Monday, April 13, 2015

Stale Obamacare Schadenfreude

I hadn't realized that I hadn't cleaned the Obamacare Schadenfreude crisper in so long. I apologize for the limpness of some these links.

When the subject is Obamacare, never forget about Chief Justice Roberts - Yes, we should remind him of how Democrats made fun of his son's outfit during his appointment announcement.

IRS deadline extended for ObamaCare customers sent the wrong tax form
ObamaCare customers who received the wrong tax form from the federal government this spring will not face penalties if they miss the April 15 deadline, officials announced Friday.

Anyone who have not yet been sent corrected tax forms and are “unable to file an accurate tax return” now have until Oct. 15 to file — as long as they request an extension.

The government did not say how many people will be given extra time, though officials said in late March that 80,000 people were still waiting on their corrected tax forms. A total of 800,000 people had mailed the wrong forms.
Second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse

Obama doubles down on Obamacare, slams Boehner’s ‘power’ grab lawsuit
Justice Department attorneys asked a federal judge in Washington late Tuesday to toss the speaker’s lawsuit, saying it exaggerates the perceived harm done by administrative delays to Obamacare, and that House Republicans cannot prove that the White House inflicted real damage on the legislative body.

“Federal courts sit only to decide actual cases and controversies, not abstract claims of legislative power,” they told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Their brief is the latest volley in the legal back-and-forth over the lawsuit, which alleges the Mr. Obama took unlawful steps to delay part of his health care law and is paying out funds to insurers without congressional approval.
Heaven forfend the conservatives should try to cut back on the executive power.
Republicans also are contesting a cost-sharing program estimated to pay out $3 billion to insurance companies in fiscal 2014 and $175 billion over the next 10 years. The program is designed to offset reduced co-insurance, co-pays and deductibles that insurers provide to qualified Obamacare enrollees as a condition of participating in the state-based health exchanges.

Mr. Boehner’s suit says Congress never authorized the payments that are flowing out of a Treasury account.
"A billion here, a billion there. . ." Aw, hell, you know the rest.

Obama: No Plan B if Supreme Court cuts Obamacare
. . . Gupta appeared to be shocked when he asked the president about his proposed way forward if his administration finds itself on the wrong end of a Supreme Court ruling in June. The CNN correspondent seemed surprised by Obama’s boilerplate condemnation of a ruling that would result in “millions of people losing their health insurance” and his admission that “there aren’t that many outcomes available” to mitigate that condition.

“If it doesn’t happen, he just says there’s going to be millions of people who lose those subsidies, lose their health care insurance,” Gupta observed. “There is no particular Plan B.”
I guess the Obama and the democrats are just out of ideas.

But fear not, the Republicans aren't: Ted Cruz could transform Obamacare debate by offering true alternative
One of the biggest barriers for conservatives rallying around a free market healthcare plan is simply that healthcare reform has never been a cause that's been as passionate for conservatives as others, such as immigration, taxes or gun rights.

That's where Cruz could come in. Cruz has emerged as an influential figure among grassroots conservatives. Were he to make not just repealing Obamacare, but advocating for a specific market-based reforms, a central part of his run for president — mentioning those reforms in ads and in campaign stops — it would change the nature of the healthcare debate as it has existed.

It would go a long way toward convincing conservatives that opposing Obamacare is not enough. And if the man who has perhaps emerged as Obamacare's most identifiable critic starts talking seriously about alternatives, it would help change how Republicans are perceived on this issue.

For now, a spokesman for the Cruz campaign told me that Cruz is evaluating various alternatives to Obamacare.

If he detailed an alternative vision on healthcare, Cruz would also change the perception of his own candidacy.
That would be the good start of a campaign.

IRS declares victory on ObamaCare
The IRS is claiming victory as ObamaCare’s first tax filing season appears to be wrapping up with only a few hiccups.

John Koskinen, the agency’s commissioner, said recently that the current filing season has gone “swimmingly” despite the extra burdens of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cutbacks to the IRS budget.

“You could have made a lot of money betting last January, 15 months ago, on that result,” Koskinen said at a speech at the National Press Club last week.

“The system has worked flawlessly,” the IRS chief later added. “It's gone smoothly. And everyone seems to be comfortable, preparers and taxpayers, in preparing their returns.”
Only if "flawlessly" means:
Olson, an in-house IRS watchdog, added that there’s definitely been “glitches” this tax season. But she said the agency hasn’t had the sort of problems it did with programs like the first-time homebuyer credit, for which it had far less preparation time.

The most notable of the problems this filing season was when the Obama administration sent out hundreds of thousands of forms that gave taxpayers incorrect information about how much of a subsidy they received to help pay for insurance. The Department of Health and Human Services was more to blame for that mishap than the IRS.

Preparers do say that many taxpayers were undoubtedly caught by surprise this year, finding that they owed the Treasury once they reconciled the amount of credit they received with an earlier estimate for their 2014 income. For this filing season, taxpayers without health insurance owe either $95 or 1 percent of their taxable income — whichever amount is highest.

Kristin Esposito of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants also knocked the IRS for consistently being late in circulating ObamaCare-related tax forms, which she said had made it difficult to make taxpayers aware of their healthcare requirements.
Which explains the saying "Good enough for government work."

Exposing Obamacare: Pulling Back the Curtain: How Obamacare was Created and How it Functions
. . .So this ‘splainer is for Politico, courtesy of Obamacare crafters Peter Orszag and Ezekiel Emanuel.

How the Cadillac Tax Raises Federal Revenues

“The majority of tax revenue will come NOT from
the direct taxation of high-cost plans
but from increased workers’ wages,
as companies shift compensation out of benefits
and toward take-home pay.”

Gruber and his buddies call this “wage growth.” They are banking on a huge assumption that even progressives quibble with: that employers who avoid the tax by dropping or trimming coverage will give workers a raise. And those wages are subject to income and payroll taxes.

(Yes, that’s right: you lose your tax-free company plan, get thrown into an Obamacare exchange, and IF you get a raise, it’ll be taxed.)

It’s true that CBO estimated the tax on insurers (and subsequently on employers and employees) will generate $87 billion through 2025. Taxes on workers’ wages, however, are predicted to deliver much more — another $202 billion (see table above).

So what do we learn from this?

  • The Cadillac Tax is a massive tax grab.
  • You really can’t “keep your plan,” as neither you nor your boss will be able to afford it.
  • The shameless Gruber can’t resist his apparent compulsion to lie.
  • Even when boldly challenging their progressive pals, the Mainstream Media can’t be trusted to report this — or anything else about Obamacare — accurately.

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