The Time is Coming

People without insurance are running out of time to avoid the hefty ObamaCare penalties that the IRS will be handing down in 2016.

Watchchya wanna bet that gets “delayed” again because of politics. 🙂

Consumers face a Feb. 15, 2015, deadline to buy insurance, after which those without coverage could be hit with fines of $325 per adult or 2 percent of family income, whichever is higher.

Uninsured people looking to escape the penalties are turning to the exchanges before they close, while insurance companies and tax preparers are seizing on the looming tax hit as a business opportunity.

One recent mass mailer from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield obtained by The Hill warned potential customers in the Washington, D.C., region that going without health insurance coverage would come with a steep cost.

“When you don’t have health insurance … you put your financial security at risk,” the mailer states. “That’s because under the new Affordable Care Act legislation, millions of Americans will have to pay an increased penalty tax of at least 2 percent of their income in 2015 if they go uninsured.”

The “good news,” the letter said, is that CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has “solutions” to help people avoid the penalty, including coverage that is “compatible with financial assistance or free money from the government that will help qualifying individuals pay for insurance.”

The company declined to comment on the mailer.

The message is part of a shift in focus for the health insurance industry as ObamaCare continues a relatively smooth second year of enrollment.

Last fall, issuers were hesitant to mention the mandate as technical glitches plagued HealthCare.gov and stopped some consumers from enrolling.

The penalties for going without health insurance were also more modest, with uninsured people due to pay $95 per adult or 1 percent of family income this tax season. Under the second-year enrollment rules, families that forgo insurance could end up owing $1,000 or more.

Tax preparation companies are touting their expertise in handling the IRS’s ObamaCare rules as they gear up for a new filing season.

Part of the pitch is helping consumers avoid the mandate through an exemption if they are eligible. 

A variety of hardship qualifications makes this route possible for many people, including those who experienced the death of a close relative, had their previous health plan canceled or saw an increase in necessary expenses due to caring for an aging family member.

“There are a lot of people who will qualify for an exemption,” said Avalere Health CEO Dan Mendelson. “If a company can save someone the 2 percent fine on $50,000 of income, that is significant.”

Firms are also offering to help current enrollees understand how changes in income can affect their tax credits to buy coverage. In some cases, they can also help the uninsured select health plans.

In promotional materials, H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt Tax Service say they can provide consumers relief, arguing that healthcare reform is making tax planning more difficult.

“The ACA [Affordable Care Act] has changed the landscape of both healthcare and tax,” H&R Block states online, inviting consumers to calculate their mandate penalty or receive a “tax impact analysis” when they become a client.

Jackson Hewitt urges consumers to stop by one of its locations, promising that their employees “work harder to keep up with the latest tax law changes to protect you from possible penalties — not everyone else does.”

The marketing around the healthcare law is taking flight at a time when surveys show the public remains deeply confused about the mandate.

Almost half of U.S. adults are unaware they must report their health insurance status on their 2014 tax returns, according to a TurboTax survey released earlier this month.

And while about three in five uninsured people know the law penalizes people without coverage, nearly 90 percent do not realize the 2014 deadline has already passed.

As a result, experts are urging insurers and the federal government to do more to emphasize the mandate this enrollment period.

Mendelson said the insurance industry is talking about the penalties more than last year, though the Obama administration has not yet adopted that approach.

“You have to remember that most people will sign up for this benefit in the very last weeks before they have to, so you wouldn’t want to message negatively until the end,” he said. “They have a choice about whether to motivate by fear or by benefit. I think the fear might come late.”

Anne Filipic, president of the campaign-style group Enroll America, said the mandate is coming up more frequently this year.

“We will always lead our conversations with the great benefits that are available to consumers,” Filipic said in a joint interview with The Hill and The Wall Street Journal last month.

“As for the fine, that is something that we will communicate to consumers about as well. It’s about delivering the facts.” (The Hill)

The fact is you’re screwed. The Government gets to decide if you live or die, and how you live. Welcome to Hell.

Sen. Tom Harkin, who co-authored the law and is retiring at the end of this Congress, said, “We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly, and we didn’t do it, So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all.

But that would have ignored 90 years of itch-scratching hell-for-leather ends justifies the means Holy Grail of Liberalism and that was an itch they had to scratch at any cost, especially to the American People. Hindsight maybe 20/20 but political hindsight is usually very myopic.

“What we did is we muddled through and we got a system that is complex, convoluted, needs probably some corrections and still rewards the insurance companies extensively,” he added.

And it was all Democrats and they paid a price for it.

But it’s still here and Jar Jar Boehner and The RINOs were the universe’s gift to Liberals and the scourge of the American people.

With businesses’ one-year reprieve from financial penalties under ObamaCare ending, the horror stories of complying with the costly health care law already are trickling in. The worst is yet to come.

ObamaCare Hits Small Business Hard in ’15

Starting Jan. 1, employers with 100 or more full-time workers face hefty increases in their health insurance costs as they comply for the first time with the mandate.

They must now offer the government’s comprehensive coverage — including “free” preventive care — for all employees working 30 or more hours a week, or risk being fined $2,000 per employee per year.

But many of these small businesses are retailers that don’t have the kind of margins where they can cover workers and still stay in business.

Many grocers and restaurants have opted to pay the fine rather than swallow the larger cost of buying coverage for all workers. Others are cutting back worker hours to duck the law altogether.

Universal health care is hardly “free,” and its costs hit both employees and customers hard. Service companies — including even garbage collectors — are passing on the added cost to customers in the form of higher bills.

Take God Bless the USA, a trash collection company outside Charlotte, N.C. It recently notified customers that it’s raising prices 5% to help cover expenses.

“Due to the Affordable Care Act, effective Jan. 1, 2015, we are obligated to provide health care coverage to all of our employees,” it explained in a Dec. 5 letter. “Unfortunately, we are unable to internalize this cost and are sorry we have to pass this cost on to you.”

Requirements under ObamaCare tighten in 2016, when smaller firms employing 50 to 99 full-time workers also have to offer coverage or face fines.

A few small businesses in Michigan that did offer employee-sponsored health coverage are now preparing to stop next year, says Michigan Group Benefits, an East Lansing-based insurance agency.

Why? Sticker shock from the pricier ACA-compliant policies, which provide everything from “free” mammograms to colonoscopies.

Blue Cross Blue Shield and other insurers have stopped allowing businesses to renew policies that aren’t compliant with ObamaCare. In their place, they’re offering plans with 14% to 45% rate increases, the National Association of Health Underwriters says.

Though employers with fewer than 50 workers are exempt from mandates, they too are feeling ObamaCare’s pain.

Kaiser Permanente already has sent cancellation letters to such employers, explaining that their existing plans don’t offer ObamaCare’s richer benefits and therefore are no longer available.

Some two-thirds of the 31 million employees who work for such firms and get health insurance from them could receive similar cancellation notices over the next year.

When the president signed ObamaCare in 2010, he promised it would “lower costs for families and for businesses.” As it turns out, neither is true. (IBD)

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

 

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

 

 

Hardship Discharge

“It’s now been redefined,” Charles Krauthammer continued, “so that all you have to do is to claim that going into the exchange would create a hardship. I mean, it’s ironic. It makes Obamacare itself the hardship — which is slightly ironic, but I think she <Sebelius> is beyond the reach of irony so she didn’t quite see it.”

Hardship exemptions

If you have any of the circumstances below that affect your ability to purchase health insurance coverage, you may qualify for a “hardship” exemption:

  1. You were homeless.
  2. You were evicted in the past 6 months or were facing eviction or foreclosure.
  3. You received a shut-off notice from a utility company.
  4. You recently experienced domestic violence.
  5. You recently experienced the death of a close family member.
  6. You experienced a fire, flood, or other natural or human-caused disaster that caused substantial damage to your property.
  7. You filed for bankruptcy in the last 6 months.
  8. You had medical expenses you couldn’t pay in the last 24 months.
  9. You experienced unexpected increases in necessary expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member.
  10. You expect to claim a child as a tax dependent who’s been denied coverage in Medicaid and CHIP, and another person is required by court order to give medical support to the child. In this case, you do not have the pay the penalty for the child.
  11. As a result of an eligibility appeals decision, you’re eligible for enrollment in a qualified health plan (QHP) through the Marketplace, lower costs on your monthly premiums, or cost-sharing reductions for a time period when you weren’t enrolled in a QHP through the Marketplace.
  12. You were determined ineligible for Medicaid because your state didn’t expand eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
  13. Your individual insurance plan was cancelled and you believe other Marketplace plans are unaffordable.
  14. You experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance. (healthcare.gov)

Which is all well and good, but remember, the “shared responsibility payment” was one of the major FUNDING vehicles for this onerous mess so if have a run away program with no funding mechanism then you have a gigantic mess.

And then one has to ask why did you do it in the first place?

THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA.

Suckers! 🙂

“The door’s wide open,” economist Doug Holtz-Eakin, who leads the conservative-leaning American Action Forum, told Fox News. “[The] mandate which they said was absolutely crucial to ObamaCare is falling apart day by day.” 

The most recent exemption was included in an ObamaCare application document. There already had been 13 distinct exemptions, but this document added one more — apparently it was added in late December. 

The document said that individuals can now qualify for a “hardship exemption” — meaning they would not have to pay a penalty for not buying insurance — if they “experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance.” 

The document does not define what “another hardship” means, and suggests the administration might not be a stickler when it comes to proof either. It says anyone seeking this exemption should “submit documentation if possible.” 

Of all the exemptions created so far, this category appears to be the broadest. Prior exemptions were created for people who are homeless, who filed for bankruptcy, who experienced a fire and who dealt with other financial emergencies. Already, the 13 exemptions previously on the books could apply to millions. Another created in December would give a pass this year to many of those whose policies were canceled due to ObamaCare and who struggled to find an affordable option — last week, the administration quietly extended that waiver through 2016. 

All along, the administration has rejected congressional attempts to officially delay the individual mandate in its entirety. The White House even threatened to veto one such bill. 

But the 14 exemptions now on the books raise the question of whether the mandate has been pushed off in all but name. 

“There’s a real question as to whether the White House just abandoned the individual mandate,” Boehner said Thursday. “It just seems they are hoping no one will notice.”

They still want there agenda, because they need more time to figure out how to screw you without you squealing so much and spurting so much blood on the table as they cut you into pieces.

As a consequence, he said, there could be “chaos” in the insurance market. Insurance companies, in exchange for taking on older and sicker patients as part of the Affordable Care Act, were counting on millions of young and healthy Americans signing on. The individual mandate — and the penalty that comes with it — was supposed to compel people who might not otherwise buy insurance to enter the system. 

Now that the mandate is being softened, it’s unclear whether insurance companies will have enough of those new customers to keep premiums down for everyone else. (FOX)

They didn’t already, so this will just make it even worse.

Adverse selection is now officially off the table. 🙂

So does “If you wanna keep your exemption…” start?? 🙂

Congrats, Mr. President!!

Not that he will take the blame for it or that anyone in the liberal media will assign it to him, mind you. They just hope you still vote for them, because the other guy is a much bigger asshole than they are and they will be glad to tell you all about that. 🙂

They are Homo Superior Liberalis, and you’re not!

Freedom Delayed is Freedom to Vote for Democrats and to still pay for the insurance even if you can’t afford it…

And we’ll get new hidden taxes in their to make up for our crap shoot. And when those fail, we’ll go for the more overt taxes and bailouts because we are never wrong!

So Vote for us, the other guy is still a bigger asshole! 🙂

http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/12/krauthammer-obamacare-hardship-exemption-essentially-cancels-individual-mandate-video/

 

 

Hope & Change 2014

“I guess what I would say, if you looked at that person’s budget, and you looked at their cable bill, their cell phone bill, other things that they’re spending on, it may turn out that it’s just they haven’t prioritized health care because right now everybody is healthy.” President Obama. The man who has ADDED 7 1/2 Trillion to the Debt in 5 years! I guess that was his priority!

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted Wednesday that Obamacare premiums will probably go up in 2015, that she does not know how many Obamacare customers have paid their premiums, and that she does not know how many Obamacare enrollees had insurance previously.

“I think premiums are likely to go up, but go up at a slower pace” than they did previously, Sebelius admitted at Wednesday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing.

“I can’t tell you that, sir, because I don’t know that,” Sebelius said when asked by Georgia Rep. Tom Price how many Obamacare customers have paid their first premiums. Sebelius said she also does not know how many Obamacare customers previously had insurance plans that were canceled.

However, an industry source says the White House “definitely knows” who has made these payments from two separate data points, as the exchanges were set up to be the “source of truth for information.” The source claims the White House is withholding the information for “political reasons because it would force them to lower their enrollment figures if 10% of 20% of enrollees had not paid.”

The Obama administration has delayed many provisions of the Obamacare law until after the 2014 midterms, including the economically consequential employer mandate.

The administration’s inability to meet its goal for enrolling young, healthy “invincibles” on the Obamacare exchanges has mired the entire Obamacare program in the so-called “death spiral,” which drives up health insurance rates because older, sicker people are primarily signing up. (DC)

Subverted Adverse Selection they did! 🙂

Most recently, the administration extended the “hardship exemption” from the individual mandate for those who had their previous policies canceled because of Obamacare until October 2016.

To qualify, your plan must have been canceled because it wasn’t compliant with Obamacare, and you just have to tell the government you “believe” that other insurance policies are unaffordable.

So the individual mandate is a “hardship” and the employer mandate is on hold until he’s not running anymore. BUT IT’S NOT POLITICAL!!!! And it’s doing good for everyone, anyone who says otherwise is a “liar” (Harry Reid).

So the 80-90% of the funding structure of this Magnum Opus just pissed down the drain…Gee, that’s very responsible budgeting Mr. president. Maybe we should cut your Cable bill!

“President Obama has refused to enforce those parts of our nation’s immigration laws that are not to his political liking, has waived portions of our welfare laws, has stretched our environmental laws to accommodate his policy objectives, and has waived testing accountability provisions required under the ‘No Child Left Behind’ education law,” according to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House judiciary committee.

For example, in June 2012, Obama created a temporary mini-amnesty for at least 500,000 younger illegal immigrants. The act boosted his election-day support among Hispanics, but made it more difficult for young Americans to find jobs.

“Political appointees at the Justice Department have announced that rather than work with Congress to amend the federal criminal code, they will simply stop prosecuting low-level drug offenders under mandatory minimum sentencing laws,” said Goodlatte in a Fox News op-ed.

“And now that his signature health care law has not been working and revealed his empty promises, President Obama has changed that law unilaterally over 20 times,” Goodlatte added.

The House bill is titled “the Faithful Execution of the Law Act.”

The House is expected to pass the bill Wednesday, along with a companion bill, titled “ENFORCE the Law Act.”

The bills are expected to be blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate. (DC)

Now that’s By-Partisan!
So do you “believe” in Hope & Change now…

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

More Posterior Worship

More kissing up to future Democrats and social welfare recipients by Obama:

Illegal immigrants closely related to U.S. citizens would no longer have to leave the country to try to obtain legal status under a proposed change in immigration policy announced Friday by President Barack Obama’s administration.

The change, which would greatly reduce the amount of time U.S. citizens are separated from undocumented family members seeking legal status, is the latest attempt by the Obama administration to use its authority to implement some immigration reforms without congressional approval.

Some analysts also said the proposed policy change was likely an election-year ploy meant to bolster the president’s standing among Latino voters unhappy with the record numbers of immigrants deported under his administration.

The proposal, published in the Federal Register, does not require congressional action to become final.

The agency will accept public comment about the proposed change, with a goal of implementing it this year, Mayorkas said.

Here’s mine: F*UCK YOU!

But I’m just a “racist” and insensitive. 🙂

“We are proposing a process change to better serve the current law’s goal, a change that will reduce the time of separation and thereby alleviate the extreme hardship to the United States citizen,” Mayorkas said.

How about stopping them from coming here illegally in the first place. Thus alleviating the hardship all together! :0

He said the high standard for obtaining a waiver would not change. To be granted a waiver, illegal immigrants would still have to prove that their separation would harm their citizen spouses or parents.

Oh, like squishy “fair” Liberals who are kissing up to Illegals and Latinos would be so “heartless” and unfair.

The change, however, would likely spur a larger number of waiver applications because the requirement to leave the country has been a deterrent to applying, he said.

And we wouldn’t want to deter Illegal Immigration now would we…

Eli Kantor, an immigration lawyer in Beverly Hills, Calif., said he is worried that illegal immigrants without strong hardship cases might rush to apply for the waivers and then be subject to deportation if they lose.

He also fears the proposed change was politically motivated to gain support from Latinos as the presidential election heats up.

Ya Think?! 🙂

“I’m sure there are people out there who say it’s political, but family separation is real, it’s not political.”
Oh, yes it is. Everything is political to Liberals and Especially Obama.

Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington, D.C.-based immigration-enforcement group, said the proposed change would undermine laws aimed at discouraging illegal immigration by effectively nullifying the 10-year ban on returning to the U.S.

He also called the change the latest attempt by the Obama administration to weaken immigration enforcement.

Last year, the Obama administration announced policy changes to focus on deporting immigrants who commit serious crimes instead of those whose only offense is being in the country illegally.

Immigration officials are currently reviewing thousands of deportation cases and closing the files of illegal immigrants who have not committed serious crimes.

Critics say that policy is de facto amnesty.

Given that policy, Mehlman expects the government to make it easier for illegal immigrants to be approved for hardship waivers.

“In the political context of the way this administration is operating, this is just one more step in their effort to basically say we are going to disregard the fact that people violate immigration laws unless they have gone on to commit some other crime here in the United States,” Mehlman said.

MORE ASS KISSING

Documents released in a classic Friday afternoon news dump show that labor unions representing 543,812 workers received waivers from President Barack Obama‘s signature legislation since June 17, 2011.

By contrast, private employers with a total of 69,813 employees, many of whom work for small businesses, were granted waivers.

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Emperor Obama Update

Election season is here, and you might think President Obama would be going out of his way to show voters that he can be trusted with the powers of the presidency. But you would be wrong. Just a few days before Christmas, Obama served notice to all Americans that he will continue to abuse executive privilege by seeking new ways to vilify gun owners and further his anti-gun agenda.

But with this being the “Civility” anniversary of the Gifford’s shooting in Tucson I bet no one on the Left of the Leftist Media will talking about it. 🙂

“I don’t have anything new for you,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday when asked about the anniversary.

And why was the NIH involved in gun issues to begin with??
Congress placed a provision in the $1 trillion omnibus spending bill for 2012 designed to bar the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from using any of its $30.7 billion taxpayer funds to “advocate or promote gun control.” However, upon signing the bill into law, President Obama issued a caveat of his own:

I have advised Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility to recommend to the Congress’s consideration such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient.

In other words: “Congress may pass laws, but I decide which of its laws are constitutional and which I can simply choose to ignore.”

Of course, the Constitution doesn’t actually give the president this power, but Obama won’t allow a little thing like the U.S. Constitution get in his way. And in the present case, Congress is right to try to prevent him from using a federal health agency, not to mention our tax dollars, as a weapon in his ongoing war against the Second Amendment. As The Washington Times reports, NIH has wasted over $5 million since 2002 producing deceptive studies aimed at furthering gun control — including one study that tried “to prove that a home without firearms was essential to a child’s safety and well-being.”

Even more importantly, Congress knows that there is no scheme too radical, or dangerous, for the Obama administration when it comes to using federal agencies to push its anti-gun agenda.

Last month, email exchanges surfaced between employees at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) that show the administration helped illegally transfer guns to violent Mexican drug cartels in order to manufacture a case for gun registration. Now gun dealers in four Southwest border states must abide by a new gun registration requirement, courtesy of BATFE, that forces them to register the sales of any law-abiding American who purchases more than one semi-automatic rifle within five business days.

Congress never passed any law like this. Rather, Obama’s BATFE orchestrated the deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal to give cause for its unconstitutional gun-control edict. Given this, how hard is it to envision the Obama administration issuing a phony “health” study that maligns gun owners?

Obama may not have a majority in Congress, or the will of the people, behind his anti-gun agenda. But that isn’t stopping his administration from finding deceitful ways to evade Congress and build public support for gun bans, gun registration and other regulations designed to weaken and destroy our Second Amendment rights.

But first we have shooting anniversary to celebrate. That’ll distract them…

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

 Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez