Various emails about the proposed Health Care Bill – Truth! Fiction! & Disputed!

Various eRumor about the proposed Health Care Bill

Summary of eRumor:

Several emails circulating about the Obama administration’s proposed Universal Health Care bill.   One concern is that the passage of this bill will levy an additional capital gains tax on the sales of homes of 3.8%.

The Truth:
Many eRumors and opinions are still circulating about the Health Care Reform Bill or HR-3200 which was abandoned for a new bill 1990 page bill  HR-3962 titled the  “Affordable Health Care for America Act.”
On December 24, 2009 the Senate passed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” by a yea-nay vote of 60-39.  The House version of the 2409 page bill is HR-3590.  On the afternoon of March 18, 2010 Congress announced that the House posted an additional package, HR-4872 – Reconciliation Act of 2010, that contains 153 pages of fixes to the Healthcare bill.   On March 21, 2010, Congress passed the two bills.

In November 2010 the Republican Party won majority control of Congress on the campaign promise that they would repeal Obamacare.  The new GOP led Congress met on January 19, 2011 to debate the repeal of the Health Care Reform Law.  They voted 245 to 189 in favor to repeal the bill.    The next step for the bill is to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, has vowed to block it.  The text of HR-2 – Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act  can be found at this link: Click for HR-2

The current Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act HR-3590 and the Reconciliation Act of 2010HR-4872 can be viewed on the Thomas Library site:  Click for HR-3590     Click for HR-4872

On October 1, 2013 the Affordable Care Act roll out began with the opening of the long awaited sign up website at The roll out was shaky after a series of website crashes as people tried to investigate their health care options.

A short time later letters from insurance companies began to be sent to nearly 5 million people living in the U.S. notifying them of policy terminations because of new regulations set down by the Affordable care act. When people called the insurance companies they were directed to purchase new policies.
TruthOrFiction.Com has a special report.  Click here for report.

HR-3590 eRumors:

Medical devices sold will now have a  2.3% Excise Tax- Truth!
According to the Internal Revenue Service, “section 4191 of the Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax on the sale of certain medical devices by the manufacturer or importer of the device.”  This is a 2.3 % of the sale price of taxable medical devices and went into effect January 1, 2013.   Some items are exempt from the tax, such as eyeglasses, contact lenses and hearing aids.   According to the Internal Revenue Service, it is the manufacturer or importer of the taxable medical device who is responsible for paying the excise tax, not the consumer.  Customers should not see any added taxes on their sales slips but the cost of the actual item to customers could increase as a result of this excise tax.

Some versions of this rumor include a photo of a sales slip from a sporting goods chain and allege that the tax is included on sporting equipment.   The tax is not applicable on anything other than the medical devices. 

Real estate sales will be taxed 3.8%- Mostly Truth!
Congressman Mark Kirk of Illinois released a statement on March 21, 2010  on HR-3590 saying that the health care bill will increase taxes “by imposing a new 3.8% tax on capital gains.”

At first, it was believed that taxes and surcharges could be imposed on income over $250,000 for single tax filers and $500,000 for married couples filing together.  That imposed tax is to help fund the $210 Billion needed to fund the new Health Care Bill.
According to the National Board of Realtors, the new law will take effect January 1, 2013 and  “may impose a 3.8% tax on some (but not all) income from interest, dividends, rents (less expenses) and capital gains (less capital losses).”   It said that this “tax will fall only on individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) above $200,000 and couples filing a joint return with more than $250,000 AGI.”

To help realtors and investors the National Association of Realtors released a brochure that explains the new tax called, The 3.8% Tax Real Estate Scenarios & Examples Effective January 1, 2013. Click here for a copy of the brochure.

The actual tax increases may be generated by the HR-4872 Reconciliation Act according a March 21, 2010 article by Life and Health News Insurance News.

This is also confirmed in a March 25, 2010 article by that said, “couples making $500,000 in wages will pay an additional $2,250. If they made $1 million, they would pay an additional $6,750.  In addition, high-income households would also be subject to a new 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income starting in 2013.”

Aspirin Tax become effective June 1, 2013-Truth! & Fiction!
Effective June 1, 2013, aspirin will be heavily taxed under Obamacare. The only explanation given was that they are white and they work. No other reason was given, but I thought you’d want to know about it.

This is someone’s attempt at humor but all kidding aside Obamacare not affects consumer purchases of aspirin but it also affects all over the counter medications and how consumers should purchase them.    According to a July 5, 2012 article by Fox News there is a medicine cabinet tax in Obamacare, “which since 2011 has barred the 13.5 million Americans with Health Savings Accounts from purchasing over-the-counter medicines with pre-tax funds.”
This is not found in the text of HR-3590 but in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HR-4872).

Under the old rules prior to Obamacare consumers could use funds in their HSA or other health insurance tax free savings accounts to purchase medication such as aspirin or allergy drugs.  According to the HSA Resources website funds from HSA may be used to pay for qualified medical expense, such as  ambulance costs, artificial limbs, birth control pills,contact lenses, lab fees,  and prescriptions.

Employer healthcare insurance contributions on the 2011 W-2 form will be added to the employee’s gross income- Fiction!

The amount entered for employer contributions to the health insurance plans on the W-2 form are for evidence that the employee has health insurance coverage.  This amount will not be taxable nor added to the employee’s gross income.
In an April 5, 2010 article called “Health Care Reform: 13 Tax Changes on the Way”, Senior Tax Editor, Joan Pryde of the Washington D.C. based Kiplinger Letters wrote about a “requirement that businesses include the value of the health care benefits they provide to employees on W-2s, beginning with W-2s for 2011. The amount reported is not considered taxable income.”

“The Mark of the Beast” in the Healthcare Bill-Fiction!
A new eRumor began circulating in early April 2010 that claims that the new healthcare reform bill includes requirements for every American to have microchips implanted in their bodies that would contain medical and other encoded personal information.  The email message says it may be a form of the “Mark of the Beast” indicated in the Bible as one of the signs of the end of the world.  It is not true.

It refers to what is called in the health care legislation the “National Medical Device Registry.”  The registry does exist in the bill but has nothing to do with requiring implanted microchips in American citizens.  It proposes a national database of medical devices that have already been put into people’s bodies such as artificial knees, artificial hips, heart stents, pacemakers, etc.  The purpose of the registry is to track the effectiveness and performance of the devices.
Whoever originated this eRumor took the wording from the bill about the medical device registry and added their own interpretation that it involved microchips and would apply to every person.

Individuals and families can opt out of the health care system if they belong to a religious organization that has a health care sharing ministry-Truth!
Members of some religious organizations may claim a Religious Conscience Exemption if their sects meet the conditions by having a health care sharing ministry that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a).

Members of the Church of Christ, Scientist (Christian Scientists),  might not object to medical care purchasing health insurance.  The church’s official websites says that it teaches members that they “are always free to choose medical treatment, which many individuals feel is the most obvious solution to health difficulties.”  Members might be free to enroll in the health care plan or opt out of it.

Amish do not believe an accepting assistance from the government but according to the frequently asked questions section on the web site, members of the sect use local doctors, and if they have a medical condition that requires them to do so,  they will seek the help of medical specialists or go to hospitals.  The Amish subscribe to health plans or purchase medical insurance and if they are sick, will treat the ailments at home first.

Such individuals and families will not be subject to the 2.5% tax.  This is outlined on pages 326-328 discuss religious conscience exemptions:

‘‘(A) RELIGIOUS CONSCIENCE EXEMPTION.—Such term shall not include any individual for any month if such individual has in effect an exemption under section 1311(d)(4)(H)
of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which certifies that such individual is a member of a recognized religious sect or division thereof described in section 1402(g)(1) and an adherent of established tenets or teachings of such sect or division as described in such section.
‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—Such term shall not include any individual for any month if such individual is a member of a health care sharing ministry for the month.
‘‘(ii) HEALTH CARE SHARING MINISTRY.—The term ‘health care sharing ministry’ means an organization—
‘‘(I) which is described in section 501(c)(3) and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a),
‘‘(II) members of which share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and share medical expenses among members in accordance with those beliefs and without regard to the State in which a member resides or is employed,
‘‘(III) members of which retain membership even after they develop a medical condition,
‘‘(IV) which (or a predecessor of which) has been in existence at all1 times since December 31, 1999, and medical expenses of its members have been shared continuously and without interruption since at least December 31, 1999, and
‘‘(V) which conducts an annual audit which is performed by an independent certified public accounting firm in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and which is made available to the public upon request.


A word about forwarded emails that reference pages from the Affordable Healthcare Act:

One of the most common errors concerning the Affordable Healthcare Act that is circulating on the Internet is when the messages reference page numbers to the older versions of the bill.  Text and page numbers from HR-3200 is often found in messages, video and graphics that have gone viral on the World Wide Web or social network cites such as Facebook.   Computer users should exercise discernment before passing them on.

Sample found on Facebook

Below is the entire text with line numbers as it appeared in the HR-3590 document:
ITS.—Nothing in this paragraph shall be con-
3strued to allow a plan to have a deductible under
the plan apply to benefits described in section
5 2713 of the Public Health Service Act.
(3) COST-SHARING.—In this title—
(A) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘‘cost-sharing’’
(i) deductibles, coinsurance, copay-
ments, or similar charges; and
(ii) any other expenditure required of
an insured individual which is a qualified
medical expense (within the meaning of sec-
14tion 223(d)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code
of 1986) with respect to essential health ben
efits covered under the plan.
(B) EXCEPTIONS.—Such term does not in
clude premiums, balance billing amounts for
non-network providers, or spending for non-cov-
20ered services.
purposes of paragraphs (1)(B)(i) and (2)(B)(i), the
premium adjustment percentage for any calendar
year is the percentage (if any) by which the average
per capita premium for health insurance coverage in
The text above comes under the heading of “ANNUAL LIMITATION ON DEDUCTIBLES FOR 13 EMPLOYER-SPONSORED PLANS” and there is no mention of exemption of any elected members in government or their families.
Additional information on the Affordable Healthcare Act can be found at  CLICK here.

HR-3200 eRumors:

There are many questions being raised about President Obama’s new proposed health care bill and we will try to answer them.    The bill was introduced to Congress as the “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009” or  H.R. 3200 on July 14, 2009.  The Bill was sponsored by Representative  John D. Dingell of the15th district of Michigan.  According to the Thomas Library of Congress the bill was “referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, Education and Labor, Oversight and Government Reform, and the Budget, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.”

As  of July 28, 2009, The Thomas Library reports, “Latest Major Action: 7/21/2009 House committee/subcommittee actions. Status: Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.”     The status of this bill and text can be found at the Thomas Library by searching the bill number H.R. 3200.  Click for Thomas Library.

Some of the emails circulated about the proposed legislation may, at times, be quoting previous versions of the bill.
Mandatory end of life counseling every five years to instruct patients how to determine ways to end suffering- Truth! & Fiction! To be excluded by the Senate!

On August 13, 2009 the Associated Press reported that, “Key senators are excluding a provision on end-of-life care from health overhaul legislation after language in a House bill caused a furor.”   Click for article

Betsy McCaughey, a former New York Lt. Governor and conservative health activist, was interviewed on July 16, 2009 on the of former Senator and Presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

In the interview she stated that page 425 of the health care bill said that everyone on Social Security & Medicare would have to undergo mandatory counseling every five years to determine ways to end their suffering. The counseling would be more frequent in the case of a terminal illness.
McCaughhey’s comments dovetailed with several statements from critics of the health care legislation who claimed that the same portion of the bill could be used to promote euthanasia.  House minority Leader John Boehner and Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter said that such concerns were valid.  They are quoted by as saying, that the measure “could create a slippery slope for a more permissive environment for euthanasia, mercy-killing, and physican-assisted suicide because it does not clearly exclude counseling about the supposed benefits of killing oneself.”
The Vice President of AARP, John Rother, disagrees. He said the bill does not, in his view, create a problem of euthanasia. He said that under the bill, Medicare would be required to cover the consultations for the first time but does not mandate that people get end-of-life consultation. He said that any consultation would be with the patient, the doctor or nurse practitioner—not a government bureaucrat.

 Pages 424 to 434 in the proposed healthcare bill discusses Advance Care Planning and the mandatory consultation is to discuss end of life services such as hospice care and living wills.  Click for Fred Thompson interview.

Another eRumor originated by the American Family Association warns of Rationing and Euthanasia – Disputed! and Fiction!

Don Wildmon of the American Family Association (eRumor example #3) warned that Health Care Bill this could be the next next step towards euthanasia.   Assisted suicide and euthanasia are not mentioned in the text of the bill and differ greatly from hospice care.   Both private medical insurance policies and the proposed Universal Health Care plan have set limitations of coverage and deductibles could be be defined as the “rationing” of benefits.

Another eRumor includes a long list of concerns from the organization Family Security Matters. (eRumor Example #2)
Pg 22 of the HC Bill mandates the Government will audit books of all employers that self insure. – A Matter of Interpretation!

The text of the bill reads, “The Commissioner, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Labor Secretary of Labor, shall conduct a study of the large group insured and self-insured employer health care markets.”  There is no mention of  audits.

Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill — a Government committee (good luck with that!) will decide what treatments/benefits a person may receive.Fiction!

The text of the bill reads” IN GENERAL.—There is established a private-public advisory committee which shall be a panel of medical and other experts to be known as the Health Benefits Advisory Committee to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans.”  There is no mention of treatment procedures or policies.

Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill — YOUR HEALTHCARE WILL BE RATIONED! (they call it allocated) –Disputed!

Rationing could be defined as the controlled distribution of resources and goods or services.

This section of the bill deal with cost sharing and co-payments and annual limitations,  The text of the bill says, “The cost-sharing incurred under the essential benefits package with respect to an individual (or family) for a year does not exceed the applicable level specified in subparagraph.”   It is then defined as $5,000 per individual and $10,000 per family each year.

The setting of co-payments and coverage limitations is a standard procedure for all medical health plans.

Pg 42 of HC Bill — The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you.  – Truth!

According to the text of the bill, the commissioner’s duties include the establishment and enforcement of “qualified health benefits plan standards”.  The list of his duties also includes the “establishment and operation of a Health Insurance Exchange” and accountability.

PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill — HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise. – Disputed!

There is no provision to check for citizenship prior to receiving health services even though there are the provisions:.

Section 152 is a discrimination clause that basically said that all health services “covered by this Act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services.”   Citizenship is not mentioned.

Section 246 on page 143 under the heading of  “NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS” said, “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”

Pg 58 HC Bill — Government will have real-time access to individual’s finances and a National ID Health Card will be issued!-  Truth!  and Fiction!

Under the heading of “STANDARDS FOR FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS”, this section is for a “real-time (or near realtime) determination of an individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, which may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card”   Co-payments which need to be collected are part of the plan and it also appears that the new health plan is designed to work with insurance supplement programs.  There is no mention in the bill that personal finance records would be collected.

Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Government will have direct access to your bank accts for election funds transfer. –
A Matter of Interpretation!

This falls under the heading of “STANDARDS FOR FINANCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRANSACTIONS” the bill says,”enable electronic funds transfers, in order to allow automated reconciliation with the related health care payment and remittance advice.”   The text of the bill is not clear if the electronic funds transfers means between the patient and the health care provider.

PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community organizations (read: ACORN).-

Section 164 deals with “REINSURANCE PROGRAM FOR RETIREES” and says, “Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall establish a temporary reinsurance program (in this section referred to as the ‘‘reinsurance program’’) to provide reimbursement to assist participating employment-based plans with the cost of providing health benefits to retirees and to eligible spouses, surviving spouses and dependents of such retirees.”    Unions and community organizations (such as ACORN) do not appear to be singled out in the text of the bill.   Also, non union private business that offer retirement plans and benefits for employees exist in the country.

Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Government will create an HC Exchange to bring private HC plans under Government control.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill — Government mandates linguistic appropriate services. Example — Translators for illegal aliens. – Truth! & Fiction!

The text of the bill read, “CULTURALLY AND LINGUISTICALLY APPROPRIATE SERVICES AND COMMUNICATIONS.—The entity shall provide for culturally and linguistically appropriate communication and health services.”   Translations Services will be provided for those who do not speak English.   Section 246 on page 143 under the heading of  “NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS” said, “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”  This means no benefits provided to illegal aliens.

Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Government will use groups, i.e. ACORN & Americorps, to sign up individuals for Government HC plan.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill — Specifics of Benefit Levels for Plans. AARP members — your Health care WILL be rationed.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill — Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue Government on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Government Monopoly.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill — Doctors/ AMA — The Government will tell YOU what you can earn.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE, if he does not have employee insurance -plus he is taxed up to 8%.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for HC for part time employees AND their families.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay.) 
Truth! & Fiction!

Under the heading of PART VIII—HEALTH CARE RELATED TAXES  SUBPART A. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE. and  ‘‘Subpart A—Tax on Individuals Without Acceptable Health Care Coverage.”   There will be a tax imposed  of 2.5% of adjusted income on individuals who do not medical health coverage that is deemed acceptable by the plan.

A non resident alien can be defined as a foreigner living and working in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa.

If their income is effectively connected with a trade or business in the United States,  non resident aliens are subject to same taxation as any US citizen, according to the US Internal Revenue Service.   According text of the bill non resident aliens are not subject to the 2.5% of adjusted income tax.     The text of the bill does not indicate that non resident aliens are eligible for benefits.

Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of HC Admin (the GOVERNMENT) will have access to ALL Americans’ finances and personal records.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

PG 203 Line 14-15 HC — “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as a tax” , Yes, it actually says that!!
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill — Doctors — doesn’t matter what specialty — will all be paid the same.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

PG 253 Line 10-18 Government sets value of Doctor’s time, professional judgment, etc. Literally, value of humans.
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

PG 265 Sec 1131 Government mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries. 
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

Pg 317 L 13-20 OMG!! PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Government tells Doctors what/how much they can own. 
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion — Government will mandate hospitals cannot expand. 
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

Pg 354 Sec 1177 — Government will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people! 
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

PG 425 Lines 4-12 Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consultations. Think Senior Citizens end of life prodding. 
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Government provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in how to die. 
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

PG 427 Lines 15-24 Government mandates program for orders for end of life. The Government has a say in how your life ends. 
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

PG 429 Lines 10-12 “advanced care consultation” may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from the Government to end a life! 
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned

Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATION. 1 monthly payment to a community-based organization. (Like ACORN?) 
Was under investigation at the time the bill was abandoned
Click of Family Security Matters article.
The ‘‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009’’ bill is 1019 pages long and can be viewed with Adobe Reader at:

Click for text of HR-3200.

Posted 07/15/10  Updated 11/26/13