Let me start off by saying that I’m not a political or politically-motivated person. Like most of us, I’m concerned with the issues that impact my life and vote to protect whatever is important to me. Of course, that isn’t always the right path to follow but we usually don’t find that out until it’s too late.
Whatever party you align yourself with is fine with me, it’s your choice. Unfortunately, politics has become such a nasty business that it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not. The personal gains of politicians, the lobbyists who push their own agendas and the almighty dollar make a really bad combination and the American people suffer the consequences. Is this what our forefathers thought the framework they created for our nation was going to turn into? I doubt it.
So here I am minding my own business, when suddenly my personal life and work life have thrown me in the middle of the biggest issues in the presidential election. Let’s start off with the personal. Two years ago, my wife was diagnosed with asthma. If you’ve never seen someone having an asthma attack and unable to breathe, you’re very lucky. Luckier for us is we live down the block from a brand-new hospital, which saved her life.
Asthma is not an uninsurable health condition, unless you’re trying to get new insurance. Then it’s considered a pre-existing condition and now you are uninsurable if you’re trying to get individual health insurance. After her COBRA benefits expired, my wife was able to get health insurance through the “Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (better known as Obamacare) and keeping this coverage is very important to us.
You and I don’t know what our health issues will be in the future and if you could lose your insurability, how will that impact your life? Medical hardships and excessive debt due to illness are a big reason why so many families have to short sale their homes. One issue trickles into another.
If other candidates are touting the repeal of this coverage, my wife and I really have to think twice about who we’ll vote for and why?
There’s a big topic that’s being “spun” to scare you into thinking there’s a new tax beginning in January that you’ll have to pay to help cover the cost of Medicare. You may not have heard it in the news, most likely you were forwarded an email with a subject line that says something like – “Thanks Barack… Obamacare Will Add 3.8% Medicare Tax on Sales of Homes, Condos, Townhouses and Rentals.”
The section of the voting public this campaign is primarily aimed at is our senior citizens. That’s either you, your parents or your grandparents. The biggest scare tactic is the false claim that Medicare premiums are doubling to $247 in 2014. Between the TV, radio talk shows and the internet, you can stay firmly entrenched in propaganda or you can learn the truth.
With baby boomers making up such a large percentage of voters, simply spreading the lie that your Medicare premium is going to double is enough to change someone’s vote (and help them spread the word.)
This issue has people’s blood boiling without really understanding exactly what goes into effect on January 1, 2013. So here I am, Mr. Not Political and now, thanks to endless false rumors about what this 3.8% real estate tax is, I’m obligated to give you access to what the tax really is and your likelihood of having to pay it.
The first great resource I’m going to share with you is “FactCheck.org“ Any time you hear or read something that sounds fishy regarding politics, come here to learn the truth. The website is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. They monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Their goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.
FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.
The National Association of Realtors has created an 11 page brochure that details what the tax is and 8 examples of what the tax consequence (if any) would be under various scenarios, click HERE to download. For a simpler overview, click HERE to read another good article.
I hope this information was helpful and informative. If nothing else, please don’t kill the messenger, I’m just here to help you make an informed decision, whatever that may be.
Mark Karten is a Las Vegas Realtor who specializes in listing and selling homes in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson. If your home is “upside down” – learn more about your choices before you think of walking away – a short sale might be the right option.