AP: Applying for ObamaCare benefits could be as daunting as doing your taxes

posted at 4:41 pm on March 12, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

So, apparently, we had to “pass it to find out what’s in it,” but finding out what’s in it first requires hiring an “army of counselors” to help everyone figure it all out. Awesome.

The Associated Press reports that, as the state exchanges through which all Americans will soon need to purchase insurance (if they don’t already have it) continue to develop, it’s increasingly clear that the process is going to be neither as fast nor as simple as the administration claimed. You don’t say:

The government’s draft application runs 15 pages for a three-person family. An outline of the online version has 21 steps, some with additional questions.

Seven months before the Oct. 1 start of enrollment season for millions of uninsured Americans, the idea that getting health insurance could be as easy as shopping online at Amazon or Travelocity is starting to look like wishful thinking.

At least three major federal agencies, including the IRS, will scrutinize your application. …

“When you combine those two processes, it is enormously time consuming and complex,” added Pollack. He’s calling for the government to simplify the form and, more important, for an army of counselors to help uninsured people navigate the new system. It’s unclear who would pay for these navigators.

Drafts of the paper application and a 60-page description of the online version were quietly posted online by the Health and Human Services Department, seeking feedback from industry and consumer groups. Those materials, along with a recent HHS presentation to insurers, run counter to the vision of simplicity promoted by administration officials.

Remember, by the way, that this is not optional. Anyone that doesn’t have insurance already must either get it or pay the penalty.

As Guy already pointed out today in the Green Room via Mitch McConnell‘s office, the administration recently released 800 new pages of ObamaCare regulations, adding to a grand total of 20,000 pages — and they’re nowhere near finished. What about this did the Obama administration ever think was going to be simple or easy for anyone?

And, just in case you were worried, have no fear: Sequestration will not impact the collection of ObamaCare’s many new taxes and fees, because no way could the administration allow anything to jeopardize the image or implementation of their crowning legislative jewel, could they?

Implementation of the taxes and fees from President Obama’s healthcare law is on track despite the cutbacks at the IRS from sequestration.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted in 2010 and derided by Republicans as “ObamaCare,” contains the broadest set of tax changes enacted in some two decades — more than 40 alterations in all, including penalties on people who choose not to purchase insurance.

But while IRS and Treasury officials have warned of reduced services as employees are furloughed under the sequester, neither agency has expressed any concern that the automatic spending cuts would delay the rollout of the healthcare overhaul.


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