In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom…
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Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living

In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index's invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:

 …[more]

May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

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How to Calculate Your ObamaCare HIT (Health Insurance Tax) Print
By Ashton Ellis
Wednesday, May 21 2014
Only a fool would suppose an insurance company will simply donate part of its profits to fulfilling the Obama administration’s social engineering demands.

What’s so affordable about a health care law that imposes $100 billion in sales taxes on consumers?

That’s the question being asked by small business owners as they prepare to start paying ObamaCare’s health insurance tax or HIT.

HIT is a sales tax imposed on each policy sold in the fully covered insurance market. The tax is projected to yield $8 billion in 2014, $14.3 billion by 2018 and rise steadily thereafter, according to AHIP, a health insurance trade association. A study by the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the tax will generate more than $100 billion in revenue for the U.S. Treasury within ten years.

Similar ten-year windows project spending increases for individuals, families and small businesses. Those purchasing health insurance in the individual market are likely to face increases averaging $2,150 for a single person and $5,080 for family coverage. Small employers will see premiums to cover employees spike an average of $2,760 for individuals and $6,830 for families.

Self-employed workers may be forced to buy a less comprehensive plan in order to apply the savings toward paying the gradually increasing sales tax. Small businesses are weighing how to budget for the increase and stay profitable. 

One possible solution is to switch to insurance plans with higher deductibles in order to shift the higher costs to employees. Another is to stop hiring new workers, as 34 percent of small business owners are doing, according to the NSBA’s 2014 Health Care Survey. Fifteen percent of those polled “plan to drop coverage in the coming year – up from just two percent who reported dropping coverage in the last year.”

Because of HIT’s steadily increasing bite, employers may feel compelled to cut their losses now to avoid more painful decisions later. If not repealed, HIT could reduce private-sector employment through 2022 by as many as 262,000 jobs, according to estimates by the National Federation of Independent Business.

Ostensibly, the tax is levied on insurance companies, but a variety of studies and economic common sense predict that the increased costs will be passed onto buyers in one form or another.

Economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum explains, “[I]t is important to distinguish between the statutory incidence of the premium tax – the legal responsibility to remit the tax to the Treasury – and the economic incidence – the loss in real income as a result of the tax.

“Insurance companies will have to send the premium tax payments to the Treasury, so the statutory incidence is obvious. However, a basic lesson of tax policy is that people pay taxes; firms do not.”

In this way, HIT is similar to the economically illiterate solution regarding ObamaCare’s contraception mandate, which requires that insurance companies provide access to birth control but prohibits them from charging client-employers who register a religious or moral objection.

Only a fool would suppose an insurance company will simply donate part of its profits to fulfilling the Obama administration’s social engineering demands. Rather, the price of providing contraception coverage will still be passed onto client-employers, just without bothering to list the specific reason on the bill.

Similar cost-shifting will occur with ObamaCare’s HIT.

To calculate the cost of HIT, individuals and small business owners can visit a website operated by Stop the HIT, an advocacy group supporting repeal of the health insurance tax.

HIT has already inspired two pieces of legislation that would repeal it, including a bipartisan House bill co-sponsored by Reps. Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Jim Matheson (D-UT).

Even liberals are waking up to the fact that the price of health insurance under ObamaCare is anything but affordable.

Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
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Notable Quote   
 
"The trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann crossed a critical threshold Friday when a key witness uttered the name 'Hillary Clinton' in conjunction with a plan to spread the false Alfa Bank Russian collusion claim before the 2016 presidential election.For Democrats and many in the media, Hillary Clinton has long held a Voldemort-like status as 'She who must not be named' in scandals…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
— Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
 
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