Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Obamacare Schadenfreude for 03/25/14

The storm that's expected to "bomb" out off shore New England later today is brushing by;  I counted 10 snowflakes drift by  out the window while doing the breakfast dishes.  New England is welcome to it; we're tired of winter.

Obamacare Schadenfreude; on the other hand, is thick in the air:

Why does the Obama administration and the Congressional democrats hate women?  For some who are married but filing taxes separately, another HealthCare.gov hurdle
In May 2012, when the Internal Revenue Service proposed its rules for Americans to get government subsidies for health insurance, officials acknowledged that a legal quirk needed to be fixed: The Affordable Care Act was written in a way that inadvertently denied such help to some people who live apart from spouses who abuse them, are in prison or are on the cusp of a divorce.

The problem is that the law’s authors, in creating tax credits to help pay for health plans bought through the new insurance marketplaces, had overlooked the fact that some married people file their tax returns separately.

The IRS said in the preamble to those 2012 rules that it would correct the mistake, yet in the nearly two years since then, the Treasury Department has not made the change. And battered spouses have become the leading edge of a small army of people — legally married but filing taxes on their own — stepping up pressure to get an equal chance at affordable health plans.
To be fair, they don't really hate them; they just don't really care. Eggs, omelettes.

WA “premium” exchange plan not so golden after all
Barbara Boxer may argue that ObamaCare has been a huge success and Joe Biden may want to propose Barack Obama for sainthood, but the experience for most Americans has been far from heavenly. Even those who opted for the gold-level plans get unpleasant surprises when attempting to access medical services. In Washington, KOMO reported this weekend that one family paying high premiums for gold-level coverage will now also pay for half of all hospital costs after an emergency sent their daughter to a hospital that exists to treat children:

That's gonna be a mighty big omelette. But there's nothing you can't fix without cute cat gifs...
With the deadline for enrolling in the Obamacare exchanges just days away, the White House is scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas — including turning to cat GIFs, or animated videos made of multiple still photos.

The cats are just some of the goofy GIFs the White House has posted, according to the Florida Times-Union, which said the White House is trying to catch the latest retro Internet craze.

Some of the GIFs don’t seem terribly related to the points the White House is trying to make.

Indeed, they seem to be near-desperate grabs for attention as the administration is still short of the goal of enrollees, particularly among younger Americans who are needed in order to make the economics of the Affordable Care Act work.
And if cat gifs can't do it, how about the threat of Bubonic Plague?

Not yet. Four years later, Democrats wait for ObamaCare popularity bounce
Democrats have been waiting for ObamaCare to become popular for four years.
And counting.

Congressional leaders and senior White House advisers have been saying since 2010 that public opinion will turn their way sometime soon. Be patient, they have told anxious members of their party again and again.
. . .
According to a Pew survey released last week, 53 percent of the public disapproves of the Affordable Care Act, with only 41 percent saying they approve. Opinions were split almost evenly in the fall of 2010 before the Republican wave election, which Obama called a “shellacking.”

Adding to the nervousness among ObamaCare’s advocates is the fact that enrollment numbers lag significantly behind the administration’s original estimates.
The left wing polling media however, is doing their crooked best to cheat the polling data: Pew Polling Reports That Even Among Obamacare Opponents, Most Want Their Congressmen to "Make Obamacare Work." Here's How They Got The Answer They Wanted.
It's a useful bit of propaganda for Obamacare supporters to say "Even those opposed to Obamacare still want their Congressmen to work to improve the system, to make it work."
Pew's supplied the Democrats with that very bandwagon-effect-promoting propaganda.
But did they get the answer they wanted fairly?

Well, imagine how you, personally, would inquire into the preferred course of action of Obamacare supporters. You might give them the options of "Work to improve it anyway," or "Stay out of the way of it/Let it collapse under its own weight," and so forth.
Here are the options -- two of them -- that Pew gave respondents to choose from:
What do you think elected officials who oppose the health care law should do now that the law has started to take effect? Should they [X] or should they [Y]?
Do what they can to make the law work as well as possible
Do what they can to make the law fail
Emphases added.
Pew gave them a binary choice between "doing what they can to make the law work" and actively working to subvert and sabotage the law, and they present it as a meaningful bit of data that 30% supported the former choice, and only 19% the latter.
A whole list from Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox, 03.24.14"
The “No Obamacare Horror Stories” Lies;

on the other, Valerie Jarrett is lying though her teeth: "We’ve had less increase in premiums than ever in last 50 years"
During Obama’s term, between 2009 to 2012, premiums have climbed $2,370 for the average family with an employer-provided plan – a rate faster than the during the previous four years under President George W. Bush, according to Kaiser.

Investor’s Business Daily’s John Merline was first to note the difference in premiums climbing faster under Obama than the previous four years under Bush.
I'm sure in some way she's managing to delude herself.

GOP Refutes the "No Obamacare Taxes this Year" lie: According to the Admin's numbers, 20M small businesses use the individual tax system & could be subject to Obamacare taxes this yr.

Hey, maybe they should have read it before they passed it.

Speaking of which, Halbig v. Sebelius is going to court today to decide if, in fact, the federal government can provide subsidies for Obamacare policies not purchased through the state exchanges:
On Tuesday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear one of the more important legal challenges to ObamaCare's lawless implementation. Unlike the challenge to the individual insurance mandate, Halbig v. Sebelius involves no great questions of constitutional interpretation. The plaintiffs are merely asking the judges to tell the Administration to faithfully execute the plain language of the statute that Congress passed and President Obama signed.

The Affordable Care Act—at least the version that passed in 2010—instructed the states to establish insurance exchanges, and if they didn't the Health and Human Services Department was authorized to build federal exchanges. The law says that subsidies will be available only to people who enroll "through an Exchange established by the State." The question in Halbig is whether these taxpayer subsidies can be distributed through the federal exchanges, as the Administration insists.

Prior to passage, Democrats were divided over the structure of the exchanges, with liberals favoring a national clearinghouse and moderates state control. The federalists won and conditioned the subsidies on state-based exchanges.

This was no accident. The federal government cannot commandeer the sovereign states under the Constitution, so Democrats created an incentive for Governors to participate voluntarily. If they didn't cooperate by taking the quid of the exchanges, they would deny their constituents the quo of eligibility to claim billions of dollars worth of benefits. The other Democratic goal was to have the states share in the workload of implementation, instead of concentrating everything within HHS.

But also prior to passage, Democrats were convinced that the ObamaCare opposition would melt away as Americans learned to love the law. That did not happen. Some 34 states opted out, and two others couldn't meet all the HHS mandates by deadline. So the Administration faced a choice: HHS could either obey the law, deny subsidies to the two-thirds of the U.S. population living in states with federal exchanges and thus greatly diminish Mr. Obama's legacy project. Or it could improvise a workaround—which is what it did.

In 2012, HHS and the Internal Revenue Service arrogated to themselves the power to rewrite the law and published a regulation simply decreeing that subsidies would be available through the federal exchanges too. The IRS devoted only a single paragraph to its deviation from the statute, even though the "established by a State" language appears nine times in the law's text. The rule claims that an exchange established on behalf of a state is a "federally established state-established exchange," as if HHS is the 51st state.
While not directly addressing the legality of Obamacare, a ruling that the feds could not subsidize non-state policies would seriously cripple Obamacare.  The legal issues seem pretty clear; the Administration should enforce the law as written, not how they would, currently, prefer to see it. But courts seem to be able to get to arrangements that please them, even if the words disagree sometimes.

No comments:

Post a Comment