Obamacare

Wouldn't It Be Terrible If Slightly Fewer Individuals Signed Up For ObamaCare's Middle Class Insurance Subsidies?

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House Republicans want to pay for the repeal of the health care overhaul's 1099 reporting provision—which was intended to raise billions in revenue by requiring small businesses to generate a slew of additional tax forms—by using money designated for the law's middle class insurance subsidies. Specifically, they want individuals whose income changes during the middle of the year to have pay back a greater share of the subsidy at tax time if it turns out that their reported yearly income is higher than when they took the subsidy.

Democrats, who already allowed the subsidies to be used previously in order to temporarily prevent a large drop in physician's Medicare reimbursements (the "doc fix"), aren't happy. Changing the subsidies to require greater repayment "would saddle hundreds of thousands of middle-income taxpayers with a hefty tax increase," Rep. Sander Levin told TPM. So it's a tax increase when someone has to give back part of a means-tested federal subsidy because they no longer qualify for it?

Democrats are also gravely worried that some people, aware that some of the subsidy money might eventually have to be paid back, won't take the subsidies. Apparently, that would be bad. Here's the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: "The offset would discourage many people with modest incomes from applying for subsidies in the first place and lead more of them to remain uninsured instead (and pay a modest penalty for failing to have insurance)." If they're actually worried about the penalty for not purchasing insurance, the solution seems fairly obvious: Repeal it. I'm sure plenty of Republicans would be happy to oblige. But mostly it seems as if they're worried that too few people will sign up for their taxpayer-funded insurance subsidy. We certainly can't have that, can we? Anyway, it's always nice to see politicians willing to fight to ensure that every American gets what they're entitled to—as long as what they're entitled to is paid for by someone else.

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  1. Anyway, it’s always nice to see politicians willing to fight to ensure that every American gets what they’re entitled to…

    Which increasingly seems to be a larger and larger pole up our ass.

  2. “But mostly it seems as if they’re worried that too few people will sign up for their taxpayer-funded insurance subsidy. We certainly can’t have that, can we?”

    Certainly not.

    The Democratic party strategy for about 70 years and counting is to get as many people as possible on the government welfare plantation.

  3. So it’s a tax increase when someone has to give back part of a means-tested federal subsidy because they no longer qualify for it?

    Yes, because after the raise this hypothetical person now counts as Rich, so you better believe there’s gonna be tax increases involved.

  4. But mostly it seems as if they’re worried that too few people will sign up for their taxpayer-funded insurance subsidy.

    The number of people signing up is going to be used as a “score” by the Democrats. “The right-wingers said this was unnecessary, but 34 million people signed up! I guess 34 million people don’t think it is unnecessary!”

    “The Republicans said this plan was a waste of money! Well, 11 million people signed up for this benefit! The Republicans think money is more important than those 11 million people! They wanted those 11 million to die!”

    1. I have to agree. Of course, they’ll ignore the fact that they’re offering these people money, so of course they’ll take it. Just like Cash For Clunkers was a success because they used up all the money.

      1. And look at all the shennaningans that have been going on with helping people get around the eligibilty requirements for food stamps so they can boost the number of people getting that handout.

    2. why would anyone in their right mind sign up before they are sick mitch?

  5. It’s obvious. The metric the Dems will use for measuring the success or failure of ObamaCare is going to be the number of people on the health care dole. Not costs, not life expectancy, it’ll be the number of people the government is “helping”.

    IOW, guaranteed “success”.

    1. Well that’s the way they measure social security and Medicare “success”.

  6. “So it’s a tax increase when someone has to give back part of a means-tested federal subsidy because they no longer qualify for it?”

    Back when President Reagan first proposed cuts in some federal welfare programs, I read in a left-wing newspaper that such cuts were “technically” a tax increase – I guess because the government would keep money that otherwise would go to qualified individuals.

    This is the corallary of the similar but opposite left wing belief that if the government cuts the tax burden, it is “giving away” money to the rich.

  7. If the repeal the penalty for not buying insurance, NOBODY will buy insurance. Because you can buy it after you get sick now.

    As I predicted, the law is a complete clusterfuck.

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