Want Obamacare? Get Ready to Share the Details of Your Life Changes With the Feds.


Americans receiving tax credits for health care they get through the Affordable Care Act are likely to take a hit on their tax refunds, warns USA Today. That's because they took an advance against those tax credits when they signed up for coverage, but come tax filing time, actual numbers may not square with earlier estimates. If that's the case (and when do financial estimates ever line up with reality at the end of the year?) the tax collectors will demand money back.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Obamacare customers' new and very intimate relationships with the federal government. In order to make sure their credits line up with their personal circumstances, people purchasing health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace are suppposed to update the government on any major life changes. The new relationship between customers and federal officials, to judge by the IRS's documents, seems a bit like reporting in to a parole officer.

Actually, it's a lot like reporting in to a parole officer.

Obamacare customers should contact the government in case of: birth or adoption, marriage or divorce, moving to another address, changes in household income, incarceration or release from incarceration, gaining or losing health care coverage or eligibility, and other changes in life and prosperity.

You can apparently get a dog without filing a report, but don't quote me on that.

Report Changes

Obamacare—the health care coverage for people who think privacy is way the hell overrated.

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  1. Maybe they can have the Obamacare Navigators give you a call every few months, just to see how things are with you, you know? Still at the same job? Still married to whatshisname? Got any new dependents running around?

    Or maybe they’ll just drop by because they were in the neighborhood. It would be rude to turn them away after they’ve been so generous about paying for your health insurance.

  2. Seems like 5 of those 7 you would report to the IRS already, and change of incarceration status would also be a matter of public record.

  3. If you’re fishing for a subsidy then things like dependent and income changes should be reported.

    Of course the easy thing to do is just to continue to buy private insurance and let them quiz you about your smoking and drinking habits. Or let your employer do it instead.

    1. Don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

    2. Whatever, turd.

    3. Who has an employer that asks them about their drinking habits? I’ve never heard of such a thing, only people like you who lives in their mum’s basement have even thought up such drivel as that.

      1. Me neither.

      2. None anymore, but look up what Henry Ford did to his employees. He would send people over to their houses for inspections to make sure they were leading a good moral life.

        1. Oops. I see it was addressed below.

    4. Is it really a subsidy when its something you don’t actually want, but the government is requiring you to buy?

      1. You should pay the more than double of your previous premium so that Obama may be glorified.


    5. Of course the easy thing to do is just to continue to buy private insurance and let them quiz you about your smoking and drinking habits.

      If I buy private insurance in a competitive market I divulge the info voluntarily. Furthermore, the information is going to a private entity that may not divulge it elsewhere (assuming maintaining your privacy is something that the company strives for. I’d imagine this would be something people think about when deciding who to do business with.)

    6. Of course the easy thing to do is just to continue to buy private insurance…

      Huh? These tax subsidies are only for people buying private insurance. I had private insurance but it was illegal for me to continue buying it. Now, under the Affordable Care Act, they want me to buy much more expensive insurance that I can’t afford.

  4. Yeah, when Henry Ford had his Social Department check up on workers in the 20’s, it was creepy.

    But the GOVERNMENT doing it 90 years later? Progress!!

    Fuck off, slavers

    1. The government hates competition!

      1. Well as far as being incompetent, they really don’t have any.

  5. How do you report? By the same laser-like efficient system you signed up with?

  6. I’d be shocked if the compliance rate is as much as 10%. And if 50% of unearned subsidies are ever returned.

    1. The only compliance will likely be forced compliance. IOW, they’ll have to create enforcement officers who are like a parole officer who can go in and force compliance. But hey, jerbz!

      1. Perhaps they could call it the Department of Healthcare Security? DHS for short? Catchy, no?

      2. They won’t throw anyone in jail. They won’t have to. You force compliance by denying health insurance and ultimately health care to anyone who doesn’t comply. You don’t want to tell the government every intimate detail of your life? Great, good luck with that. Understand that your health insurance premiums are going to be priced on the assumption that you answered every question with the worst possible option and you will go the back of the line for any government rationed health care service.

        That is where all of this is going. They are going to make it such that anyone who doesn’t submit to government monitoring and management of their lives won’t be able to afford health insurance or get anything other than emergency health care.

        Worse still, it will start out with things like weight and drinking and smoking and quickly move on to the things they really want to control like of course guns and political views. Owning a gun is perfectly legal just like smoking is. But owning one is an unhealthy and anti-social habit inconsistent with affordable health insurance or access to health care ahead of people who have behaved responsibly. The same will be true of holding unpopular political ideas. Hold the wrong political ideas and you will be deemed a poor mental health risk.

        1. I would say it will come to fines and/or jail time. They do exactly that when people don’t pay fines or show up in court, or get behind on child support, so why wouldn’t they do it in this case?

          They’ll issue fines for not complying with the regulations. That will result in unpaid fines and eventually warrants and jail time.

          Soon enough they’ll be swat raiding peoples homes and throwing them in jail if little Johnny shows up in class 10 points above his ideal BMI or they find receipts from Walmart that show more than the government approved amount of sugary drinks were purchased last month.

          This is what is coming, and worse, much much worse. Obamacare is a literal smorgasbord of cronyism and control mechanisms.

          1. Yeah, there is always the regulatory turn a fine into a crime state. They will not doubt want to do everything you list in addition to what I list. The question is will people take it. I don’t think they will. The progressives are hideously evil people. They manage to do a great job of covering that fact up because they don’t have the power they need and they have the culture and the media to ensure no one understands that. Eventually, however, the mask has to come off, since taking the mask off and doing hideous things like you mention is the entire point of the ideology. The public will never accept that. The only issue is will the Progs have enough control over the gun to ensure they don’t have a choice.

        2. It will start there, but fines and jail is inevitable, this is the government we’re talking about.

          1. I disagree. The fines and jail will come from maybe not buying health insurance or worst case for not paying your bills. But again, when you can just deny health care to any non hackers, you don’t need to fine or jail anyone.

  7. Here’s an example of how big the surprise can be.

    Two-income household with two kids.

    Dad, age 50, typically makes about $59,000, and projected same when he applied for his ObamaCare subsidy.
    Mom, age 48, makes $34,200 and reported accordingly.
    They have a small brokerage account that generates about $1000/yr of interest of dividends, and they included in their ObamaCare subsidy application as well.
    After several dozen attempts to log in to the ObamaCare website, and a few dozen failed attempts to get the website to work, they finally get through, and discover that their ObamaCare subsidy for the year is $2761. (US average data, Kaiser Permanente calculator)

    Wow! Isn’t ObamaCare great! A $2761 credit.

    All goes exactly according to the projection, except that our couple’s modest stock portfolio paid $50 more this year in dividends, and since their bank accounts paid $49 less interest. No big deal, ObamaCare is based on total income, and that only increased by $1.

    Actually, it is a big deal: by earning $1 the erstwhile happy family loses their ObamaCare subsidy, thereby incurring an additional tax liability of $2671. A marginal tax rate of 276,100%!

    1. People keep claiming the free shit brigade is going to save this thing. I still don’t see it. Even the people getting the subsidies are getting screwed. No one benefited from this other than people who got jobs at HHS. Not even people with existing conditions benefited. They just got forced to buy policies they can’t afford.

      1. Have a friend with cancer that got kicked off her insurance anyway. Way to go, Big O.

      2. I am fairly certain that there are numerous crony crapitalists that benefit from ObamaCare as well. My neighbor is a CFO for a hospital chain, and he thinks it is great. Big Pharma and insurers benefit, and I am sure that the sort of MD who views his profession much like a mercenary views his have figured out how to game the system. The AMA did support ACA. A number of incompetent web designers also profited greatly.

        1. The list is distinguished but short on numbers. Their plan is to pull what amounts to a Jedi mind trick with the public. Just ignore the issue and say things like “its the law” and “its too late to change it” and hope people adjust to and accept the fact that Obamacare just ruined their health care and health insurance.

          Time will tell if that will work. I suspect it won’t because Obamacare is not going to ever stabilize at a new horrible status quo. It is just going to keep getting worse until it can’t be ignored anymore.

          The problem is that Obamacare was supposed to have a public insurance option. That was how they figured they would use it as a transition to single payer. The idea was to make private health insurance expensive and increasingly unavailable to all but the rich. This would then push the majority of the country onto the public option. Once you got a critical mass of people on the public option, you then enact single payer because there is no one around to defend the old system anymore.

          Without the public option, this thing is nothing but a machine that destroys people’s health insurance and replaces it with nothing. At some point, things will get so bad that there won’t be any way to ignore it.

          1. John. I’ve have been saying this for years.

            The original AMA had a public option.
            It got shot down and that changes the entire plan.

            To address your point about this ultimately leading to single payer, have you no trust in the free market? You don’t believe someone would come up with an insurance model better than medicare?

            1. You don’t believe someone would come up with an insurance model better than medicare?

              The HMO Act made that unprofitable, and the ACA makes it practically impossible.

              The “free market” can’t solve any problems when it doesn’t exist.

            2. Sure I do. But no one will if the regulations prevent them from doing it. That was the idea behind Obamacare, use regulation to make the private sector alternatives as horrible as possible.

      3. No one benefited from this other than people who got jobs at HHS.

        Maybe as of now, but the crony bucks gravy train will start rolling down the tracks soon enough.

        1. How? By taxing the US medical device industry into bankruptcy? By putting the private insurance industry into a death spiral as it is no longer able to sell to healthy customers?

          You guys always say that but you never give any examples of just who these “cronies” are. I sure don’t see many of them.

    2. In the example above, Mom is 47, not 48.

      If she were 48, the marginal rate would be 294,400%.

    3. It gets even better if one of you works a part time job that used to provide health insurance but now doesn’t because of Ocare so suddenly your year-over-year tax returns look like you got a huge spike in pay even though all of that money is going to pay for the insurance you had to buy through the exchange that was originally priced double (before your estimated subsidy) what last years premiums were.

  8. AFAIK, all these “life changes” are tracked by hand, because the Healthcare.gov back-end (still not finished) can’t do so on its own.

  9. Wouldnt it be easier if the givernment knew everything about us?

    Your know, like where we live and work and how much we make.

    wait a minute…

    Doesn’t my w-2 and my employer filing 941 quarterly let the fed and the state all that stuff?

    It’s because of those pesky people that don’t get paid by w2.

    Get rid of cash and have all commercial transactions go thru the federal reserve bank. We can use our social security number or TIN as the account number.
    Get rid of annonymous currency.
    Use Bitcoin, but a non annonymous version.

    If your were to do this, there would be no need for a border fence or patrol for that matter. No account at the fed, no grocery.

    Establish a FLAT tax and tax ALL DEPOSITS except perhaps for refunds.

    Wouldn’t that be easier?

    1. Easier for whom?

    2. Are you…all right?

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