e-News 9/21/12


The Week Just Past: The Cost of the New Healthcare Law

More Able-Bodied Adults on Food Stamps

Violence in the Middle East: “Look in the Mirror”

Protecting Northern New Jersey’s Water Supply


The Week Just Past: The Cost of the New Healthcare Law

“As I meet small business men and women in their shops and businesses or on the streets of northern New Jersey, they uniformly express concern about the effects of the President’s health care law on their operations.  They are very worried about all the new regulations, new taxes and new costs contained in the 3,000 pages of the so-called Affordable Care Act and the impact they will have on their ability to retain and hire workers, including the small franchisers who visited me this week in Washington.

“Yet, it may have gone unnoticed this week, but the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced the results of a new analysis of the so-called ‘individual mandate’ established by President Obama’s new law – the provision that forces Americans to buy health insurance or face an IRS fine.

“According to CBO, 11-12 million uninsured Americans will be subject to the mandate. The agency expects more than half of them to pay the fine instead of buying insurance.  That means 6 million taxpayers will pay a total of $7 billion in 2016. This figure is about two million more than originally forecast when the law was passed in 2010. With two million more Americans expected to pay the penalty, the CBO predicted $3 billion more in collections each year.

“The CBO estimates that 30 million will be uninsured by that year, but most will be exempted from the mandate, because they are unauthorized immigrants, members of Indian tribes, or don’t earn enough income to file taxes, among other reasons.

“Among those who will have to pay a mandate penalty, 4.7 million will have incomes below $60,000 for individuals and $123,000 for families of four by 2016.

“This penalty, or ‘tax’ in the eyes of the Supreme Court, is just one of 21 new or higher taxes contained in the new health care law.  I invite you to read more about these taxes on my website. 

“But there’s also something that the CBO didn’t say this week: as more people pay the ‘tax penalty’ instead of buying insurance, premiums for everyone else will go up, potentially inflicting serious damage on the private insurance market.”

Rodney Frelinghuysen

Read The Healthcare Law’s Tax Increases Are Here!” here.

Read the Congressional Budget Office report, “Payments of Penalties for Being Uninsured Under the Affordable Care Act”here.

Able-Bodied Adults on Food Stamps Double After Administration Suspends Work Requirement

The House this week voted to protect an essential element of the landmark welfare reform legislation of the 1990’s: the welfare-to-work requirement.  The action reaffirms Congress’ authority to reject the President’s proposal to dilute the work requirements which are integral to the program’s success. 

According to a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, President Obama's decision to waive welfare-to-work requirements has more than doubled the number of able-bodied adults receiving food stamps.

Philip Klein reported in the Washington Examiner this week: “...the 1996 welfare reform law included a separate rule encouraging able-bodied adults without dependents to work by limiting the amount of time they could receive food stamps. President Obama suspended that rule when he signed his economic stimulus legislation into law, and the number of these adults on food stamps doubled, from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010...”

Read the Washington Examiner report here.

Read the CRS report here.

Recommended Reading:Tom Friedman, writing in the MondayNew York Times, “Look in Your Mirror.” His column takes a look at the hate being spewed in parts of the Middle East and elsewhere, some of it from our adversaries, but some from our, apparently less dependable “allies.”

Recommended Reading:Thursday’s editorial in the Wall Street Journal, “The Post-American Middle East. The only tide that is 'receding' is U.S. influence.”

Recommended Reading: Charles Krauthammer’s piece in today’s Washington Post is a ‘must read’.  Access “The Collapse of the Cairo Doctrine” here.

Protecting Northern New Jersey’s Water Supply

In his continuing effort to protect the drinking water supply for 11 million Americans in the northeast United States, Rodney today introduced legislation to extend the bipartisan federal Highlands Conservation Act (HCA).

Originally signed into law in 2004, the HCA authorized $10 million a year for 10 years for land conservation partnership projects and open space purchases from willing sellers in the four state Highlands region: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. His bill allows the federal government to match municipal, county and state efforts already in place. 

“This bill recognizes that the Highlands are a national treasure that must be preserved,” Rodney said.  “While we have been successful in protecting thousands of acres over the last ten years, our work is far from done. It is essential we continue to work in public-private partnerships and with our local and county officials to save open space in the Highlands.  While remaining mindful of private property rights, we must protect this critical watershed.” 

The $14.25 million in funding for the HCA, to date, has protected over 3,726 acres in the Highlands Region. Rodney’s legislation would extend the HCA for another 10 years. The program is currently set to expire in October of 2014.

The Highlands Region supplies drinking water for more than 11 million people, provides habitat for hundreds of plant and animal species and provides recreational opportunities for the millions of people who live within the region.