This is a reposting of my latest article at DaTechGuy. The original is here:
By A.P. Dillon
A few weeks back, I posted a letter from a man in North Carolina struggling with Obamacare. That article entitled, #Obamacare Coverage: “Play the game” (aka lie), detailed the problem that exists in qualifying for the subsidy based on earnings and related ramifications therein. In that letter and op-ed North Carolina citizen, Tim Wolhford, shared with me, one of the key bits was in order to for Obamacare to work for him, it required he might have to “play the game (aka lie). Relevant section:
Under the ACA, the unemployed supposedly can buy an individual plan through the individual Healthcare Exchange. If they qualify, they get a “tax credit” (subsidy) for most or all of the cost of a Bronze Plan. At least, that’s the plan.
In my case, a Bronze Plan costs $387/month. The subsidy to pay for that is based either on what I made while I was working, or what I claim I’m gonna make in 2014, NOT on what I’m making right now — which is zero since my unemployment ran out. I made a good living in 2012 (the year they ask about), and I don’t anticipate being unemployed most of 2014 either. Since I made more than $46,000 in 2012, and anticipate making at least that much in 2014, I get no subsidy. And of course, I can’t afford the $387/month.
I could just “play the game” (aka “lie”) and say that I’m only gonna make $11,500 in 2014, and get the full tax credit so I can afford the coverage. This is what my friends who are loyal ACA fans tell me I would do if I was “smart.”
Another problem Mr. Wolhford encountered was getting any kind of traction from Senator Kay Hagan. Perhaps he should hit the next big Planned Parenthood/Emily’s List Abortion shin-dig in order to catch up with Senator Hagan. In his pursuit to get some relief and answers, Mr. Wolhford has sent me an update, which I am sharing below:
I just got off of the phone with a (Dem ACA fan) staffer for Rep. David Price.
Gotta say, to the credit of him and his staff, at least they called me up to see if they could help. That seems to be a lost art among Congressional offices these days. For that I commend the staffer and Rep. Price.
1. The staffer affirmed that I have 3 options:
– Go uninsured
– Use the “subsidy” knowing that I’ll probably have to pay it all back next April 15.
– Pay for my Bronze plan in its entirety, and file a claim for a credit next April 15.
Obviously there are workability arguments with all three of those.
2. The staffer claims that if NC simply would’ve expanded Medicaid then I wouldn’t have this issue. This is the default position of ACA fans — it was a good plan until it got screwed over by the states, the GOP, whomever. In looking at some “expansion” states to see if they did indeed close this hole.
3. The staffer affirmed that, in the current Congressional climate, it was unlikely to have any meaningful legislation to pass corrections. Which means that the *best* we can hope for is constant corrections / revisions coming from the White House. She agreed that the idea of “there are no horror stories” is wrong.
4. She asked me for concrete ideas to fix things. Fair enough — I can’t claim that I liked the old system either, and that reforms weren’t needed, and quite frankly, a pox on the GOP for not addressing those while they had power. So yes, that might be a good article — let’s put our heads together and think of ideas that *might* have a chance in hell to be passed that would fix things that don’t have the workability issues of ACA (or a national health care system).
My response was along the lines of ‘good on Rep. Price’s office’ for not blowing him off as Senator Hagan’s had.
The item in number two is a nice example of the political slant and oversimplification on display over refusing the Medicaid expansion in North Carolina. Medicaid costs the NC taxpayers roughly $13 billion a year. That’s a lot of money that needs to have a strong accountability of where it is spent. Given what we know about Former Governor Perdue putting NC in the poor house debt-wise, accountability of the taxpayers dollar has come to the forefront.
Aside from Medicaid being a massive, costly expansion of an entitlement, Obamacare brought a new requirement into Medicaid that altered eligibility to include household income of up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line and added adults with no children into the mix. The Federal government would have paid the first three years of the expansion, but after that a minimum of 10 percent would come back on North Carolina to pay — remember, it already, as is, costs roughly $13 billion. The net effect of expanding Medicaid in NC would have been financially irresponsible given the massive debt Governor Perdue left behind with her reckless mismanagement of unemployment insurance. Suggested reading: Medicaid Expansion: A Quick Primer
The section in number three saying there would be constant course corrections was like the bad joke of extension after extension coming out of the White House. The last line in that same section should be bronzed and mailed to Harry Reid.
I’d like to thank Mr. Wohlford for this update and for sharing his story with me.
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A.P. Dillon (Lady Liberty 1885), is a Conservative minded wife and mother living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. A.P. Dillon founded the blog LadyLiberty1885.com in 2009. After the 2012 election, she added an Instapundit style blog called The ConMom Blog. Mrs. Dillon’s writing, in addition to Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent 7, can also be found at StopCommonCoreNC.org, WatchdogWireNC and WizBang. Non-political writing projects include science fiction novellas that are, as of yet, unpublished. Her current writing project is a children’s book series.