America gets pulled up, 90% of America gets pulled down, possibly way down.

Health care reform by hatchet, axe, and saw*.

Update: From Doug Ross

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a liberal non-profit frequently quoted by the media, puts the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for current government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 13.9 million and 8.2 million. That is a much smaller figure than the media report and is also subject to "the 45% rule", wherein that percentage will transition to new jobs within a four-month time-frame.