ATRF Poll Shows Overwhelming Bipartisan Support for Creation of Mid-Level Dental Providers

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Paul Blair on Wednesday, August 31st, 2016, 11:14 AM PERMALINK


In a poll conducted for the American for Tax Reform Foundation by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, likely voters overwhelmingly support a new and innovative solution to America’s dentist shortage. In what has been called a “big idea” for social change, a new type of mid-level dental practitioners has emerged as a possible way to reduce health care costs while increasing access to care for millions of Americans seeking dental services throughout the United States.

Like dental hygienists, “dental therapists” or “dental hygiene practitioners” work under the supervision of dentists with collaborative agreements that allow them to provide an expanded list of services to patients. Governor Paul LePage (R-Maine) and former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) were the first to sign legislation permitting the creation of these mid-level practitioners in their states.

Conducted at the end of June, the ATRF poll found that 79% of likely voters support the creation of mid-level providers that could perform dental care services such as basic extractions and hygiene plans.

In analyzing the results, WPA Opinion Research concluded,

“This support extends across all key demographic groups including men and women of all ages, Republicans, Independents, Democrats, white, and Hispanic voters. The support for such a process extends across a wide swath of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, ethnicity or gender.

77% of Republicans, 80% of Independents, and 80% of Democrats support the process of creating these new positions, which takes an act of the legislature in most cases. Additionally, 58% of voters strongly support this position, “illustrating that the support is not just casual and implementing this process would be welcomed by voters across the country.”

In an article for the Wall Street Journal titled, “You Don’t Need to Be a Dentist to Fill a Cavity,” Reason.com reporter Eric Boehm recently explained the issue and some of it’s misguided opponents:

“Other states are considering dental therapy, but professional associations of dentists stand opposed. Take Michigan, where state Sen. Mike Shirkey introduced a dental therapy bill in June. Shortly thereafter, the Michigan Dental Association urged its members to oppose the bill. The association says that Michigan already has 7,500 dentists and 10,300 hygienists, which it insists should be enough to cover the state’s needs.”

In an interview with Wendell Potter at the Huffington Post, ATR president Grover Norquist went further in explaining ATR’s interest in this issue:

“When I asked Norquist recently why he has gotten involved in the fight to expand the dental workforce to include mid-levels—often called dental therapists—he told me it’s because, in his view, opponents are engaging in tactics to preserve a profitable status quo at the expense of millions of Americans. To him, this smacks of “crony capitalism” in which businesses and professionals exert influence on government officials, usually through campaign contributions and lobbyists, to get favorable treatment.”

Of the opportunities these new mid-level dental practitioner positions present, Grover went on to note:

“It’s going to have significant pay off, not only for people trying to move ahead in their careers and for consumers who need dental care” but also for dentists, who, Norquist notes, will be able to spend more time doing more complex, higher end procedures."

While the states have grappled with implementing a wide range of federal health care mandates, questions about rising costs the next steps in health care reform have lingered in Washington. Fortunately, states don't have to wait to act. Efforts to expand the scope of practice for dental hygienists with this new position do present great promise for qualified dental professionals and the millions of Americans interested in taking advantage of the services they can provide.

The full cross tabs of the national ATRF health care poll can be found here.

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


European State Aid Ruling Undermines U.S. Tax Base

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, August 30th, 2016, 11:07 AM PERMALINK


The European Commission today ordered that Apple must pay the Irish government 13 billion euros (about $14.5 billion) plus interest following a judgment that the company’s tax rate constituted “illegal state aid.” Bureaucrats in Brussels do not accuse Apple of dodging taxes, but of paying too little, a charge that undermines the tax sovereignty of Ireland and existing rules of international taxation. 

EU officials are taking money that rightfully belongs to American taxpayers and businesses. This will mean less tax revenue, less money reinvested in our economy, and even threatens to undermine the prospects for pro-growth tax reform.

Leaders in Congress and the Treasury Department agree that the investigations are discriminatory and will set a precedent allowing the EU to tax income that rightly belongs to the American people. American businesses like Amazon and McDonalds are vulnerable to tax hungry European bureaucrats because our system of double taxation has stranded an estimated $2.1 trillion in American income overseas.

Under our tax code, businesses headquartered in the U.S. must pay taxes on income they have earned overseas, even after it has been taxed in the country it was earned. This creates a significant competitive disadvantage because businesses headquartered in most developed countries do not face this double taxation. 

The trillions in stranded income is one indicator of our broken tax code, but it also represents a key part of any pro-growth tax reform effort. Pro-growth tax reform efforts, like the the “Better Way” plan released by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) rely on the revenue being raided by Europe for two reasons. First, to help ensure that reform remains revenue neutral, and second to ensure that the plans break the shackles of our stagnant two percent economic growth.

In the past, Congress has allowed businesses to repatriate double taxed income at a rate of just over 5 percent, resulting in $320 billion returning to the country that was reinvested in the economy, in higher wages, and in federal revenues. Now, with more than two trillion stranded overseas, the time is ripe for another round of repatriation that can finance pro-growth tax reform. But the more money that Brussels strips away from the American people, the dimmer these hopes become.

While European officials claim these investigations are a matter of fairness, this is simply a thinly veiled argument to continue raiding money that rightly belongs to the American people. The more money that Europe can strip away from American taxpayers, the less is available to be repatriated back to the U.S. economy to finance tax reform and reinvest in our economy. 

Photo Credit: 
cmd-a.de

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR Recognizes Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers Ahead of Tuesday’s Primary

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Alec DiFruscia on Monday, August 29th, 2016, 4:41 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform recognizes the incumbents and candidates who have taken the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people ahead of today's primary. The Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a written commitment to the voters and the American public to oppose tax hikes.



Photo Credit: 
Shawn Clover

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Lake Ray Leaves the Door Open to Higher Taxes

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Alec DiFruscia on Friday, August 26th, 2016, 11:38 AM PERMALINK


Today, Americans for Tax Reform calls on Congressional candidate, State Rep. Lake Ray, to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to his constituents. The Pledge is a written commitment to the voters to oppose higher taxes. It’s time for Ray to prove his commitment to defending taxpayers and standing up to special-interests in Washington, D.C.

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge has been offered to every candidate running for federal office since 1986. In the 114th Congress, 220 Congressmen and 48 Senators have signed the Pledge, including Rep. Ander Crenshaw (Fla-04).

Politicians often run for office saying they won't raise taxes, but then quickly turn their backs on the taxpayer. The idea of the Pledge is simple enough: Make them put their no-new-taxes rhetoric in writing. The last thing the taxpayers of Florida need is a career politician open to raising taxes, especially after President Obama saddled them with 20 new or higher taxes through Obamacare, with seven hitting the middle class.

Three of Mr. Ray’s opponents, Sheriff John Rutherford, Hans Tanzler, and Deborah Pueschel have taken the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and made the promise to the hardworking families of Florida’s fourth district to not raise taxes.

“The voters in Florida have a right to know where a candidate stands on the issues before electing them to Congress. Ray’s refusal to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge puts him outside the mainstream of the Republican Party. Eighty-nine percent of all congressional Republicans have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. He would be one of a small group of Republicans open to raising taxes,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “The only reason Ray wouldn't sign the Pledge is if he intends to raise taxes.”

Voters should keep this in mind as they head to the polls in Florida, next Tuesday, August 30. 

Photo Credit: 
401(K) 2012

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Study: Net-Metering Costs Non-Solar Customers $36 Million Annually

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Justin Sykes on Friday, August 26th, 2016, 10:16 AM PERMALINK


A new study released this month examined what, if any, benefits Nevada’s net-metering program produces for the state and residents. The study, conducted at the request of the Nevada Legislative Committee on Energy, focused on the cost-effectiveness of net metering and the impact of the program on ratepayers. The results of the study overwhelmingly showed Nevada’s net metering program amounts to all cost and no benefit for the state and residents.

Nevada has long been a focus point in the debate over net metering. In general, net metering programs require electric utilities to purchase excess electricity generated by customers with rooftop solar installations at the full retail rate, as opposed to wholesale. As a result, solar customers avoid paying many of the fixed costs of the grid that are factored into their monthly bills. As such, these fixed costs are then shifted onto non-solar customers.

As part of the study on Nevada’s net metering program, researchers looked at the impact the program has on Nevada ratepayers. The cost-shifting impact was undeniable. The study found a clear “cost-shift from NEM [solar] customers to non-participating customers for both existing installations and future installations.”

Nevada’s net metering program was shown to “shift approximately $36 million per year” in costs from existing solar customers onto non-solar customers. It was also found that future planned installations would shift an additional $15 million per year in costs onto non-solar customers. Thus non-solar customers are essentially subsidizing a portion of solar customer’s electric bills.   

Even more concerning is that the study found the state’s net metering program produces no benefit for the state as whole. Overall, net metering from existing and future planned solar generation systems “increase total energy costs for Nevada.” In fact, the program was even found to have no real benefit from the solar user perspective. 

Even when considering the “non-monetized benefits” of renewable generation the net-metering program still has little to no positive impact. Factoring in “externalities and non-monetized health benefits of reduced air emissions from self-generation, does not significantly change the results…for the costs and benefits” of net metering for Nevada overall. The study concludes, “There is no substantial net emissions reduction or additional health benefits attributable to NEM systems.”

Nevada’s net metering program is clearly all cost and no benefit. Not only does the program shift $36 million in costs annually onto non-solar customers, but also increases total energy costs for the state while having no impact on emissions or health.

As such, one can only wonder why Nevada, or any state for that matter, would continue net metering programs that quite literally have no beneficial impact on consumers or the environment, and instead serve only to burden residents and the state with higher energy costs.  

 

Photo credit:  Marufish

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


ATR Recognizes Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers in Florida’s First Congressional District

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Alec DiFruscia on Thursday, August 25th, 2016, 10:53 AM PERMALINK


Today, Americans for Tax Reform recognizes the candidates in Florida’s First Congressional District who have taken the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to the American people ahead of Tuesday’s primary. The Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a written commitment to their constituents and the American public to oppose tax hikes.

  • Cris Dosev (R)
  • Rebekah Bydlak (R)
  • James Zumwalt (R)
  • State Rep. Matt Gaetz (R)
  • State Sen. Greg Evers (R)

Candidates running for office like to say they will not raise taxes, but often turn their backs on the taxpayer once elected. The Taxpayer Protection Pledge requires these candidates to put their rhetoric in writing. It is offered to every candidate for state and federal office and to all incumbents. Nearly 1,400 incumbent elected officials, from state representative to governor to US Senator, have signed the Pledge.

Pledge signers include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady are also pledge signers.

On the state level, approximately 1,000 incumbent state legislators are Pledge signers. Thirteen incumbent governors are pledge signers including Scott Walker (R-Wis.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Nikki Haley (R-S.C.), and Pat McCrory (R-N.C.).

“The American people are tired of the tax-and-spend policies coming from Washington and they are looking for solutions that create jobs, cut government spending, and get the economy going again. Signing the Pledge is the first step in that process,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform.  

In the 114th Congress, 48 U.S. Senators and 220 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are pledge signers. That’s about 90 percent of incumbent Republicans in the House and Senate.

“We are ecstatic about their commitment to the taxpayers of Florida. I challenge all candidates for Florida’s 1st Congressional district to make the same commitment to taxpayers by signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge today,” continued Norquist.

Florida’s primary will take place on Tuesday, August 30.

Photo Credit: 
John Williams

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Serious, Pro-Growth Tax Reform Must Contain 100 Percent Immediate Full Business Expensing

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016, 12:12 PM PERMALINK


Clinton plan fails, retains complex depreciation schedules and offers no income tax rate reduction for anyone

Under the tax code, business owners cannot immediately expense the cost of purchasing equipment against their taxable income. Instead, they have to deduct, or “depreciate,” these costs over several years depending on the asset they purchase, as dictated by complex and arbitrary IRS tables.

These rules create needless complexity, and force business owners to make decisions based on tax, not management reasons. Any serious, pro-growth tax reform plan should eliminate depreciation in favor of 100 percent immediate full business expensing, as both the Donald Trump and House Republican plans call for.

With the existing depreciation schedules, business purchases are treated differently under the tax code, with no clear pattern or common theme. Businesses have two different systems of depreciation and investments can be depreciated over 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 15, 20, 25, 27.5, 30, 35, 39, 40, or 50 years depending on the system used and the asset purchased.  

This creates a complex and confusing system for business owners that distorts business decisions, as the House Republican “Better Way” tax reform blueprint explains:

“For each asset, they must determine the period over which the asset may be depreciated or amortized and the method that must be used to determine the annual allowance with respect to the asset. For many assets, the cost must be spread over many years for tax purposes. This means that businesses are taxed today on the earnings they reinvest in growing their operations and can recover the cost of that investment only many years later.”

Not only would 100 percent immediate full business expensing eliminate needless complexity in our tax code, it would also lead to strong economic growth. According to research by the Tax Foundation, full business expensing would result in 5.4 percent higher long-term GDP, would create more than 1 million full time jobs, and would increase after-tax income by 5.3 percent.

There is clear rationale for policymakers to implement a cash flow system that allows businesses to immediately expense their purchases. This would make the tax code consistent and clear, and stop it from picking winners and losers.

Fortunately, plans released by the Donald Trump presidential campaign and by House Republicans led by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) would both allow 100 percent immediate full business expensing.

The Hillary Clinton plan – a collection of tax increases on the American people topping $1 trillion over ten years – retains the old, job-killing regime of Byzantine depreciation schedules. The Clinton plan also calls for a complex capital gains tax hike, a Death Tax hike, and no income tax rate reduction for anyone.

The fact is, keeping the existing system of depreciation hurts economic growth and adds a confusing and unnecessary layer to the tax code. 100 percent immediate full business expensing should be in any serious pro-growth tax plan, Democrat or Republican.

Americans for Tax Reform is tracking all of Hillary’s tax increase proposals at its dedicated website, www.HighTaxHillary.com

See Also:

Norquist Statement on Clinton Tax Plan

Top Comments


Norquist Statement on Clinton Tax Plan

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016, 4:56 PM PERMALINK


The following statement can be attributed to Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform:

“The small business community is excited about the House GOP and Trump tax reform approach with its rate reduction combined with 100 percent, immediate full business expensing and elimination of the Death Tax. Hillary fails on all counts. She doesn’t do rate reduction. She doesn’t do 100 percent, immediate full business expensing. She doesn’t kill the Death Tax, she hikes it. She doesn’t do the powerful pro-growth approach of Trump and Paul Ryan. Hillary’s collection of tax increases – a $1 trillion net tax increase over ten years -- will make the code even more complex and even more burdensome.”

Americans for Tax Reform has documented all of Hillary’s proposed tax increases at its dedicated website, www.HighTaxHillary.com

See Also:

Full List of Hillary’s Planned Tax Hikes 

Hillary’s $250,000 Tax Pledge Flip Flop 

Clinton Tax Returns Show Death Tax Hypocrisy

Hillary is Painfully Clueless About the U.S. Corporate Income Tax Rate

“Everyman” Tim Kaine Tried to Raise Taxes on Adult Beverages  

Hey Hillary, the Tax Code is Already Steeply Progressive

Hillary is Open to a Carbon Tax, Says Campaign Chief

Democrat Platform Calls for Carbon Tax  

Hillary’s “Free Wifi” Plan is a $275 Billion Tax Hike

Bernie Sanders Slams Hillary’s Soda Tax: “This proposal clearly violates her pledge.” 

Footage Shows Hillary’s 25% Gun Tax Endorsement

Hillary Admits She Would Not Veto Middle Class Tax Hikes

 

Photo Credit: 
Anand Dhingra

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Hefty IRS Tax Bill Awaits Home-Bound Victorious Olympic Medalists

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Natalie De Vincenzi on Monday, August 22nd, 2016, 4:35 PM PERMALINK


The Olympics are over and the 558 members of Team USA are headed home having won 121 medals. Tallying 46 gold, 37 silver, and 38 bronze medals, Team USA athletes could owe the IRS hundreds of thousands of dollars in “victory” taxes.

As Olympians set foot back in the U.S., now is the time to pass much needed legislation that will exempt these athletes from being taxed. In March 2016, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced a bill (S. 2650) to stop the IRS from taxing Team USA medalists. The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent on July 12, but the House has yet to pass a bill. Recently, the House Ways and Means Committee will mark up a bill come September, sponsored by Congressman Bob Dold (R-Ill.) and Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).

Kevin Brady (R-Texas), House Ways and Means Chairman, has highlighted the importance of passing Congressman Farenthold and Dold’s bill:

"It seems like a small thing, but when America’s Olympians and Paralympians bring home the gold, our nation should congratulate them — not send the IRS to claim a share of their medal."

U.S. Olympic athletes receive a monetary award for winning a medal. This award is considered regular income, and is therefore subject to taxation. The U.S. Olympic Committee rewards its medalists with $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.  

Taxes on these awards are as high as $9,900 per gold medal, $5,940 per silver medal, and $3,960 per bronze medal. These are the maximum possible tax amounts, and vary widely based on an individual’s tax brackets, circumstances, and available deductions. Still, the athletes must reckon their medal winnings with the IRS code, a headache they can do without.

                           Maximum Prize Tax             

Gold                                     $9,900                  

Silver                                    $5,940                  

Bronze                                  $3,960     

Americans who wish to express their support for the House bill can do so through the petition here or sign below:

Photo Credit: 
Thomas Hawk

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


Obamacare Insurers Fleeing Exchanges and Hiking Premiums

Share on Facebook
Tweet this Story
Pin this Image

Posted by Natalie De Vincenzi on Thursday, August 18th, 2016, 2:44 PM PERMALINK


Insurers operating on Obamacare exchanges have requested an average premium hike of 24 percent across the country, according to independent analyst Charles Gaba.  Even as they request higher premiums, many insurers have announced plans to flee exchanges or reduce their involvement, leaving enrollees with fewer options and more expensive insurance.

Insurers’ requests for larger increases should not be surprising. Even with billions in subsidies, Obamacare’s failure to attract enough enrollees has caused an insurer exodus. In a 2016 fact sheet, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that as of March 31, only 11.1 million consumers had planned on staying in Obamacare marketplaces. HHS on the other hand projected that the marketplace would have a lower enrollment at the end of the year—only 10 million.  Yet, these numbers are only half of what the CBO had originally projected, which was 24 million.

As enrollment numbers have failed to materialize, Obamacare insurers have not received the revenue that they had expected. This has led to two outcomes – higher premiums and fewer insurers operating on exchanges.

Large insurers have recently been revising their initial rate requests. In Tennessee, Cigna and Humana revised their rates up more than 20 percent. Cigna requested a 46 percent average increase, up from 23 percent, and Humana asked for a 44 percent increase, up from 29 percent.

So far, only 5 states have approved rate increases—Mississippi, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These 5 states have an average approved rate increase of 17 percent. While they only make up about 6.1% of the population, Gaba notes that the rate will undoubtedly fluctuate as larger states’ rates are accounted for.

One reason insurers are struggling to operate on exchanges is that they are failing to enroll enough young enrollees. Insurers need 40% of enrollees to be in the 18-34 age range in order to offset the costs of those who are older and typically rack up the insurance bill. However only 28% of exchange participants are in the golden 18-34 range, leaving insurers with a risk pool that is unsustainable.

Due to insurmountable losses, the nation’s largest insurer, UnitedHealth, will be pulling out of 26 of the 34 exchanges it participated in last year. Following United’s footsteps, Aetna announced yesterday that it would pull out of all but 4 states and remain in only 242 counties.

The exodus of insurers from Obamacare exchanges is not self-contained – it is leading to higher costs and more unaffordable insurance. The significant increases in rate requests is just another indicator that Obamacare is failing, but the larger than expected requests are showing that it is failing faster than expected. 

Photo Credit: 
Charles Fettinger

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Top Comments


hidden
×