The latest news from four federal agencies is that:
1) insurance will be a lot less affordable than Americans were led to expect,
2) fewer people than promised will get insurance and
3) millions of people who have coverage through a job now will lose it, thanks to the president’s “reforms.”
Oh, and children are the biggest victims.
The Affordable Care Act is looking less and less affordable.
Start with the IRS’s new estimate for what the cheapest family plan will cost by 2016: $20,000 a year to cover two adults and three kids. And that will only cover 60 percent of medical bills, so add hefty out-of-pocket costs, too.
The next surprise is for parents who thought their kids would be covered by an employer. Sloppy wording in the law left that unclear until last week, when the IRS ruled that kids won’t be covered.
Starting in 2014, the law will require employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer coverage or pay a penalty. “Affordable” coverage, that is — meaning the employee can’t be told to contribute more than 9.5 percent of his salary. For example, a worker earning $40,000 a year cannot be required to pay more than $3.800.
But the law doesn’t specifically mandate family coverage — and now the administration says that won’t be required.
You can see why: If the lowest-cost family plan (again, two adults and three kids) is to run a whopping $20,000, and if the employee’s contribution is limited to $3,800, the employer’s tab would be $16,200 — adding about $7.40 an hour to the cost of that employee. Wisely, the IRS announced on Jan. 30 that employers won’t have to pay for dependents.
But the Congressional Budget Office’s much-cited prediction that ObamaCare would leave only 30 million people uninsured by 2016 was based on the assumption that kids would be covered by employers.
At the very least, employers insuring their workers for the first time to avoid the penalty are unlikely to do that.
So how will the kids be covered? They won’t. The IRS shocked the law’s advocates by announcing that the insurance exchanges won’t provide subsidies for a child whose parent is covered at work.
Nor will these parents be penalized for not insuring their children — the IRS will kindly consider the kids exempt from the mandate.
…All in all, at least 40 million people could be uninsured in 2016, only 9 million fewer than before the law was passed.
Expect the momentum for repealing this law to grow as its flaws, perverse incentives and faulty predictions come to light.
Do you remember when he said that once his plan passes, insurance premiums will “decrease by 3,000%, so you should get a raise”?
How about when he said “We can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year”?
Now it turns out that the least expensive (and lowest coverage) plan to be offered will cost the average American family some $20,000 per year.
Is it beginning to dawn on you yet that this man will say just about anything to get destructive policies implemented, and that no lie is too big to tell in the process?
(CNSNews.com) – In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.
Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.
The IRS’s assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.
The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.
“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.
Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare–after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.
In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare’s mandate to buy insurance.
To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.
In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.
Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a “penalty” (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a “tax”) of $2,400 in 2016.
For those wondering how clear the IRS’s clarifications of this new “penalty” rule are, here is one of the actual examples the IRS gives:
“Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage.
“(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J’s household income is $120,000. H and J’s applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.
“(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 – $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).
“(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).”
Thanks, Obama! Nearly 1 in 10 Employers Already Plan to Drop Health Care for Employees Once Obamacare Kicks InJuly 24, 2012
About one in 10 employers plan to drop health coverage when key provisions of the new health care law kick in less than two years from now, according to a survey to be released Tuesday by the consulting company Deloitte.
Nine percent of companies said they expect to stop offering coverage to their workers in the next one to three years, the Wall Street Journal reported. Around 81 percent said they would continue providing benefits and 10 percent said they weren’t sure.
The companies, though, said a lot will depend on how future provisions of the law unfold, since most of the key parts are scheduled to take effect in 2014. One in three respondents said they could stop offering coverage if the law requires them to provide more generous benefits than they do now, if a tax on high-cost plans takes effect in 2018 as scheduled or if they decide it would be cheaper for them to pay the penalty for not providing insurance.
While small business don’t face fines for failing to offer coverage, companies with 50 or more full time employees face a penalty starting at $2,000 per worker.
Deloitte conducted the study between February and April — before the Supreme Court upheld most of the law — and surveyed corporate and human-resources executives from 560 companies currently offering benefits.
In contrast, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that around seven percent of workers could lose coverage under the law by 2019.
Thanks, Obama! Obamacare Has $5 Billion More In Taxes Than Expected, Including $1.5 Billion in Worker TaxesJuly 24, 2012
“According to the updated estimates, the amount of deficit reduction from penalty payments and other effects on tax revenues under the ACA will be $5 billion more than previously estimated,” the CBO reported today. “That change primarily effects a $4 billion increase in collections from such payments by employers, a $1 billion increase in such payments by individuals, and an increase of less than $500 million in tax revenues stemming from a small reduction in employment-based coverage, which will lead to a larger share of total compensation taking the form of taxable wages and salaries and a smaller share taking the form of nontaxable health benefits.”
In short, CBO revised the Obamacare tax burden upward by $4 billion for businesses and $1 billion to $1.5 billion for individual workers.
CBO couldn’t help but bump into Chief Justice John Roberts controversial decision uphold the individual mandate as a constitutional exercise of Congress’s taxing power. The report dubs the individual mandate a “penalty tax” — that is, “a penalty paid to the Treasury by taxpayers when they file their tax returns and enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.”
Obama to Cut Health Care Benefits to Military, While Leaving Unionized Civilian Defense Workers’ Benefits UntouchedFebruary 28, 2012
We all remember when Obama, as a candidate for president, lied through his teeth, claiming his father served in WWII and received benefits after the war.
He decried Bush’s policies, saying Bush was “betraying a solemn pact we make with our veterans.” And he emphasized that we had to protect military pay and benefits.
The only problem was that Obama’s dad would have been about 9 years old during WWII. So the story stunk to high heaven, right from the get-go.
Now, Obama is showing his true colors by proposing budget cuts for military families and retirees, forcing them to pay up to an astonishing 345% more for their health insurance benefits.
Here’s the story:
Obama to Cut Health Care Benefits to Military, While Leaving Unionized Civilian Defense Workers’ Benefits Untouched
The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched.
The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.
The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.
The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.
Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.
“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”
…Under the new plan, the Pentagon would get the bulk of its savings by targeting under-65 and Medicare-eligible military retirees through a tiered increase in annual Tricare premiums that will be based on yearly retirement pay.
Significantly, the plan calls for increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. After that, the plan will impose five-year increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent—more than 3 times current levels.
According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.
The new plan hits active duty personnel by increasing co-payments for pharmaceuticals and eliminating incentives for using generic drugs.
The changes are worrying some in the Pentagon who fear it will severely impact efforts to recruit and maintain a high-quality all-volunteer military force. Such benefits have been a key tool for recruiting qualified people and keeping them in uniform.
“Would you stay with a car insurance company that raised your premiums by 345 percent in five years? Probably not,” said the congressional aide. “Would anybody accept their taxes being raised 345 percent in five years? Probably not.”
…The massive increases beginning next year appear timed to avoid upsetting military voters in a presidential election year, critics of the plan say.
Additionally, the critics said leaving civilian workers’ benefits unchanged while hitting the military reflect the administration’s effort to court labor unions, as government unions are the only segment of organized labor that has increased in recent years.
As part of the increased healthcare costs, the Pentagon also will impose an annual fee for a program called Tricare for Life, a new program that all military retirees automatically must join at age 65. Currently, to enroll in Tricare for Life, retirees pay the equivalent of a monthly Medicare premium.
Under the proposed Pentagon plan, retirees will be hit with an additional annual enrollment fee on top of the monthly premium.
Thanks, Obama! 30% of Businesses to Say They’ll Have to Eliminate Health Coverage As Obamacare StartsJune 7, 2011
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Once provisions of the Affordable Care Act start to kick in during 2014, at least three of every 10 employers will probably stop offering health coverage, a survey released Monday shows.
While only 7% of employees will be forced to switch to subsidized-exchange programs, at least 30% of companies say they will “definitely or probably” stop offering employer-sponsored coverage, according to the study published in McKinsey Quarterly.
The survey of 1,300 employers says those who are keenly aware of the health-reform measure probably are more likely to consider an alternative to employer-sponsored plans, with 50% to 60% in this group expected to make a change. It also found that for some, it makes more sense to switch.
“At least 30% of employers would gain economically from dropping coverage, even if they completely compensated employees for the change through other benefit offerings or higher salaries,” the study says.
It goes on to add: “Contrary to what employers assume, more than 85% of employees would remain at their jobs even if their employers stopped offering [employer-sponsored insurance], although about 60% would expect increased compensation.”