From the I told you so section of the news comes a report that the Obama administration is having trouble convincing people to buy insurance, or pay a fine – despite the fact that they’ve extended the window to buy coverage. Why? Well…
This is the first year fines are being collected from uninsured people the government deems able to afford coverage. Tax preparation company H&R Block says the penalty averages about $170 among its affected customers. It usually is deducted from a person’s tax refund.
Those penalized are mainly the kind of people the law was intended to help: low- and middle-income workers who do not have coverage on the job or are self-employed. Roughly 4 million people are expected to pay fines, according to congressional estimates.
President Obama on Tuesday threatened to veto a pair of Republican bills in the House which would delay the employer and individual mandates for one year in the Obama health reform laws, as GOP leaders pressed Democrats to break ranks with the White House on the issue.
Almost 90% of the nation’s 30 million uninsured won’t pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement.
The architects of the health law wanted most Americans to carry insurance or pay a penalty. But an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation said most of the uninsured will qualify for one or more exemptions.
Obamacare opponents have a problem these days: to wit, the Obama administration keeps making it harder and harder to successfully describe what Obamacare currently is. Case in point: one of the more hated (I’d say most hated, but there are too many lumps of failure mixed into this walking disaster of a healthcare law to crown any particular one as worst) parts of the Affordable Care Act* is the individual mandate. Well, guess what? The administration just more or less delayed it!
Let me summarize that WaPo link: ‘honor system.’ That’s right, the administration is going to take Americans’ words for it that they tried to sign up, but couldn’t. Mind you, after mid-April (the ostensible new deadline) people will no longer be able to get an extension online. Instead, they’ll have to call up, and then use one of a number of handy excuses: Continue reading Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell comes to #Obamacare.
Despite his administration’s quiet move overnight to ease the individual mandate for some Americans, President Obama said today the requirement will “absolutely” be enforced starting April 1, 2014, when everyone must have health insurance or pay a fine.
Speaking at an end-of-year news conference, the president insisted that there will be no delay of the mandate as some Republicans have repeatedly called for.
…it’s not clear that the IRS will deploy much in the way of resources to aggressively search for individuals who don’t get coverage this first year. Enforcement of the individual mandate likely will be a huge challenge for the agency, both because of the difficulties in figuring out who doesn’t have insurance and the political problems it would pose for the Obama administration.
“I’d be very surprised if there’s much in the way of enforcement. It just doesn’t seem plausible,” said Federal Policy Group Managing Director Ken Kies, a former top congressional aide. “The IRS is in a tough spot. They don’t have the resources to do this. This is a whole different responsibility for them they never had before.”
[The Obamacare tax] tax will generally be far lower than ObamaCare premiums. That’s the clear conclusion of a new study by the 2017 Project, which compares premiums in the ObamaCare exchanges in the 50 most populous US counties to the tax that households could pay instead.
This year, that tax equals the greater of two numbers: 1) $95 per adult in a household, plus half of that amount for each child, up to $285 for an entire household, or 2) 1 percent of household income in excess of the tax-filing threshold ($10,150 for singles, and $20,300 for married couples).
So, for instance, a 31-year-old single man making $30,000 in Columbus, Ohio faces a tax of $198.50, more than $2,000 less than the cheapest option in Ohio’s ObamaCare exchange, even including his taxpayer-funded subsidy. For a 36-year-old San Diego woman making $40,000, the tax is $298.50, or nearly $2,400 less than the cheapest policy on the California exchange. She’s not eligible for a subsidy.
Big of him. And the rest of the Democratic party. And by ‘big of him’ I mean… something unprintable.
The Obama administration will not require the millions of Americans who received health-insurance plan cancellation notices to purchase a new policy next year.
They’re granting those consumers an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, a Department of Heath and Human Services spokeswoman confirmed. The mandate requires everyone to have health insurance or face a tax penalty, the greater of $95 or 1 percent of income in 2014.
The administration will also allow those consumers to sign up for catastrophic coverage. Those bare-bones plans are available to people who are under 30 or qualify for a “hardship exemption.”
I mean, obviously it’s going to mess up Joe Biden’s life: he’s the Vice President of the administration who turned the roll-out of the single most iconic representation of the progressive/liberal concept of big government into a prolonged rake-stepping session. And just as obviously it’s going to mess up Hillary Clinton’s life, too: she’s the woman who brought the rake in the first place. Remember: that individual mandate? All Hillary Clinton’s idea.
But I digress. Anyway, that’s the executive branch more or less blighted by this law; and even if there were any credible 2016 Democratic candidates among the legislature they’d all be tainted by President Obama’s Happy Shiny Fun-Time Healthcare Debacle by now anyway. But what of the governors? Surely one or two of them remains… unspoiled. Continue reading How #obamacare is messing up MANY Dem 2016 candidates’ lives.
As the law stands now, in order to be covered by March 31, people would actually need to have insurance by March 1. And since it takes up to two weeks to process insurance applications, consumers would have to apply by Feb. 15, the Associated Press reported recently. (People must apply by Dec. 15 if they want coverage starting Jan. 1.)
The Administration, however, has recognized that there’s a “disconnect” between the actual and effective deadlines, as the deadline to get health insurance in time to comply with the ACA is currently six weeks earlier than the final deadline to buy it. Now, the Administration is working to make sure the two deadlines line up with each other, says the HHS official. An announcement about when it will enforce the penalty for being uninsured, and whether that penalty will be delayed beyond the de facto March 31 deadline, will come shortly. The insurance requirement still kicks in Jan. 1, and the enrollment period will close March 31 as planned, the official adds.
This morning, while running errands with kids in tow, I did something that I try not to do (and usually regret doing): I listened to CSPAN radio when they were taking comments. Normally, this is a mistake of epic proportions: CSPAN callers typically are like Youtube commenters who have been hit with an Evolvo-Ray, only it’s a prototype and there’s still that pesky stress atavism problem. In other words, you have to switch things back to classic rock pretty darn quick – only before I could, the poor panelists who couldn’t escape the onrushing black tide were gamely trying to work out how to get young people into the Obamacare exchanges. I believe that the consensus was: lots and lots of social media.