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Votes

A Manufactured Crisis

To the Editor

Visit your local sports equipment store to purchase a $100 fishing pole. You may not know that Medicaid will collect an additional $2.83 in what used to be known as a Federal Excise Tax – reserved for luxury goods and services- now an ObamaCare Medical Devices tax. Buy a new set of tires for $500 and you pay an additional $14.15 on the Medical Devices tax. This is just another, in a long string of hidden provisions of a bad law. Go figure how a new set of tires or a fishing pole is a medical device. The Department of Health and Human Services has asked retailers to not show the tax on your sales receipt! Why an open, transparent Federal Government would ask that is beyond this writer.

Our General Assembly has ended the 2014 Session without passing a balanced budget – a requirement in our Constitution. A special session (passing a clean budget and extending the session) was proposed by the Republican-dominated House. Not good enough for the socialist Governor and Senate – in an irresponsible, cynical move, the socialists demanded No Medicaid – No Budget. Welcome to government by manufactured crisis. The ramifications of this action will have a serious impact on state agencies and our local governments who depend on the state for additional funds. Each of these organizations cannot complete their budgeting process. Sheriff’s deputies, mental health reform, schools, roads, state universities - all in line for modest pay increases are being held hostage. Our teachers have not seen a pay raise in three years. On July 1, 2014, the government effectively stops. We are quite familiar with government shutdowns. In this case, the blame can be laid squarely at the doorstep of the Governor and Senate: ruling on the barest of winning margins in the recent elections. With a 20-20 split in the Senate (the Lieutenant Governor, until recently did not have a tie-breaking vote on budget matters), we will have to suffer through to see who blinks first on this well-documented train wreck. Some prefer to dress up this shameful, morally repulsive tactic describing it as an impasse.

The Medicare expansion proposal (Obamacare in disguise) provides for the Federal Government to subsidize Virginia with a substantial portion of the additional cost for the first three (5?) years. Ask yourself: where are the Federal dollars coming from? Answer: they are borrowed! (The Federal Government just got Congressional concurrence to increase the debt ceiling limit.) You can be sure we taxpayers will wind up paying for it eventually – wondering why the Virginia bubble has burst.

It’s no secret that the current Medicare system in Virginia suffers from as much as 30 percent fraud, waste, and abuse. It badly needs fixing. Do we expect the current Attorney General’s Consumer Affairs Department to fix it? Dream on. Let’s fix what is broken first – then take stock on what we really need for the substantially less number than the WAG 400,000 health-care denied people. In the meantime – No ObamaCare, No WarnerCare, No HowellCare, and No PlumCare!

Jack Kenny

Reston Republican