CBO: Obamacare will reduce employment, amounts to hidden tax for some


The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released a stunner report saying Obamacare will discourage many from seeking full time work and reduce employment by 2.5 million jobs in ten years. Those unemployed or underemployed receive large Obamacare subsidies. If they become fully employed, those subsidies go away and they might actually lose money, says CBO.

The congressional actuaries go on to state that forgoing Obamacare subsidies and returning to full time work with health benefits (for lower wage and middle class workers) amounts to an average, implicit tax of about 15% paid by each worker. CBO does note that these considerations only affect a segment of the workforce – specifically the middle class and working class who earn annual incomes that put them below 400% of the Federal poverty level (about $95,000 for a family of four). But that represents a large portion of the labor market.

The White House beamed in from Arcturus with comically irrelevant comments in a losing attempt to slap down the report.

The law means people “will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods”, said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

He said the law would also allow participants the freedom to retire early or become stay-at-home parents.

House Democrat says Obamacare can’t work, after announcing retirement


Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) says Obamacare can’t work because millennials aren’t signing up in enough numbers to pay for it. Moran, who announced his retirement after twelve terms, perhaps feels he can now speak his mind. He has a point. The vast bulk of those getting Obamacare get subsidies, which is assumed to be paid for by young people. What happens if they don’t sign up?

“I’m afraid that the millennials, if you will, are less likely to sign up. I think they feel more independent, I think they feel a little more invulnerable than prior generations. But I don’t think we’re going to get enough young people signing up to make this bill work as it was intended to financially. And, frankly, there’s some legitimacy to their concern because the government spends about $7 for the elderly for every $1 it spends on the young,” Moran said.

Those with Obamacare subsidies may owe money when tax time comes


Obamacare is a confused muddle that seems a gift to insurance companies who, as you may have noticed, supported it. Those who have Obamacare subsidies may receive nasty jolts come tax time in 2015, especially if their income fluctuates, as they could owe additional money. Obamcare rates are based on monthly income. If your income goes up for a few months, then drops back down, your subsidy for those months could be disallowed and thus you’ll have to pay the difference.

Obamacare is curiously overcomplicated. Why is that? And who benefits from it? You might even have to make a repayment even if your income doesn’t fluctuate, suggests one study.

If a person’s income fluctuates, which happens more frequently than many realize, the subsidy amount will change from month to month. Thus, when it comes time to file taxes in April, the amount of subsidy received over the past year must be reconciled with the final calculation of the total subsidy for which the individual was eligible—based on actual income for the entire tax year.

If subsidized Obamacare exchange enrollees don’t report any changes in their income throughout the year, they could be on the hook for potentially expensive repayments come tax time.

Obamacare stumbles out of the gate. Borked software, confusion


People and providers often don’t know if someone is covered. Michael Moore says Obamacare is ‘awful’, a boon to insurance companies, and we have to take the mess that is Obamacare and make it into something workable and useful. And that Obama will be no help.

Now that the individual mandate is officially here, let me begin with an admission: Obamacare is awful.

I believe Obamacare’s rocky start — clueless planning, a lousy website, insurance companies raising rates, and the president’s telling people they could keep their coverage when, in fact, not all could — is a result of one fatal flaw: The Affordable Care Act is a pro-insurance-industry plan implemented by a president who knew in his heart that a single-payer, Medicare-for-all model was the true way to go. When right-wing critics “expose” the fact that President Obama endorsed a single-payer system before 2004, they’re actually telling the truth.

What we now call Obamacare was conceived at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and birthed in Massachusetts by Mitt Romney, then the governor. The president took Romneycare, a program designed to keep the private insurance industry intact, and just improved some of its provisions. In effect, the president was simply trying to put lipstick on the dog in the carrier on top of Mitt Romney’s car. And we knew it.

Meanwhile, continuing problems glitches in the system means some have no clue if they are covered or not. People sometimes don’t know if their signup worked, and until they get and pay the first bill, they are not officially covered. Some have been turned away by hospitals and doctors because of unclear insurance status.

California extends payment deadline for Obamacare policies to Jan. 15

Amid deepening consumer frustration, California’s health exchange extended the payment deadline to Jan. 15 for insurance coverage starting Jan. 1 under the federal healthcare law.

Unbelievably, people are being told to start over at the state’s Medicaid office because the software is so borked it apparently told them they were signed up but didn’t actually do it. I’m a software developer and genuinely do not understand how a software system can be that screwed up.

HealthCare.gov defects leave many Americans eligible for Medicaid, CHIP without coverage

To try to provide coverage to these people before they seek medical care, the Obama administration has launched a barrage of phone calls in recent days in 21 states, advising those who applied that the quickest route into the programs is to start over at their state’s Medicaid agency.

Health Sherpa. Look up Obamacare plans by zipcode


The Health Sherpa makes it easy to look up what Obamacare plans are available to you. Just enter your zip code to see all the plans. You can also display the individual categories of bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. If you are low-income be sure to enter your income to see what subsidy you qualify for. For example, a family of two making $30,000 can get a substantial subsidy of several hundred a month, which can make the policies quite affordable.

The Health Sherpa is not a government site. It was created by three coders in San Francisco who wanted to make it easy for people to research plans. They have performed a huge public service. After you find a plan you like, sign up on healthcare.gov, where it really seems like they’ve gotten the bugs fixed.