White House Drafts Employers To Spin Obamacare

Whitehouse.govWhitehouse.govThe Obama administration’s announcement this week that it was delaying Obamacare’s employer mandate for businesses with between 50 and 99 employees for an additional year included a catch: Any small business that wanted to take advantage of the delay would be required to certify to the Internal Revenue Service, under penalty of perjury, that no positions had been terminated in order to qualify for the exemption.

“It’s simply so they don’t game the system,” a senior administration official told reporters when the requirement was announced.

That’s one way to put it. Another would be that it’s a way for the administration to give itself political cover. Still another would be that it’s an implicit admission on the part of the administration that its rules create an incentive for employers near the 100-employee threshold to cut jobs.

The political reasoning behind the requirement is obvious. If anyone argues that the regulations surrounding the employer mandate cost jobs, the Obama administration can point to a stack of self-attestations in which employers say that the revised regulations did not cause them to terminate hours or positions. Yet the impulse to require employers to assert that Obamacare is not to blame seems to stem from the understanding that, in at least some cases, the rules do create an incentive to cut jobs in order to avoid the law’s employer-coverage requirement for an additional year.

Basically, the Obama administration is creating a mechanism by which employers will be encouraged to spin for the White House. And it’s not the first time something like that has happened. Health insurers were required to inform customers getting rebates as a result of Obamacare’s medical-loss ratio rule that the health law was to credit (without, of course, mentioning the ways that the MLR rule created incentives to drive premiums higher). You expect the White House to hard sell its own policies, but the Obama administration seems to think it needs to co-opt businesses into doing the same. 

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  • GILMORE||

    "“It’s simply so they don’t game the system,” a senior administration official told reporters when the requirement was announced."

    As opposed to writing a law, then selectively imposing parts of it on some and then not on others, then on others, but only delayed, then only delayed if they sign a piece of paper saying the law is great, because there are elections coming and it would be unfortunate if it became clear people were firing people because of the law, which is like, totally NOT 'GAMING A SYSTEM'

    DERP

    That said, thanks Peter for highlighting this issue.

    What I think should be appreciated further is the question of= What law enables the Gov to arbitrarily apply conditions to its impositions of rules on *some* but not others?

    i.e. where did they say, 'you are following the law' ONLY if you didn't have to fire anyone to "follow the law"?

    Thanks

  • GILMORE||

    Or, maybe clearer =

    they stated specifically that "economic reasons" are completely legit if that is what motivated one to make changes to labor force.

    Are they saying "Obamacare" is not a legitimate "economic reason"?

    Say I take the delay, and I DO NOT certify = what LAW HAVE I BROKEN? please to clarify this.

  • tarran||

    Let's say you have 103 employees. And you lay 5 off. Then you request the exemption.

    They are demanding that you sign an affidavit averring that you laid of those 5 guys not to get the exemption but for totally unrelated reasons. And if you don't no exemption for you comrade capitalist roader!

    They deserve to be mocked for this. Thoroughly.

  • paranoid android||

    Seriously. We're well into wacky banana republic territory here if this is their best idea.

    I think the most sickening part is that it's completely transparent that the administration doesn't care about anyone who loses their job over this, they obviously know that is what will happen, so this is solely and entirely about ducking the blame.

  • Sevo||

    paranoid android|2.14.14 @ 2:53PM|#
    "Seriously. We're well into wacky banana republic territory here if this is their best idea."

    Yep, next you'll have to swear that you won't make funny faces at dear leader's image.

  • ||

    "They are demanding that you sign an affidavit averring that you laid of those 5 guys not to get the exemption but for totally unrelated reasons."

    That one doesn't even require a snarky joke to follow up.

  • R C Dean||

    The affidavit doesn't get to terminating employees, or even not hiring employees. It goes to "eliminating a position", which I read to mean, deleting it from your org chart. A vacant position hasn't been eliminated, after all.

    Still banana republic stuff, intended to facilitate a PR campaign rather than actual governance. But this administration has always been focussed on PR rather than governance.

  • tarran||

    ... and if you piss them off, they can go after you for perjury. You can maybe beat the rap, but the ride is punishment in and of itself.

    These people are the worst scum. They are bottom feeders. They are unfit to wipe the bottom of an incontinent & rabid dog.

  • Michael Price||

    Suppose it's completely obvious that you would gain by getting the exemption. Now suppose that you fired 4 people in the 3 months before you applied for the exemption, bringing you to 99 employees. In most 3 month periods you only fire 2. So how do you prove that you didn't fire 2 of the 4 to bring the numbers down? You would have to justify that decision.

    Well not quite, you'd have to justify it if the IRS ever went after you for perjury. This probably wouldn't happen until years later when memories have faded, emails routinely purged, and people moved on to other firms. It's good thing that the IRS doesn't use it's powers for political purposes. Otherwise the affidavit be a perfect weapon to persecute uncooperative firms.

  • Rasilio||

    "Say I take the delay, and I DO NOT certify = what LAW HAVE I BROKEN? please to clarify this."

    Laws? How Quaint. They don't need laws, they have a regulatory compliance office for that.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Say I take the delay, and I DO NOT certify = what LAW HAVE I BROKEN? please to clarify this.

    You've broken the Obamacare law if you don't satisfy the mandate (waiver or otherwise). What BO is doing is offering a way to avoid prosecution, which (in this case) you have refused.

  • GILMORE||

    "'What BO is doing is offering a way to avoid prosecution, which (in this case) you have refused""

    Lies.

    Why does my reason for firing people have any bearing on my qualification for exemption. According to the law, the # of employees I have is the guideline. Not "why" I have X # of employees.

    in addition = what would I be "prosecuted" for by following the law as written, and simply ignoring the certification? NOTHING = because there is no law speaking to one's 'motivation' for achieving compliance status. You do, or don't. you don't need to certify it.

  • Michael Price||

    The law as written says you have to abide by the mandate. The only reason you can ignore the mandate is because Obama said he'll waive it for you if you do certain things. Of course he has ZERO constitutional power to do this, his role is supposedly to enforce the laws as written. However if you want the law not to be enforced as written you have to comply with what he wants.

  • GILMORE||

    "You've broken the Obamacare law"

    By the way... did you really just say that?

    Do you know how 'law' works, Tupla? Things called 'statues'? Specific language? on paper?

    You wanna go find the 'obamacare law' for me while you're at it?

  • uhclem||

    Why has not the Congress, or some upper-level government agency arrested the President for treason? He has violated his oath to the Constitution by making law, in complete disregard for that document.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Y’all is MUCH too much, deep egg-headed thinkers about all that them thar stuff-an’-stuff about InterGalactic Emperor Bow-Wee Oh-Blow… Invokin’ the Spirit of the “Duck Hunters”, Ah Ams… AH sezzz…
    Bow-Wee Oh-Blow sucks my dick,
    Doo-Dah, Doo-Dah,
    Bow-Wee Oh-Blow sucks my dick,
    Doo-Dah, Doo-Dah,
    Bow-Wee Oh-Blow sucks my dick,
    Doo-Dah, Doo-Dah, Day!
    Dee Guv-Mint ‘Mighty lies & shit,
    Five miles long,
    Doo-Dah, Doo-Dah, Day!
    PS, Ah ALSO sez…
    With ALL of yer talk of MONEY and DUCKS, I must tell y’all a moral allegory I heard as a small child on my Daddy’s knees, who was a duck-hunter in the back-woods of Lerweeeesiana… He said there was a poor yung feller, Depression-era timeframe, his Dad said to him, “Here, Son, ya is gonna learn a lotta stuff about takin’ good care o’ that them thar animals, & who knows WHAT all else ya might learn about. So here is a pet duck fer ya.” …
    ... to be continued...

  • SQRLSY One||

    The kid and the duck got along splendidly, they did everything and went everywhere together, but eventually the kid, getting older, got just a wee tad tired of the duck. So when the kid stumbled across an attractive young “lady of the evening”, and he was smitten, he hit on her, but had nothing to offer. Amused, the young lady offered here services in exchange for the duck. “She offered her honor, he honored her offer, and all night long, it was honor and offer”. The young lad finally got tired and begged to stop. She was enjoying it so much, she begged him to go on! “Well, whatcha gonna GIVE me fer it?”, he demands. “I’ll give you yer duck back”, she quacks. And it was off to one more round… On his way home, though, a mac track drove close by the young man and smashed the duck to smithereens & feathers. The young kid was heart-broken, so when the truck driver stopped to check up on things, he gave the young man two dollars (a small fortune in those days). When the young man got home and told his Dad the story, his Dad, ever concerned for the young man’s learnings in the Adventure called Life, asks, “Well, Son, whatcha learn here, then?” He said, “Dad, I learned this: A duck fer a fuck, a fuck fer a duck, and TWO BUCKS fer ONE FUCKED UP DUCK!”

  • ||

    The system was meant to be gamed.

  • SusanM||

    What makes this really hard to stomach is just the gut feeling I have that Obama's not being sinister about this. It would help if I could convince myself he's the evil, Machiavellian plotter the right makes him out to be.

    I don't get that. What I do get is that he's a bumbling doofus digging himself (and the rest of us) deeper into trouble every time he tries to "fix things". Less Lord Sauron and more Jack Tripper.

  • R C Dean||

    Sue (can I call you Sue?), where I land is that his intentions, or ambition, is to be a clever, subtle Machiavellian ruler whose means, however nefarious, are always justified by his ends,

    but he's just too much of an incompetent bungler to pull it off.

  • SusanM||

    I don't get even that. There's an Ivy Starnes vibe coming off of Pelosi but Obama? I don't think he particularly feels any noble motives but nor does he have any really evil ones. At worst, he stopped caring about being President a week after the first inauguration and is just marking time till he can leave, dicking around looking for one "signature achievement" and doing everything he can to protect it.

    But intentions don't really matter, do they?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    SusanM, it's simple. These guys are so wrapped up in politics that they believe, that if they refuse to identify a thing, that thing doesn't exist. That is to say, if they don't catch the blame for a policy's consequence, they can ignore the consequence.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That is to say, if they don't catch the blame for a policy's consequence, they can ignore the consequence.

    I'm not seeing how they're wrong if they believe that (from a self-centered person's POV).

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Maybe I didn't explain myself right. An ordinary self-centered person might think they can ignore the thing. But, they wouldn't believe that it didn't exist. A person who wraps themselves in politics completely does believe this. It's sort of at the heart of the lies in totalitarian regimes that Bardas Phocas talks about below. There is a mindset that, if reality can be ignored, the ignorance of reality will become the new reality.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    But its existence is irrelevant if it doesn't affect them. Legitimate philosophies believe that irrelevant existence is indistinguishable from nonexistence.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Legitimate philosophies believe that irrelevant existence is indistinguishable from nonexistence.

    Only if you consider sociopathy a "legitimate philosophy".

  • Killaz||

    They are so supercilious they actually believe that businesses that are merely trying to cope with the rules the administration forces on them are the ones 'gaming the system.' That is the heart of Susan's insight above.

  • Killaz||

    I should add, arbitrarily puts on them, as a matter of political convenience.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I agree that BO isn't evil; he strikes me as a guy who wants to live a wealthy life and feel important more than anything else. If you look at true monsters like Hitler and Stalin, they lived lives of incredible self-deprivation for someone who was essentially a king. Now, BO's advisors (looking at you, Valerie Jarrett) are truly disgusting creatures, and it's likely he's just doing what they tell him to.

    That doesn't absolve him at all, of course. He's guilty of extremely reckless disregard for the consequences of his actions if nothing else.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I'd say BO would be more comparable to Mao than either Stalin or Hitler. Mao didn't delight in having people killed, he just wasn't terribly concerned about letting them live if they got in his way.

    Of course, BO doesn't have Mao's courage, fortitude, or military prowess.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    Now, BO's advisors (looking at you, Valerie Jarrett) are truly disgusting creatures

    I honestly wonder how Stephanie Cutter sleeps at night.

  • Pulseguy||

    I think you're being really charitable. Imagine if he were an elderly, white Southern guy, and did all the same things Obama does. Would you say he wasn't sinister?

    I think Valerie Jarrett's comment that Obama is perpetually bored nails it. That is the quality of a psychopath. A kind of bright person who can't focus on anything long enough to really pull it off, somehow shows lots of potential as a young person, but is chronically bored....can be a psycopath. Obama seems to have no compunction whatsoever on drone striking people. His actions are all about avoiding the punishment, not about doing the right thing. He shows a lot of features of a psychopath.

  • Jerry on the boat||

    Affidavit? What is this, Soviet Russia?

  • Ted S.||

    If this were Soviet Russia, it would be a confession, not an affidavit.

  • ||

    In Soviet Russia system games YOU!! Oh, wait...

  • Bardas Phocas||

    If no one admits to it - it didn't happen.

    I'm looking for the essay Vaclav Havel did on the constant lies demanded of all citizens of totalitarian regimes.
    Anyone know it?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "THE MANAGER of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: "Workers of the world, unite!" Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment's thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

    "I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life "in harmony with society," as they say.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "Obviously the greengrocer is indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit; he does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: "I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in the manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace." This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer's superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan's real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer's existence. It reflects his vital interests. But what are those vital interests?"

    http://vaclavhavel.cz/showtran.....l&typ=HTML

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    More:

    "Let us take note: if the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan "I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient,” he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an unequivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus has a sense of his own dignity. To overcome this complication, his expression of loyalty must take the form of a sign which, at least on its textual surface, indicates a level of disinterested conviction. It must allow the greengrocer to say, "What's wrong with the workers of the world uniting?" Thus the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the facade of something high. And that something is ideology."

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    In Soviet Russia, affidavit signs you.

  • ||

    "Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squadron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else."

  • Hugh Akston||

    If you get other people to go along with your story, then it's no longer a lie!

  • R C Dean||

    no positions had been terminated in order to qualify for the exemption.

    A trivially easy certification to give, even if you had, in fact, resized your workforce in order to avoid the mandate.

    First, of course, it doesn't really apply to anyone who refrained from hiring in order to avoid the mandate.

    Second, if you reduced your workforce by attrition in order to avoid the mandate, all you would have to do is leave the position vacant on your books rather than eliminating it, and you're good.

    Finally, even if your workforce was reduced by firing someone, all you need to do, again, is leave the position vacant on your books rather than "eliminating the position", and you're still golden.

  • some guy||

    "Sadly, I have lately been unable to find an employee qualified to fill that 100th spot."

  • Sevo||

    "Sadly, I have lately been unable to find an employee qualified to fill that 100th spot."

    "But you see that new robot-welder over there?! Boy-howdy, no insurance there!"

  • Adam330||

    What you can't do, however, is give a sourced quote to the Washington Post stating that you cut back jobs to qualify. And that is the entire point of the certification.

  • Michael Price||

    And if you give an unsourced quote that you are suspected of being the source of, the IRS starts to look into whether you lied to them.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    They're going to close on you like a bear trap when they see you've had that 100th position vacant for 9 months after signing the affidavit. I wouldn't want to be that test case.

  • R C Dean||

    The affidavit is true and remains true.

    The position has not been eliminated. It is merely vacant, awaiting changed economic circumstances.

    I wouldn't want to be the test case, either, but the odds are microscopically small, and if I was targetted, I would not have far to look for big friends who could fight the battle.

    Test cases run both ways, you know.

  • Pulseguy||

    As though anyone in their right mind would hire the 100th person in this situation. You might if you get a giant contract and need 20 extra. But, if you're close you make the adjustments you need and cut it down below the level. But, let's all pretend.

  • OneOut||

    Labor lawyers are sharpening their pencils.

  • Michael Price||

    And looking through yacht catalogs.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Obamacare, in one form or another, isn't going anywhere. We're not going back to pre-ACA days, when insurance companies denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, put caps on plans, kicked you off if you got sick, kicked your kids off when they graduated, etc.

    Even the most recent Republican plan covered all those things, although there were no details on how it would be paid for.

  • paranoid android||

    Obamacare, in one form or another, isn't going anywhere. We're not going back to pre-ACA days, when insurance companies denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, put caps on plans, kicked you off if you got sick, kicked your kids off when they graduated, etc.

    So we've replaced a system which was monstrous but which the majority of people nonetheless reported they were satisfied with, and replaced it with a system that doubles down on everything that made the status quo ante terrible and inflicts additional misery on untold numbers of additional undeserving people, and you're claiming this as a win because...?

  • Jackand Ace||

    Did I claim it as a win? Or the best alternative? I did neither.

    I'm just stating reality, and the Republicans finally accepted that reality, and it seems Reason may be the last to do so. Imagine just repealing it in a couple of years, when more and more people get used to some of the benefits.

    We're just not going back to the old way, the ACA at a minimum highlighted for many just how bad the old way was, and it seems if anyone is going to complain about it they better have a better alternative. Or a better way to pay for it.

  • ||

    The threat of force from government is never the best alternative. Wasn't pre-ACA, and isn't so now.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Maybe so. But whatever plan you devise in place of having government mandate it, is going to have coverage for pre-existing conditions, no caps, no rescission, and coverage for your graduated kids. And of course a way to pay for it all.

  • ||

    You presume a lot about forces outside your control. Market competition. How does it work?

  • Jackand Ace||

    The only thing I'm presuming is that Americans can understand what makes up a good insurance policy.

  • ||

    Yes, I would like to have everything I could ever possibly want freely given to me too. But darned if it weren't for that scarcity.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Right? Is it really too much to demand everything I want, right now, without consequences? I mean, c'mon, its the 21st century.

  • paranoid android||

    Thought experiment: if it were true, hypothetically, that any government-mandated scheme including "coverage for pre-existing conditions, no caps, no rescission, and coverage for your graduated kids" would, with absolutely certainty, lead to the complete bankrupting of the entire country, what would you say? Would you claim that it's still useless to oppose it, since people like it so much, and therefore we should simply consign ourselves to the inevitable?

  • Jackand Ace||

    I never said you should not oppose it, I never said you should not offer alternatives.

    I only said that the reality is that Americans can now see what they would like in their insurance plans, and where before they felt that they were at the mercy of whatever the insurance company decided to do, they now see that someone (dare I say it, government) can protect them. That's just reality.

    And by the way, the hypothetical your proposed is not going to happen. Its a tad over the top.

  • Pulseguy||

    It isn't over the top at all. Your entire system is nearing a debt crisis. You are about to hit the debt wall. Then, everything is up for debate. The idea people now know what they want, and they're going to have it no matter what, is entitlement thinking and might last 5 more years, but I'm not sure it will last that long. Canada went through its debt crisis 35 years ago. We are sort of over it now...sort of.

  • Sevo||

    Jackand Ace|2.14.14 @ 3:46PM|#
    "The only thing I'm presuming is that Americans can understand what makes up a good insurance policy."

    And would you care to tell us what that is?

  • Rhywun||

    You think Obamacare has any or all of that?? Hahahahahahaha! Or maybe we're just one or two more executive orders away from bankrupting the country to actually deliver on it?

  • Jackand Ace||

    It has all of that.

  • Sevo||

    Jackand Ace|2.14.14 @ 4:11PM|#
    "It has all of that."
    Correction:
    It claims to have all of that.

  • ||

    I want an unlimited supply of cake and ice cream. Every reasonable person wants that. And every American knows that a good bowl of ice cream consists of three scoops, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and topped with a cherry. I have a gun that I can use to make somebody do all of that for everybody. I'm awesome.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Glad you like your ice cream...me too.

    What I want is that when I paid for insurance for years that they can't cancel me once I get sick. Sounds fair, no? What I would also like is that when I paid for insurance for years, that they don't arbitrarily put a cap on the benefits once I got sick. Fair?

    OK, OK...stick with your ice cream.

  • ||

    Read your policy better and expect to pay more.

  • ||

    Then go to a competitor.

    OK, OK...stich with your government imposed monopolies.

  • Jackand Ace||

    I can't go to a competitor...I paid for insurance, got sick, and then got cancelled.

    Oh wait. No I see...now that I paid for all that insurance and got nothing, now I can go to a competitor. But then, the competitor won't cover me because I am sick.

    Are you Franz Kafka?

  • ||

    If you have evidence that your insurance company committed fraud, then present it. If you got what you paid for then you got what you paid for. See Sevo's comment below.

  • Pulseguy||

    Force everyone to pay $1000 a month per person and you can have spa baths in your hospital rooms. You're missing people's snarky comments. They're saying it you can't afford it, you can't force people to pay for it. And, if people won't pay for it insurance companies will not offer it.

    Your system was one end of bad, with some good to it. Canada was the opposite end of bad, with some good to it. Obamacare has taken away much of the good, increased the bad, and offered very little in the way of extra goods.

  • ||

    Also, it's apparent that you didn't understand that your statement about what you want under threat of force and my statement about what I want under threat of force are equivalent statements.

  • Sevo||

    ..."Sounds fair, no?"...
    Uh, no. Sounds like you have no idea what a contract is.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Don't forget, alan_s, that your gun also means that that unlimited supply of ice cream won't put an ounce of weight on you. And anyone who says it will just isn't facing up to political realities.

  • Acosmist||

    Everyone with insurance, no one with care.

    That's better if you ascribe magic power to the word "insurance" and don't care that no one can actually get treated.

    Did I just define progs?

  • ||

    Yes.

  • The Last American Hero||

    Technically, it's just the Proles who don't get care, but you've got the gist of it.

  • Sevo||

    ..."when more and more people get used to some of the benefits."...

    You mean like twice the price?

  • ||

    "Obamacare, in one form or another, isn't going anywhere."

    Facepalm. That's the only thing they have left.

    No matter how many problems and social ills the government creates, the answer is always going to be more government.

  • some guy||

    Thanks to the diehard blue states and the filibuster he's right.

  • ||

    It's their view that they created the rules and regulations to ensure eternal bliss for one and all, but then some rabble rousers found ways to twist their beautiful system into generating a few, isolated, non-optimal outcomes. The only possible solution they can even conceive of is additional rules.

  • R C Dean||

    I don't know how you square the circle of "not going anywhere" and "is utterly unsustainable in anything like its current form."

    If Congress doesn't repeal it, mathematics will.

  • Virginian||

    kicked your kids off when they graduated, etc.

    You mean kicked legal adults off of the child's plan?

  • Jackand Ace||

    You can call it whatever you want, I could not care less. Its still a benefit that every middle class person I know likes.

  • ||

    The problem with you progs is that you never consider the expense, only the concentrated benefit. Something can come from nothing is a myth that so many people buy into because the expense is so widely dispersed. The ultimate result of every coerced action is the same: wealth destruction.

  • Jackand Ace||

    I don't disagree.

    Let me put it this way then. Health insurance has just been redefined. Previously it was defined as having few rules that protected the beneficiaries. And now it has been defined as having protections that if you asked every single American if they wanted those protections, they would say yes.

    So, if you want to say government should leave the entire field to the marketplace, and then we would get those protections, well you may be right and you may be wrong.

    But sadly, I just don't see you having that pure chance. And therefore, like I said above, Obamacare one way or the other is here to stay.

  • robc||

    if you asked every single American if they wanted those protections, they would say yes.

    Im an American. I dont want those protections.

    Damn, you suck at absolute statements. You really should give the fuck up now before you embarrass yourself any more.

  • ||

    Obamacare has never arrived yet because it's too fucked, and the likelihood of it actually finally arriving in full grows smaller every day. Too bad you're too stupid to see that. Or maybe not.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Fuck you, Pauline Kael. I've got two 20-something sons. They shouldn't be on my insurance. Yet they are.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    How else are they going to get insurance when the eeeeeeeeeeevil corporations are conspiring and refusing to hire anyone until Obama is out of office?

  • robc||

    Im middle class.

    I dont like it.

    That was easy to prove you wrong.

  • Pulseguy||

    Now offer that person the same plan without covering 25 year old 'kids' and then say, "it is $200 less per month". Now see how many like it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    We're not going back to the old days of Ronald McDonaldland, where they forced you to super size, kicked you out of the restaurant when you threw up, and wouldn't let your kids get a toy with the Happy Meal when they turn 21.

  • Acosmist||

    It's much better not to have insurance in the first place than to get kicked off.

  • GILMORE||

    "We're not going back to pre-ACA days, when insurance companies denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, put caps on plans, kicked you off if you got sick, kicked your kids off when they graduated, etc."

    Oh, you mean the system that presented problems for, oh, maybe 10 million people in America,...

    ...and instead, happily accepting the status-quo of a system that presents problems for 30-50million people?

    You are a fucking idiot. you apparently don't understand that as these premiums/deductibles continue to eat into people's disposable income, they are going to want to go back to when *shit worked better*.

    The 'benefits' you assume about the ACA are NOT benefits for the vast majority. The vast majority are seeing 'liabilities' = higher costs, lower service availability.

    The slim majority that enabled the passage of this law is going to vanish, and the ACA will be piecemeal-repealed until it bears no resemblance to the Democratic-imposed bill.

    And, by the way? Most of that 'repealing' is going to happen at the desperate behest of democratic politicians. Watch.

  • Jackand Ace||

    So tell me, did you have caps on your insurance plan? I bet you don't even know. Could they have booted you once you got sick? Did your insurance company ever do that to anyone else? I bet they did. If you developed a condition, lost your job and coverage you had through it, would you be able to get reinsured?

    All of us were living under the "there but for the grace of God go I" axiom. At least most of us were.

  • robc||

    lost your job and coverage you had through it

    The advantage of the individual plan! Jobs come and jobs go, but my insurance stays the same.

  • robc||

    And by "same", I mean, except for the ACA fucking it up.

  • Jackand Ace||

    You have never had an insurance policy in your life that did not change...in what was covered, what exceptions there were, etc.

  • Sevo||

    Jackand Ace|2.14.14 @ 3:48PM|#
    "You have never had an insurance policy in your life that did not change...in what was covered, what exceptions there were, etc."

    Thank you, Mr. Pedant!

  • robc||

    With my current plan, every change has been due to ACA regulations.

    I think that may be literally true.

  • Juice||

    That's exactly what I was doing. The individual plan was cheaper for me and I had it when I was between jobs, mainly to keep "continuous coverage." But that all goes away soon thanks to Obamacare. I can't afford the ridiculously expensive exchange plans.

  • Jackand Ace||

    And I might add that most Americas are not like you, purchasing their own insurance. 45% get it through employers, and another 25% get it through the government in one way or the other.

  • robc||

    It only takes one example to prove you wrong.

  • ||

    That other 30%, they don't really count.

  • robc||

    Thats because we didnt like our plans but thought we did.

  • ||

    45% get it through their employers because the tax code HEAVILY incentivized that.

  • ||

    You are impressively stupid. I'm kind of in awe.

  • Sevo||

    Jackand Ace|2.14.14 @ 3:41PM|#
    ..."If you developed a condition, lost your job and coverage you had through it, would you be able to get reinsured?"

    And I'll bet you think this is all rosy now that your rave liar-n-cheif has screwed it up royally.

  • Jordan||

    All of us were living under the "there but for the grace of God go I" axiom. At least most of us were.

    [Citation needed]

  • Jackand Ace||

  • Jordan||

    In other words, you were making shit up.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Thought you might have a sense of humor, guess not.

  • Jordan||

    Not when dealing with proglodytes who think it's okay to put a gun to my head to force me to purchase insurance.

  • GILMORE||

    "Jackand Ace|2.14.14 @ 3:41PM|#

    So tell me, did you have caps on your insurance plan? I bet you don't even know."

    Dear Idiot = Among other things, I broker health insurance.

    I bet you didn't even know.

  • Jackand Ace||

    What I now do know is that you even broker insurance and you don't know what is in your plan, nor what practices your insurance company engaged in, since you elected to not answer any question, and instead only inform us that you broker insurance.

    Remind me not to let you be my broker.

  • Sevo||

    Jackand Ace|2.14.14 @ 10:52PM|#
    "What I now do know is that you even broker insurance and you don't know what is in your plan, nor what practices your insurance company engaged in, since you elected to not answer any question, and instead only inform us that you broker insurance."

    No, jackass, you presume that, as you do with most everything you claim to "know".
    You're an ignoramus. Fuck off.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    the ACA will be piecemeal-repealed until it bears no resemblance to the Democratic-imposed bill.

    Please. They could barely alter the Farm Bill and that is, what, 60 years plus old?

    I think Jack is right due to the utter venality of Congress and the passive and myopic mentality of the general population.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Some of it will go - too many not getting their free shit, and too many suckers, er, the rest of us getting torched by higher cost with shabbier service.

    The Asses will finesse any changes by saying it is "mending, not ending" while the Elephants will hold up the carcass of some odious section that has been done away with and proclaim victory.

  • Pulseguy||

    I have a friend whose 57 year old wife is now covered for abortions and birth control. And, both of them, who barely drink, are now covered if they need rehab.

  • Sevo||

    Suffice to say Sevo and Ms Sevo are both older than that and have been for some time.
    Our new (O-care-mandated) coverage provides for those services, plus pre-natal and delivery! For both of us!
    I'm looking forward to my pregnancy!

  • blcartwright||

    It's ridiculous to keep off spring on their parent's plan regardless of whether they live with their parents or have their own jobs. Make it simpler - if someone is listed as a dependent on the fed tax forms, then they are eligible to be included on a 'family' plan.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    We'll release you -- just as soon as you sign this document swearing that you weren't touched inappropriatly while at Barry's Summer Camp.

  • Ska||

    I'm your Auntie Kathleen and I welcome you to Barry's Holiday Camp!

  • some guy||

    "I'll give you twenty dollars, but only if you say you love me."

  • Michael Price||

    Is that on top of the $50 for the "other stuff"?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Gaming the system without paying tribute is strictly not cricket.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You expect the White House to hard sell its own policies, but the Obama administration seems to think it needs to co-opt businesses into doing the same.

    We're all in this together. Keep rowing, Comrade.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    You exist to serve this ship, therefore row well and live!

  • Killaz||

    It's Hugh's world, we're just passing through.

  • PapayaSF||

    Isn't this a violation of the law? The law says "if you have X employees," not "if you have X employees for reasons other than desiring to be classified this way under this law." If someone applies for welfare, they don't ask if you gave away assets or avoided getting work in order to qualify.

    So someone should apply for the exemption, refuse to sign, and sue (on the equal protection grounds?).

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If someone applies for welfare, ... avoided getting work in order to qualify.

    They should damn well ask that question, IMO.

  • Juice||

    If someone applies for welfare, they don't ask if you gave away assets or avoided getting work in order to qualify.

    They don't?

  • ||

    No. They will actually encourage you to do so if that's the difference that keeps your from qualifying.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Unfortunately, the law does not make failure to enforce it illegal. BO is probably within his prosecutorial and regulatory discretion to do this, though he's seriously pushing the limits.

    An equal protection argument claiming that people who fire employees are a constitutionally protected class is going to be laughed out of court.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Do you have to be a constitutionally protected class to be treated equally under the law?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That's what the courts have said about equal protection arguments.

    There has to be a limit on what types of differences between people are protected. Otherwise a person who lives in the Berkshires could claim to be deprived of EP because they have to drive all the way to Boston to petition the state government, while Boston residents have much shorter distances to travel.

  • R C Dean||

    Isn't this a violation of the law? The law says "if you have X employees,"

    This most recent extension is completely a-legal. As far as I know, the law itself draws absolutely no lines at 100 employees, only at 50. The 50 - 100 employee category has no legal basis whatsoever.

  • PapayaSF||

    Wow, I think you're right.

  • GILMORE||

    WHAT LAW HAVE I BROKEN IF I FIRE PEOPLE IN ORDER TO AVOID TENS OF THOUSANDS OF GOVERNMENT PENALTIES?

    There is no law against, 'running a business', last I checked?

    please explain to me under what statute I would be penalized for NOT signing their piece of paper?

    Even better = what mechanism exists for Treasury/IRS to determine the "whys" of my stated full-time/part-time employment ratio, again? I don't recall there being a 'motive' box to fill in my last tax return?

    If they cannot by any law identify or prosecute anyone for anything other than NOT signing the paper (and again = what law is that?), and have no mechanism for identifying who is in fact LYING on the piece of paper, then it is simply asking people to lie with a generic 'BECAUSE!' threat behind it.

  • LynchPin1477||

    The problem it is will take a business with balls to challenge this. Some conservative foundation may take up the legal wrangling pro-bono, but even that is questionable. Do Republicans really want to be seen defending the guy who fired his employees? It doesn't matter what the reason for doing so was, that is a headline that the MSM will run with and the Democrats will pound at every opportunity.

    Most businesses don't have the means or the will to take on the government. Too much risk for too little reward.

  • R C Dean||

    The challenge needs to be brought, not by businesses who are the beneficiaries of Obama's little extralegal press release, but by employees who are being denied the "benefits" of OCare for the duration of the extension.

    Chalk it up to the blithering incompetence of the Repubs that they aren't imposing this dilemma on Obama. He has to pick a position here: either the law benefits employees, in which case they are harmed by his extension, or it doesn't benefit employees, in which case the law is utterly pointless.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    ...but by employees who are being denied the "benefits" of OCare for the duration of the extension.

    Chalk it up to the blithering incompetence of the Repubs that they aren't imposing this dilemma on Obama...

    As comfortable as it is to say that...you have as much responsibility as any body else...get it...you...to make that happen. Stop trying to have your little jollies blaming somebody else for something you won't do yourself.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    This is kind of funny in the hypothetical, but if you're actually one of the unfortunate sons that has to figure this out this shit isn't funny at all.

  • Michael Price||

    You won't be penalized for not signing their piece of paper. You just won't get the exemption to the mandate. So you can fire whoever you want, for whatever reason* and as long as you don't sign the piece of paper you need to get the exemption you're legal.

    " what mechanism exists for Treasury/IRS to determine the "whys" of my stated full-time/part-time employment ratio, again?"
    Well there's the courts. Courts make determinations of intent all the time, and so do prosecutors. It's harder to legally prove than the physical action but not impossible.

    * Of course anti-discrimination laws etc. still apply.

  • The Last American Hero||

    So when a future Republican president signs a "Grand Compromise" bill in 2017 that makes significant spending cuts to some Team Blue Sacred Cow Domestic Projects in exchange for Significant Tax Increases that makes Team Norquist reach for their Pitchforks, then indefinitely delays the tax increases, Team blue will just shrug their shoulders and say "Well, Chocolate Nixon did the same thing back in 2013-14." Right?

  • Killaz||

    Sounds like an economy wrecker with the tax increases, so your prophecy is practically a done deal.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Does anyone have the exact language of the attestation?

  • Policywonk||

    That IRS form hasn't been released yet.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    WHAT LAW HAVE I BROKEN IF I FIRE PEOPLE IN ORDER TO AVOID TENS OF THOUSANDS OF GOVERNMENT PENALTIES?

    Go ahead and take advantage of the loophole, cheater. What if everybody just took advantage of the plain language of the law, all willy-nilly?

    You signed the social contract, and don't try to pretend you didn't.

  • Juice||

    TIL when something costs too much and I choose to stop buying it, I'm gaming the system.

  • robc||

    1. New guy shows up and makes provably false statements
    2. They are picked apart one by one
    3. He doesnt respond to any of that
    4. ???
    5. Profit

    The question is who profits, the Koch Bros is my guess.

  • robc||

    BTW, I should have used a different format, that probably much failed.

    The point being, God this is repetitive sometimes.

  • Sevo||

    robc|2.14.14 @ 3:47PM|#
    "1. New guy shows up and makes provably false statements"

    He's not exactly new. The asshole has been hanging out on the slow, used-up threads the way White Idjit did at first.
    He's also not real bright; run-of-the-mill brain-dead lefty.

  • Tim||

    Episiarch, have you been handing out cake again?

  • ||

    He earned his chops arguing with strawmen. Bloviating on dead threads was the next logical step.

  • Killaz||

    Silly rabbit, old threads are for testing out html trickery.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    And looking for Warty Hugeman stories

  • ||

    the Koch Bros is my guess.

    Yesterday one of my FB friends posted a link to ThinkProgress (excuse me... vomit vomit... ok I'm back)claiming that the phenomenon of "Internet Trolling", defined as exclusively right-wing nut-jobs posting vicious crap on the intertubes, was an original product of the Koch Brothers and was now a big money-making machine for the Rethuglican Right.

    So, in other words, you must be spot on.

  • Paul.||

    "Internet Trolling", defined as exclusively right-wing nut-jobs posting vicious crap on the intertubes, was an original product of the Koch Brothers and was now a big money-making machine for the Rethuglican Right.

    Nos you understand why Net Neutrality and limits to 1st amendment.

  • ||

    As much as I want to make fun of this, I cant. Every time the left makes some wild accusation it turns out that they are projecting.

    I have suspected for a while that lefty outfits have organized trolling operations.

  • mplspolitics||

    Please find that link so I can rip apart my prog friends.

  • ||

    This troll is really dumb. Are we sure it's not MNG?

  • ||

    It could be. I also considered that it might be your mom, but then I realized she's right here with me.

  • ||

    Hey, MNG's not my mom. I think.

  • Paul.||

    Jesus, it just hit me. Why doesn't the Obama administration outsource Obamacare to India?

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    "Is the ACA plugged in and turned on?"

  • ArbutusJoe||

    It sounds like health care, but I can't understand it.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    We're not going back to pre-ACA days, when insurance companies denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, put caps on plans, kicked you off if you got sick, kicked your kids off when they graduated, etc.

    In other words, the Obamacare has made actual "insurance" a thing of the past.

    At least you admit it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • KDN||

    Her teammate looks is what I imagine the Tick looks like after a run-in with a gender swapping device.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Holy....you're right!

  • Sigivald||

    “It’s simply so they don’t game the system,”

    Gaming is what human beings do to systems. Always.

    Systems invented with the idea that they're a static analysis and that nobody will react rationally (or even irrationally) to the system or the changes are doomed to not work out as designed.

    Complaining that people respond to incentives marks one as a fool.

  • R C Dean||

    Bingo. Systems are games. If you play the system according to the designer's desires, you are playing the system the way the designer wants.

    But you are still playing the system.

  • Michael Price||

    And yet it's the single most defining feature of how government works. It's like they surgically removed the knowledge of what they themselves do when faced with such situations.

  • Rich||

    Any small business that wanted to take advantage of the delay would be required to certify to the Internal Revenue Service, under penalty of perjury, that no positions had been terminated in order to qualify for the exemption.

    How about if the IRS is required to certify, under penalty of perjury, that less than 100% of the groups they targeted were conservative?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    + Form 83609 stroke zed

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I know you guys probably don't want to hear this -- neither do I -- but because BO is technically loosening the requirements of the law, he's within his authority in doing this. Businesses with 50-99 employees which didn't satisfy the mandate would be fined/prosecuted under BOCare if he actually applied the law as written, and what he's doing here is offering them a way out. The equal protection argument is not going to hold water as fire-happy employers are not a protected class.

    (I notice that no one questioned his authority to allow WA and CO residents to be free from federal prosecution for MJ possession/distribution as long as they followed a laundry list of conditions of his choosing, which are nowhere to be found in federal law)

  • ||

    Actually lots of people have questioned the principle of Obama's selective enforcement, even when it was a policy they would otherwise support.

    Here's a wonderful CATO podcast on it:

    http://www.cato.org/multimedia.....nforcement

  • R C Dean||

    because BO is technically loosening the requirements of the law, he's within his authority in doing this.

    What provision of the law or the Constitution empowers the President to create entirely new categories of regulated businesses entirely on his own, and offer them benefits and exemptions?

  • GILMORE||

    "Businesses with 50-99 employees which didn't satisfy the mandate would be fined/prosecuted under BOCare if he actually applied the law as written, and what he's doing here is offering them a way out."

    Rubbish.

    there is nothing in the wording of the laws ANYWHERE giving the president authority to invent new penalties for the *reasons* people may or may not be within compliance at any given time.

    You may be correct about the decision to offer leeway to smaller business *writ large* = but not at all regarding the decision to require businesses *certify* their reasons for making staffing changes.

    The law is only applied to businesses based on their # of employees at the time the law is made effective = there is NOTHING in the law allowing any sort of discrimination based on an employers' "reasons" for having that # of full time staff.

    unless of course you can find and cite one. I wont be holding my breath.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Also, this doesn't directly solve the problem of employers firing employees to get below 50 workers. Though, in view of the fact that they can get away with having 60 employees as long as they sign the affadavit, it's unlikely anyone's going to do that.

  • ||

    Cool story, bro.

  • Michael Price||

    "it's unlikely anyone's going to do that."
    Until the exemption expires.

  • GILMORE||

    "Tulpa (LAOL-VA)|2.14.14 @ 4:33PM|#

    Also, this doesn't directly solve the problem of employers firing employees to get below 50 workers...

    That is a strange definition of the word "problem" when there are specific penalties written into law for people above that #.

    How is it a problem when it is invented by the administration? That's a feature, not a bug.

  • Steve85||

    Wait... I'm confused, I thought employers didn't respond to incentives? Or is that only when we're discussing the minimum wage?

  • PeterNPaul||

    Under penalty of perjury, you are required to swear to thieves that you are not lying.

  • Great+Grandma||

    The devious party of lies, intolerance and hate is at it again.

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