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Wednesday, December 09, 2015

ObamaCare Roundup

by JASmius

Bending the fine curve upward:

Americans who remain uninsured next year will pay substantially more in penalties to the IRS — an average of $969 per household — under ObamaCare rules, according to a new nonpartisan analysis.

That’s a jump from the 2015 penalty of $661 for those who opt out of insurance and are not exempt from the [Una]ffordable Care Act, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

That's a 46.6% increase, in case you're keeping track at home, which is comparable to the higher-end ObamaCare premium increases for 2016.

Under the so-called “individual mandate” of ObamaCare, the penalty for going uninsured started out at $95 — or 1% of family income, whichever was greater — in 2014. In 2016, it will rise to $695 per adult, plus $347.50 per child, up to a maximum $2,085 for a family — or 2.5% of family income.

Roughly the equivalent of a month's premium.

Even individuals without insurance who would qualify for federal premium subsidies will face an average penalty of $738 per household if they stay uninsured in 2016, the Kaiser analysis shows. People who don’t qualify for subsidies because their incomes are higher will pay an estimated average penalty of $1,450.

But remember, friends, it isn't really a penalty; it's a tax.  Chief Justice Roberts said so.

Meanwhile, the White House is becoming desperate to clinch their nationalization of private health insurance companies before O-Care's own death spiral reaches the point of no return:

Republicans and Democrats are close to agreeing on delaying two major taxes, the “Cadillac tax” on high-benefit plans and the medical device tax.

But those proposals have run into opposition from the White House, which wants language fixing ObamaCare’s so-called risk corridors — a program intended to help insurance companies that take a financial hit by participating in government-run health [cartel]s.

So now it's congressional Republicans AND Democrats versus the Obama White House, which is like the biggest star in a pro wrestling heel stable turning babyface at the biggest pay-per-view of the year and helping the good guys win the main event.

That program is nearly out of money because of a policy rider sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) on a year-end spending bill in 2014 that bars the [Commissariat] of Health and Human Services from tapping into other accounts to fund it.

Rubio’s role has injected presidential politics into the debate, making it all but impossible for GOP leaders to agree to the White House’s demands.

Like they would have in any case.  They know exactly the magnitude of barrel over which they have Barack Obama on this; why would they give up their advantage now that they finally have one?

The talks appeared to hit a wall Monday when Republicans ruled out "fixing" the "risk corridors", which they panned as a “bailout for insurance companies.”

Wholesale hostile takeover, actually.

“This is not on the table. Risk corridors [are] fully off the table,” said a Senate Republican leadership aide.

Despite the disagreement, Republicans are feeling optimistic they can get the healthcare pieces worked out.

Repealing the Cadillac tax, which hits the health plans of union members especially hard, is a priority of (G)Reid’s and many Democrats.

Another of those seeds of self-destruction planted in the original ObamaCare legislation, like making no provision for public subsidies through  Big Labor always hated the "Cadillac" tax, but their interests were subordinated to the Cramdown Cause.  Now, almost six years later, when the whole rotten structure is tottering and The One really needs that Donk support to coerce majority Republicans into saving a program not one of them ever voted for, it's tottering itself and may not be there.  Leaving the $64 trillion question: Will Barack Obama force a government shutdown over ObamaCare?

Yes!  He!  Will!

But he'll have to do it against the backdrop of some really awful PR optics:

States seduced by the“free” federal funds trap into expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare are facing the harsh reality that comes with an expanded welfare class: free comes at a very high price.

Medicaid expansion has blown a billion dollar hole in California’s budget and now cuts are inevitable, cuts that will hurt those with developmental disabilities.

Case in point:

The work activity center at The Arc of Alameda in Union City is just one of the programs in the Bay Area that will be shutting down over the next few months because of funding issues. Luter also plans to close a child care program in Hayward, where he said deficits have run from $40,000 to $100,000 per year since 2010. The center serves children ages two to five with mild to moderate disabilities or developmental delays.

Imagine that, ladies and gentlemen: liberal do-gooder groups being put out of business by State requirements of paid sick leave, the ObamaCare requirement that employers with more than fifty full time employees provide health insurance, an increase in overtime pay, and obscene minimum wage hikes.  The crown domestic policy jewel of Barack Hussein Obama shutting out innocent children and disabled adults in favor of the new recipients of ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion.

Go ahead, Barry.  Force a government shutdown over saving this piping hot mess you've made of American healthcare.  You really will knock yourself out.

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