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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:00 pm 
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This is loosely a followup on Vintek's post slightly above this one...

When I helped manage a small business we grew from about 20 to about 100 employees over a very short time. As we grew we became increasingly subject to new regulations and we also became ineligible for various tax breaks, subsidies, set-asides, and so forth.

I can tell you for certain that we were far more concerned with losing out on the breaks and set asides than we were the exposure to additional regulations. We provided excellent health benefits even when we were tiny and we saw our health care costs plummet as we got larger. What we offered had far more to do with doing the right thing and being able to attract employees than what was required by law (which was basically nothing).

We complied with the same safety and health regulations as huge companies even though we were exempt. Why? Because our insurance rates made it practical.

The bottom line is that, based on my experience, all these small business owners that are whining about ACA are either not seeing the big picture, are too politically biased to think clearly, or are just plain clueless.


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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:02 pm 
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VinTek wrote:
DoingHomework wrote:
VinTek wrote:
Tell you what. You bring up an interview, you have to comment on it first and tell us what you think. Then we can dismantle it. How's that?


I don't think Eagle knows how to think. You are asking the impossible.

Be nice, DH. I'm hoping that by pointing out facts that he hasn't considered, he'll be embarrassed enough to look up a few facts of his own before posting.


Let's hope you are right.


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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:05 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
Posts: 1887
DoingHomework wrote:
Eagle, what is the point of your postings here? We know you don't like the ACA. But regardless of what you say, it is the law. It has been tested to the highest court in the land and upheld. The chance of Congress overturning it is extremely slim. As a whole it is only supported by a bit less than half the country. Polls suggest that each major provision though is supported by 60-80% of the nation. So any member of Congress voting for a repeal will have to explain why he voted against this provision or that provision. So, even if there is a lopsided win this fall, this law is extremely unlikely to be repealed and it will go into effect. Why are you wasting your time opposing and attacking a done deal?

DH, please let him continue to post here. Whether he posts here or not, there's lots of FUD that's being disseminated elsewhere. This is one place we can use lay out the facts. My only request of him is that when he posts, that he take a position on what he's posting about. I'm not real fond of "hit-and-run" posting.


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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:12 pm 
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VinTek wrote:
DoingHomework wrote:
Eagle, what is the point of your postings here? We know you don't like the ACA. But regardless of what you say, it is the law. It has been tested to the highest court in the land and upheld. The chance of Congress overturning it is extremely slim. As a whole it is only supported by a bit less than half the country. Polls suggest that each major provision though is supported by 60-80% of the nation. So any member of Congress voting for a repeal will have to explain why he voted against this provision or that provision. So, even if there is a lopsided win this fall, this law is extremely unlikely to be repealed and it will go into effect. Why are you wasting your time opposing and attacking a done deal?

DH, please let him continue to post here. Whether he posts here or not, there's lots of FUD that's being disseminated elsewhere. This is one place we can use lay out the facts. My only request of him is that when he posts, that he take a position on what he's posting about. I'm not real fond of "hit-and-run" posting.


Oh, I don't want him to stop posting. I'm just trying to understand what his agenda is or what he expects to come of it. The ACA is not going away. And the Fox news stories just seem to be an attempt to add more FUD to the party. I'd like to know if Eagle's intent is to spread FUD or to participate in actual intelligent discourse.


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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:18 pm 
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DoingHomework wrote:
Eagle, what is the point of your postings here?


Apparently I was too quiet on these subjects after the ObamaCare thread was closed according to VinTek. I was asked to dive in. So here I am. I really don't have a point nor do these small business owners make my "point" for me. No agenda really. I'm here for what the thread title says - to dispell FUD. After all, I don't really take too seriously what people on the internet say of me. ;)

VinTek wrote:
Just because I entitled this as a thread for dispelling FUD doesn't mean that you have to keep piling on the FUD.


Now where would the fun in that be? ;) I was curious as to your thoughts on the people in question. Personally I found them kind of funny as well. Plus I like seeing you guys (was tempted to say "you all") tear down the arguments. I agree after further research that the impact on companies for small businesses owners from a tax perspective may not be significant if the data presented is accurate. What a break through huh? Lol. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:30 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
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Eagle wrote:
Now where would the fun in that be? ;) I was curious as to your thoughts on the people in question. Personally I found them kind of funny as well. Plus I like seeing you guys (was tempted to say "you all") tear down the arguments. I agree after further research that the impact on companies for small businesses owners from a tax perspective may not be significant if the data presented is accurate. What a break through huh? Lol. :lol:

I'm actually just a guy who dislikes FUD because I see too much of it in my line of work. I'd be equally zealous (and I suspect DH would be too) in tearing down arguments for the opposite side if we found that they were deceptive. Maybe you should start watching CNBC and posting links from there. :D

As for the data, I can't find a more authoritative source for small businesses than the SBA, which advocates for small businesses. I'd be happy to have a look at other data if you like.


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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:11 pm 
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VinTek wrote:
I'm actually just a guy who dislikes FUD because I see too much of it in my line of work. I'd be equally zealous (and I suspect DH would be too) in tearing down arguments for the opposite side if we found that they were deceptive. Maybe you should start watching CNBC and posting links from there. :D


Yes, I would be just as zealous...

In my experience, business owners of all sizes and consumers as well just want to know what the rules are. They will adapt, learn to live within (and exploit) whether those rules are. It is politicians on both sides that get hung up in dogma and think their changes to the rules will have a life-altering impact. Things are too stable here for anything truly earth-shattering to happen on the political front. If anything, the greatest drag on this country right now is political uncertainty produced by both sides. I'm not talking about not knowing who will be president, because that is mostly inconsequential. But everyone needs to know what the tax rates, deductions, and so forth are going to be over the next decade. Not knowing that is slowing down decisions and preventing economic growth.

So, now we have the ACA. Continuing to create uncertainty and suggesting it might be repealed causes real harm to the country. We need to put it behind us, accept it as the law, adjust to it, and move on to solving the next problem. That's what we pay these pols for. In my opinion we are not getting our money's worth right now from either side. As long as the country is nearly evenly split, proposing extreme measures that have no chance of passage is counterproductive. And that statement applies to the proposed policies of both sides recently.

If all of us would wise up and stop letting ourselves be distracted into discussing the past and instead demand a dialogue on the future, we'd all be better off.


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 Post subject: Top six myths about Medicare
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:01 am 

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Well this piece from http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/15/us-column-miller-medicare-idUSBRE87E15N20120815 is related to, but not entirely about Obamacare. Certainly it's relevant with regard to the portion about how the ACA actually affects Medicare (see Myth 3).

Quote:
MYTH ONE: MEDICARE COSTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL
Facts: Medicare spending will soar in the years ahead as the number of seniors grows, but its per-capita growth is slower than private health insurance - and it is getting better. "We may be reaching the point now where Medicare healthcare expenses are growing no more quickly than growth of the economy overall," said John Rother, chief executive officer of the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC). "That's important, but it might as well be a state secret as far as the public and Congress goes."

The average annual per-capita spending growth rate through 2019 is projected at 3.1 percent for Medicare, compared with 4.9 percent for private insurance plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The 3.1 percent projection even includes higher payments to doctors as part of a long-term solution to the long-running problem of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) used under current law to control Medicare spending on physician services.

The 3.1 percent projection also is smaller than the 3.7 percent annual growth in gross domestic product for that period projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

Although we hear plenty about fraud and abuse in Medicare - which is a legitimate area of concern - the program is dramatically more efficient than private insurance. Medicare spent just 1.4 percent of every dollar on administrative overhead, even including money spent to fight fraud and abuse, compared with 25 percent overhead in private plans, according to Richard Kaplan, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law who specializes in elder law matters.

MYTH TWO: MEDICARE IS GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE
Facts: The government funds Medicare, but healthcare delivery is entirely private.

The phrase "government healthcare" implies that the Medicare program actually delivers the care - as the National Health Service does in Great Britain, or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does here. Medicare is simply a government-financed health insurance provider.

"The government provides the financing, so it's appropriate to say the government is the health insurance company," Kaplan said. "But all the doctors, pharmacies, and nursing homes are private. The provider sends a bill - instead of Blue Cross Blue Shield, the federal government writes the check. But you go to whatever hospital you want."

MYTH THREE: OBAMACARE SLASHES $700 BLN FROM MEDICARE
Facts: The Romney-Ryan campaign has trotted out this scary-sounding number to deflect attention from Ryan's voucher plan. But it is largely a false claim because it implies that the health reform law slashes benefits.

The Affordable Care Act actually delivers expanded benefits to seniors. It closes the prescription drug donut hole over time, with 3.6 million seniors saving a collective $2.1 billion last year; it also expands preventive services, including an annual wellness visit, mammograms and prostate cancer screenings with no out-of-pocket cost.

Obamacare does cut $700 billion in Medicare spending over a 10-year period. But the cuts are adjustments in payments to Medicare providers, which are mostly meaningless to patients. According to the CBO, the ACA's 10-year cuts include $415 billion in fee-for-service payments to healthcare providers, $156 billion in reduced payments to Medicare Advantage plans, $56 billion to hospitals, and $114 billion in other miscellaneous cuts far too numerous to detail here.

MYTH FOUR: DOCTORS WILL NOT ACCEPT MEDICARE BECAUSE OF ALL THESE CUTS
Facts: Most Medicare patients do not have trouble finding doctors who will see them, but there is growing concern about access to primary care physicians.

This issue is monitored closely by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent Congressional agency charged with advising Congress on Medicare. The agency's most recent annual survey of Medicare patients found that just 2 percent of beneficiaries had problems of any kind finding a new primary care doctor willing to accept Medicare - the same percentage of patients aged 50-64 with private insurance who report problems.

Likewise, just 2.1 percent report trouble of any kind finding specialists willing to accept Medicare, compared with 2.3 percent for patients with private insurance.

MYTH FIVE: THE WEALTHY ARE GETTING A FREE RIDE
Facts: Medicare has been means-tested since 2003, when the Medicare Modernization Act established higher premiums for Part B (outpatient services) for individuals with $85,000 or more in annual income, and joint filers with income over $170,000.

The ACA expanded these income-related premiums to the Part D prescription drug benefit, and to the Part C Medicare Advantage program. Wealthy Americans - of all ages - also will start paying a new 3.8 percent Medicare contribution tax on unearned income. The tax affects individuals with more than $200,000 in modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), and married couples filing jointly with more than $250,000 of MAGI.

MYTH SIX: RISING LONGEVITY WILL SINK MEDICARE
Facts: It is true that people are living longer, and Medicare's eligibility age is fixed for everyone at 65. But that does not mean Medicare costs are rising as a result. That is because nursing homes, which are the biggest area of expense incurred in advanced age, are not covered under Medicare.

Medicare covers most hospital costs, but a very limited amount of nursing home expenses. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the cumulative cost borne by the Medicare program plateaus at age 80.

"It's logical that longer living means more cumulative healthcare expense," Kaplan said. "But what happens is we need more nursing care, and less hospital care."


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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:16 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:58 pm
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So, I'm reading that increasing taxes is a good thing from the Obamacare supporters.

I hope your income taxes go up 25% so you can get a better house for the guy next door, too.

Fewking idiots who believe anything the government does is for anyone's benefit other than Congressmen. You can quote me on that.

Wino


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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:11 pm 

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Posts: 1887
Wino wrote:
So, I'm reading that increasing taxes is a good thing from the Obamacare supporters.

I hope your income taxes go up 25% so you can get a better house for the guy next door, too.

Fewking idiots who believe anything the government does is for anyone's benefit other than Congressmen. You can quote me on that.

Wino

Well, that was useful. Care to submit any facts or figures? I thought you were an engineer.


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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:19 pm 

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Why do I oppose Obamacare? It goes well beyond Obamacare and into the excessive lawlessness of the federal government as a whole.

I also oppose medicare and medicaid because anytime you have the government paying for something, the price goes up. Also, for this reason, I oppose higher-education grants. But most people cannot look beyond their immediate self interest, nor can the look into the past to see the trends that bear out my statements. There's a reason why medical and college costs are rising faster than a teenager's erection in a Las Vegas bordello. Obamacare will only accelerate this trend of higher prices even more.

I also opposed raising taxes on "fringe benefits" when the Congress said that the "rich" were taking advantage of these to get better medical care than the workers. We used to get free healthcare insurance back in the 1970s. How's that "taxing the rich" strategy working out for you personally today? If you're truly looking out for the welfare of others, you should oppose any tax increases on any small segment and instead support tax decreases across the board. Of course, the government would need to spend less to accommodate this, and that apparently is not going to happen.

Chart government spending over the last 20 years alone. In 1990(ish), the budget went over $1 trillion. The non-budget spending now (there hasn't been a federal budget in three years) is at about $3.5 Trillion. Has your income risen by 350% in that time? Even more telling, has the median income gone up that much? So, why is it we let the government spend itself into a hole that we're going to have to eventually get out of? Digging deeper, the present plan, isn't going to get us out of this.

Basically, the government is so far beyond its mandated duties that we're quickly approaching a caretaker state. From that, it is a small step to dictatorship. The more the government does "for you," the less freedom you have. Just remember this post when your grandchildren are in chains. (That's called "figurative speech," and it alludes to the financial burden the government is putting on our progeny. I sincerely hope it does not become a literal outcome, as it might.)

I've lived in Europe for about a decade in my life, and I've seen the Europeans turn into a flock of sheep over the last 30 years. I see the US going the same route. Obamacare is merely another step in the "flock them" direction, albeit a huge leap. I fear for what my country is becoming, and I don't understand how otherwise-reasonable people can see it happening and not recognize the inevitable end result.

So, am I angry about Obamacare? You're darned tootin' I am. But I'm angry because of what it represents, not because of the legislation itself. Unless something changes radically, the US is doomed to become the modern-day failed State. Greece, England, and Rome (Italy) used to be the superpowers in their times, too. Look at them in the world today and see the future of the US when this policy (and its ancestral big-government policies) bears its inevitable fruit.

It seems to me that unless we forcefully throw off the oppressive government we're getting, my grandchildren are not going to have the chances I have had.

Wino


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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:10 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
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Wino wrote:
Why do I oppose Obamacare? It goes well beyond Obamacare and into the excessive lawlessness of the federal government as a whole.

When the Supreme Court (a conservative one!) says it's lawful, it's lawful. Or is this news to you? Are you a law scholar? Or are you just making stuff up? Ever read the Constitution? If the Court upholds something, it's Constitutional until/unless the Court reverses itself.

Wino wrote:
I also oppose medicare and medicaid because anytime you have the government paying for something, the price goes up.

Some statistics, please? My dad is an engineer. I made the mistake of believe that because he's an engineer and bases his opinions on actual data, that all engineers are like that. I was apparently wrong about that. My bad.

Wino wrote:
Also, for this reason, I oppose higher-education grants. But most people cannot look beyond their immediate self interest, nor can the look into the past to see the trends that bear out my statements. There's a reason why medical and college costs are rising faster than a teenager's erection in a Las Vegas bordello. Obamacare will only accelerate this trend of higher prices even more.

Again, I'm asking for some factual evidence about your contention regarding healthcare costs. We've discussed education costs elsewhere. That's off topic.

Wino wrote:
I also opposed raising taxes on "fringe benefits" when the Congress said that the "rich" were taking advantage of these to get better medical care than the workers. We used to get free healthcare insurance back in the 1970s. How's that "taxing the rich" strategy working out for you personally today? If you're truly looking out for the welfare of others, you should oppose any tax increases on any small segment and instead support tax decreases across the board. Of course, the government would need to spend less to accommodate this, and that apparently is not going to happen.

Actually taxes are the lowest they've been in decades. http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of-federal-individual-1.html You really like to play it fast and loose with facts, don't you? You're so off base here that it's not even funny.

Wino wrote:
Chart government spending over the last 20 years alone. In 1990(ish), the budget went over $1 trillion. The non-budget spending now (there hasn't been a federal budget in three years) is at about $3.5 Trillion. Has your income risen by 350% in that time? Even more telling, has the median income gone up that much? So, why is it we let the government spend itself into a hole that we're going to have to eventually get out of? Digging deeper, the present plan, isn't going to get us out of this.

Stay on topic and don't go off on tangents. There's a whole thread on the National Debt (complete with charts) in this forum. Read it. The facts, with real numbers, are all there. We'd been reducing the deficit from its all time WW2 highs constantly except for 2 periods: when the Reagan tax cuts were in effect and when the Bush (2) tax cuts were in effect (which they still are). Go argue your case there, but come armed with facts and figures.

Wino wrote:
Basically, the government is so far beyond its mandated duties that we're quickly approaching a caretaker state. From that, it is a small step to dictatorship. The more the government does "for you," the less freedom you have. Just remember this post when your grandchildren are in chains. (That's called "figurative speech," and it alludes to the financial burden the government is putting on our progeny. I sincerely hope it does not become a literal outcome, as it might.)

Oh great, you're trotting out a retread of the "if Social Security passes, the Communists will have won" argument. The government's mandated duties are spelled out in the Constitution, among which "promote the general welfare" is included.

Wino wrote:
So, am I angry about Obamacare? You're darned tootin' I am. But I'm angry because of what it represents, not because of the legislation itself. Unless something changes radically, the US is doomed to become the modern-day failed State. Greece, England, and Rome (Italy) used to be the superpowers in their times, too. Look at them in the world today and see the future of the US when this policy (and its ancestral big-government policies) bears its inevitable fruit.

It seems to me that unless we forcefully throw off the oppressive government we're getting, my grandchildren are not going to have the chances I have had.

Wino

Wino, no disrespect to you personally, but you haven't really cited much in the way of facts unless you're going off topic. And as for going off topic, as I mentioned above, there's a whole thread on the National Debt and government spending. As a matter of fact, if you look that some of the posts in this thread, there's a link to where the CBO and crunched the numbers and determined that the ACA will actually reduce the National Debt (August 6 post).

Geez, I saw you coming. I said:
Despite the points in the original post and despite this latest CBO assessment, the opponents of the law will continue to hammer home the same points to their audiences as if none of this information existed. They won't even try to refute it; they'll just pretend that it doesn't exist. And the vast majority of their audience won't bother to look up the facts for themselves. They'll just echo the same points as their leadership.

And here you are!


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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:37 am 
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Ed Gillespie: Obama running 'fear and smear' campaign

http://video.foxnews.com/v/1793984845001/

- Medicare trustees - Part A becomes insolvent in 2016?
- $716 Billion Dollar Cut to Medicare to go towards other purposes?
- Romney: Never paid less than 13% in income tax. Doesn’t include off-shore accounts?
- Gillespie: The reason why McCain’s taxes in 2008 weren’t an issue is because Obama wasn’t trying to distract from a 4 year long record of failed policies.
- FUD? Under the Ryan plan Romney would pay less than 1% taxes each year at 8:14. Under 200K middle income families would not have to pay taxes on capital gains. Not applicable to Romney. Distraction?

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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:38 am 
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Robert Gibbs: Paul Ryan should 'thank President Obama'

http://video.foxnews.com/v/1793304156001/robert-gibbs-paul-ryan-should-thank-president-obama/?playlist_id=87485


- FUD? $716 Billion Dollar Cut to Medicare – to fund Obamacare?
- Interesting quote by the Office of the Actuary at 3:40.
- Transparency Hang-up: Mitt Romney’s personal tax returns.
- Transparency Obama: Executive privilege on Fast & Furious.
- Biden: “We’re going to put ya’ll back in chains?” Seriously?
- Is Obama Serious about the Campaign? The President refuses to hold solo press conferences at the White House - only one granted this year. (Obama’s last sit-down interview with the New York Times was in September 2010. The Washington Post has been waiting since December of 2009.)

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~ Eagle


Last edited by Eagle on Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Affordable Care Act - Dispelling FUD
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:49 am 

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Take a position, Eagle. Let's hear what you think before we chime in.

Edit: Oh, and let's confine this thread to the ACA. We can open other threads on other subjects. I don't intend for this one to become the mess that the original Obamacare thread became. And since it's strongly related, I guess we can discuss Medicare here as well.


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