It just keeps coming. On 5th anniversary of health care law, no end to debate
The White House ceremony on March 23, 2010, was an applause-filled celebration. "When I sign this bill," Obama said, "all of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform."CBO: Obamacare to Hit Only 65 Percent of 2015 Coverage Target
But the polemic around "Obamacare" hasn't cooled much, and the permanence of the president's achievement remains in question as the nation awaits the outcome of a Supreme Court case that could jeopardize insurance for nearly 8 million people.
Here's a look at the health care law, then and now:
Then: 49.9 million people were uninsured in 2010, according to the Census Bureau.
Now: That's down significantly, to somewhere between 30 million and 40 million people.
The administration recently estimated that 16.4 million adults have gained insurance since the law's coverage provisions took effect.
Measuring differently, data from a large daily survey called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index suggests a more modest impact: The uninsured rate dropped from 16.3 percent in early 2010 to 12.3 percent this year among adults 18-64, which translates to about 9.7 million fewer uninsured. . .
Given that Obamacare’s supporters like to take the Congressional Budget Office’s overly optimistic scoring of the president’s signature legislation as gospel, it’s fun to look at how poorly Obamacare is actually doing in relation to earlier CBO projections. When the Democrats rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2010 without a single Republican vote, the CBO said that the unpopular overhaul would lead to a net increase of 26 million people with health insurance by 2015 (15 million through Medicaid plus 13 million through the Obamacare exchanges minus 2 million who would otherwise have had private insurance but wouldn’t because of Obamacare).So really, it turns out to be just another part of the welfare state.
Fast-forwarding five years, the CBO now says that Obamacare’s tally for 2015 will actually be a net increase of just 17 million people (10 million through Medicaid plus 11 million through the Obamacare exchanges minus 4 million who would otherwise have had private insurance but won’t, or don’t, because of Obamacare).
In other words, Obamacare is now slated to hit only 65 percent of the CBO’s original coverage projection for 2015... In addition (and just as the CBO originally projected), the bulk of Obamacare’s net coverage gains are coming from dumping people into Medicaid (59 percent of the current projected net increase in 2015), not from getting people enrolled in private insurance (41 percent). Of course, President Obama rarely if ever talks about that aspect of Obamacare — but Republicans should.
Many Uninsured Choose Penalty Over Enrollment Offer Under Health Law
Major tax-preparation firms say many customers are paying the penalty and not getting health insurance. It is still early, since the special enrollment period launched Sunday, but research also suggests that many people who lack health insurance will pay the penalty and not get covered this year.Why? Because many people make the rationale choice that paying for their own health care, and paying the penalty is still less expensive:
Only 12% of uninsured people would buy policies if informed of the penalty, according to a survey of 3,000 adults polled through Feb. 24 by McKinsey & Co.’s Center for U.S. Health System Reform.
At H&R Block Inc., “our analysis indicates that a significant percentage of taxpayers whose household members were not covered for at least a portion of 2014 are opting” to pay the penalty, said Mark Ciaramitaro, a vice president of health-care enrollment services at the tax-preparation firm.
Richard Gonzalez, 59 years old, of Navarre, Fla., found out he will pay a $250 penalty for going without insurance. The retired employee of United Parcel Service Inc. said he won’t take advantage of the special enrollment period because it is cheaper for him to pay out-of-pocket for health care than to buy insurance on the exchange. He said he shopped on the exchange but would have to pay $400 a month for a plan with a $6,000 deductible.80,000 ObamaCare tax forms on hold
“I think it’s wrong I have to pay the penalty,” said Mr. Gonzalez. “But it beats paying more than $10,000 a year.”
The Obama administration announced Friday that 80,000 corrected tax forms for people on plans through ObamaCare have still not gone out.So, not only did the administration give away excess subsidies by mistake, it just decided to ratify that mistake by giving away the money.
It's unclear how many people will be affected by the delay, but the administration said people who have not received the corrected forms do not have to wait to file their taxes and will not have to pay any additional tax due to the effort.
The issues stem from the announcement last month that 800,000 people on insurance plans through ObamaCare received incorrect tax information. At the time, the administration said forms with corrected information would be sent out in the first week of March .
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The White House has said the error could result in some people receiving a tax credit meant to subsidize health insurance coverage by mistake.
On Friday, it said people who received the tax credit and had already filed their taxes based on the incorrect forms would not have to refile and could keep the extra tax credit. The administration previously gave this flexibility to 50,000 people who had filed their taxes at the time the original error was announced.