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Economic Shock Testing and The Freedom of Choice Tax Penalty: Think about it

2017/08/10

[ad nauseam] The fee for not having health insuranceIf you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must pay a fee called the individual shared responsibility payment. (The fee is sometimes called the “penalty,” “fine,” or “individual mandate.”) But it’s not a Tax, and members of congress and select special interest groups are exempt. See for yourself, Obama Says It’s NOT a Tax and Jonathan Gruber claims Americans “Too Stupid to Understand” Obamacare

Total Recall: Democrats at the time Obamacare was passed by Congress, made the claim that it will eventually be self supporting, in contrast to requiring indefinite subsidies. How has that worked out so far? On a similar note, The poll tax emerged in some states of the United States in the late 19th century as part of the Jim Crow laws. As for Obamacare …

6.5 million paid a fine rather than  signing up for  Obamacare Coverage

August 9, 2017: The individual healthcare mandate requires every American to buy health insurance or pay a fine. In 2016, 6.5 million Americans chose to pay the fine rather than sign up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.[1]

The mandate has always been the most unpopular part of ex-President Obama’s healthcare law, officially (misnamed) known as the Affordable Care Act. In addition to those who pay the fine rather than buy the mandated levels of insurance, 15 million people would drop their Obamacare coverage if it were legal to do so.

This does not necessarily mean that these individuals want to go without insurance. Obamacare requires every insurance policy to cover a set of what it defines as Essential Health Benefits.[2] The more benefits that a plan covers, the more expensive it is. Some people might prefer to buy less comprehensive insurance at a lower cost. For example, one option might be to buy insurance only for major healthcare costs such as surgeries or hospitalizations.

Since most Americans receive health insurance from their employer, the rising cost of healthcare is a key factor holding down wage growth. If the cost of benefits were the same today as a generation ago, the average pay for full-time workers would be more than $3,300 higher annually. Some people might prefer a bigger paycheck and less comprehensive coverage.

Healthcare policy analyst Bob Laszewski believes the ongoing unpopularity of Obamacare insurance coverage raises questions about “stability in the individual-health-insurance market.” He notes that “only about 40 percent of those eligible for subsidies have signed up for coverage. In what other business or government program would such a dismal acceptance by those it was targeted to serve be considered a success?”[1]

Laszewski was named the Washington Post’s Wonkblog “Pundit of the Year” for 2013 for his coverage of the Obamacare rollout.[3] Laszewski does acknowledge that “things may well be looking more stable if insurance-company profits are the only measure.” Hospital revenue has increased significantly since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, there has been a growing consolidation of the healthcare industry through mergers and acquisitions.

[Byline Scott Rasmussen]

09 August 2017
Ballotpedia

How it’s working…

CVS Charges More for Generic Drugs Paid for With Insurance, Lawsuit Claims

Flashback: Five Obamacare Scams and How to Avoid Them – 2013/10/01

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