Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Democrats Seek Relief from Obamacare Taxes...

In honor of the closing of the last open enrollment period for healthcare coverage that ended on February 15, I thought this was would be fun. Oh, this is so rich with irony I couldn't resist. Three Democrats who voted for Obamacare (a/k/a "Affordable" Care Act) are now squealing like pigs about the pending 2014 Obamacare taxes that are being levied this year against citizens who failed to purchase health insurance for 2014.

Sander Levin (D/MI - voted Yes), Jim McDermaott (D/WA - Yes) and Lloyd Dogget (D/TX - Yes) are having a change of heart. For the record, this is how they voted the first time...LINK Of course these three also voted "No" when others tried to repeal, but hey, who knew it could possibly have an impact on regular citizens? If they had only read the legislation the first time around, but as we know, reading is not a requirement for voting. But who could have anticipated this problem? Oh, yeah, we did. Because it is so special, I just had to copy the whole AP report in total for your pleasure. [Okay, I have added my own editorial comments...]


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The official sign-up season for President Barack Obama's health care law may be over, but leading congressional Democrats say millions of Americans facing new tax penalties deserve a second chance. [Penalities! No kidding?? When did this dawn on you?]

Three senior House members strongly urged the administration Monday to grant a special sign-up opportunity for uninsured taxpayers who will be facing fines under the law for the first time this year. [No kidding?? Why?]

The three are Michigan's Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, and Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, and Lloyd Doggett of Texas. All worked to help steer Obama's law through rancorous congressional debates from 2009-2010. [ Oh, no you didn't!]

The lawmakers say they are concerned that many of their constituents will find out about the penalties after it's already too late for them to sign up for coverage, since open enrollment ended Sunday. [No kidding?? Really?]

That means they could wind up uninsured for another year, only to owe substantially higher fines in 2016. The fines are collected through the income tax system.[Say it ain't so!]

"For the many families who may now be about to pay a penalty, there should be an opportunity to avoid both further penalties and to obtain affordable health insurance," said Doggett. [No kidding?? Why now exactly? Didn't you read the bill before you voted "Yes"?]

This year is the first time ordinary Americans will experience the complicated interactions between the health care law and taxes. Based on congressional analysis, tax preparation giant H&R Block says roughly 4 million uninsured people will pay penalties. [Oh, NO! Who knew this could happen??]

The IRS has warned that health-care related issues will make its job harder this filing season and taxpayers should be prepared for long call-center hold times, particularly since the GOP-led Congress has been loath to approve more money for the agency. [Yes, we must find some way to blame the Republicans...]

"Open enrollment period ended before many Americans filed their taxes," the three lawmakers said in a statement. "Without a special enrollment period, many people (who will be paying fines) will not have another opportunity to get health coverage this year. ["Special enrollment period" has been for two years now. Am I right?]

"A special enrollment period will not only help many Americans avoid making an even larger payment next year, but, more importantly, it will help them gain quality health insurance for 2015," the lawmakers added. [Again didn't they know? "Special enrollment period" has been for two years now. Am I right?]

So far, administration officials have deflected questions about whether an extension will be granted. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell has authority to grant special enrollment periods under certain circumstances. [Hey, what happened to Kathleen Sebelius?? Oh, yeah, she was "resigned to spend more tiem with her family" after that unfortunate October 2013 Obamacare website fiasco...]

Supporters of the law say an extension would mainly help low- to middle-income uninsured people, the same group that Obama's coverage expansion was intended to serve. But Republicans may criticize it as another tweak to what they see as unworkable "Obamacare." [A little late that those Dems are now thinking of helping those "low- and middle income" people. But I thought it was the Republicans who hated those people??]

The health care law imposes fines on uninsured people whose incomes are deemed high enough to enable them to afford coverage. The goal is to broaden the pool of insured people, helping to keep premiums in check for everybody. [Oh, no! You mean there are people who make enough money, but can't afford Obamacare?? How did that happen??]

The law also offers subsidies to lower the cost of private coverage for people who don't have job-based health care. That financial assistance is provided through a new tax credit. [But, but, but...it wasn't suppose to BE a tax, right?]

Although the tax credit subsidies cover most of the premiums for many people, the coverage requirement and the fines that enforce it remain deeply unpopular. [But, but, but how is it possibly "unpopular? They must be racists then, right?!]

And the cost of being uninsured in America is going up significantly. [No, really?? Who could have predicted?? Oh, yeah...Sarah Palin for one. Oooh that must hurt...]

For 2014, the fine was the greater of $95 per person or 1 percent of household income above the threshold for filing taxes. That fine will be collected when taxpayers file their 2014 returns. [That same IRS where Lois Lerner worked??]

But this year the fine will jump to the greater of 2 percent of income or $325. By 2016, the average fine will be about $1,100, based on government figures. [That's those who did not enrolled by 2/15/15, right? Oh, NO!!]

Polls show that many taxpayers are unaware of the potential financial exposure. [HOW...IS...THIS...EVEN...POSSIBLE???]

Floyd Cable, a real estate agent from Wichita Falls, Texas, said the escalating fines were part of the motivation for him and his wife to sign up last week. Both are self-employed, and stretching to pay health insurance premiums has been a struggle. [Good for you, Mr. Cable!]

"We have been going without insurance the last couple of years just because the rates are so astronomical," Cable said. [Really?]

But they were also concerned they could wind up on the wrong side of rising penalties. And, being in his early 60s, Cable said he recognizes the value of having health insurance against unexpected illness. [So, it was the possible penalties and not the fear of astronimical healthcare bills that was your incentive?? Hmmmmm....]

An extension would probably help people still on the fence, like he was. ["Fence"??? There's a fence? Oh, it's just on the borders where that would be racist, right?]

"Anything that could be done to give people more time to sort through this, is not only a good move for the administration, but just makes common sense," Cable said. [Oh NOW we are talking "common sense"! Reading the bill would have been "common sense" too, but why quibble now, right? And FOUR YEARS wasn't enough???? How slow do you read, Mr. Cable???]

Since both the subsidies and penalties under the health law are administered through the tax system, some experts have urged the Obama administration to permanently schedule sign-up season to overlap with tax-filing season.
[Yes, let's...if only someone...anyone had just read the legislation before they signed it into law...]

Now, it has been over four years since this legislation passed and countless articles, Op/Eds, blog posts, and chances to repeal/replace and NOW Democrats are having issues?? How is this possible? Frankly, I have no sympathy, but I do have a pounding headache...



Robert L. Hedd said...

Bev, The left's chickens have come home to roost!
This is a great opportunity for the right to shove this whole s%$t sammich back in the lefts faces. They should be out getting personal/family horror stories and putting them up on every website they can find. They should consistently be calling it Obamacare and NOT the ALPACA or whatever it's called. Tie EVERY Dem to this monstrosity again and again.
The left will go down with the ship on this one. Just listen to Bob Beckel on The Five. "The healthcare act is a smashing success. More people than ever are covered. It's been a boon to those without healthcare." That will be their argument forever, and they will not discuss the 'costs' of all that free healthcare.
Whenever someone on the left states the inevitable "But the Repubs would have these people dead," ask the leftists if those people would have died anyway. Those well off Dems think an extra $4000/year is acceptable to pay for healthcare. When that becomes an increase of 10% or more for most people/families, then it becomes a problem.
Let's just hope that this SC has the courage to overturn their earlier mistake, though I doubt it.
Let the Dems rot in this putrid stew of their OWN making. Not a single Repub voted for it. Not a one. Every horror story should be blasted out daily on how this affects the middle class.
Somehow, my cynicism leads me to believe that nothing the right does will matter in the long run. Look at Soc Sec, Medicare, AFDC, Food Stamps, etc. We've lost and this is the society and government we're stuck with. Nothing we can do.
Now I have a headache. Thanks Bev!!

Anonymous said...

Bev; classic, just really well done. Thank you for this.


BevfromNYC said...

Bob - Sorry for the headache, but great rant! The only thing I can add is tha tI cannot wait for those "death panels" to kick in....

BevfromNYC said...

Thanks GypsyTyger! It just boggles my mind that even now the people who voted for this are just now understanding the implications.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I laughed throughout. :) All I can say is that it's hilarious when someone squeals about their own nasty acts catching up to them!!

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - Laughter is the best medicine. And I have to keep laughing becaue of stuff like this ---->>> I just saw that Gallup has Obama's approval rating at 50%! Seriously?? Who are they polling?

But back to this - The Dems are desparate to find a way, anyway to blame the Republicans who didn't vote for the ACA and who have tried countless times to repeal it. Hence the whole lack of IRS funding from the Repubs. However, not once has any Dem put forth any kind of legislation to "fix" these pending problems at the same time criticizing the Republicans for not "fixing" the problems. My mind is boggled.

On a similar note, I had heard there are problems with people filing their income taxes becaue no one knows what to do and there are long, long waits to speak with the IRS who don't know anything anyway. I just got through the first round of my taxes (through TurboTax) and I only had to answer two questions - "Do you have insurance?" And "Do you get your insurance through...[exchanges, private, medicaid, employer]. Fortunately I could check Yes and Employer provided. That was it. No proof needed to verify. I am tempted to go back and change my answers just to see what info one has to supply if you have private insurance or exchange insurance.

BevfromNYC said...

BTW on a completely different topic - Has anyone noticed how Ruth Bader Ginsburg cannot keep her mouth shut lately? Is it just me or is it unseemly for a sitting SC Justice to comment to the press about issues before the court?

Kit said...

So, Obamacare is becoming more and more like what everyone on the right predicted it would be like?

Who knew?

Koshcat said...

Give it to them good and hard.

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