Oh, by the way, 90% of people without insurance won’t have to pay ObamaCare’s mandate penalty after all

posted at 8:01 pm on August 7, 2014 by Allahpundit

Another reminder that when the economic realities of this boondoggle collide with Democrats’ political priorities, the economics ultimately must bow. The first hard lesson in that was the “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” fiasco. It was never true that people could keep their old plans if they liked them under O-Care, as even Barney Frank admits. The whole point of the law was to cancel low-cost existing plans and steer healthy people to new plans with “comprehensive” benefits that many don’t really need. That’s how you justify squeezing them for the added revenue needed to cover medical treatments for people with preexisting conditions in the same new plan. But Obama had lied too many times on camera to escape political damage from the “if you like your plan” nonsense being exposed. So, to contain the political fallout, he created an economic “fix”: Insurers would be allowed, if they so chose, to bring back plans that had already been canceled. That’s nutty from a revenue perspective — the last thing you want is healthy people bailing out of the new risk pool and buying an old, cheaper plan instead — but it made jittery Democrats feel better and that’s what’s important.

Second verse, same as the first. The feds were expecting a certain amount of revenue from uninsured people opting to pay the individual mandate penalty instead of buying insurance. But the mandate is unpopular, and since the people who are most likely to end up paying it are core Democratic voters, i.e. young adults, it might be especially dangerous electorally for the White House to be sticklers about collecting the money. Politics versus economics once again.

Which do you suppose won this round?

Almost 90% of the nation’s 30 million uninsured won’t pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement…

The Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine based on hardships, including suffering domestic violence, experiencing substantial property damage from a fire or flood, and having a canceled insurance plan. Those come on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects…

Patrick Getzen, vice president and chief actuary at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, said he saw more “older and sicker people” enrolled in 2014 than projected. He attributed some of that to the weakened mandate. “With a stronger penalty and less broad exemptions, that would be better for the risk pool.”…

Critics have assailed one exemption for people who “experienced another hardship obtaining health insurance” as too broad. That exemption asks for documentation if possible but doesn’t require it.

Two years ago, CBO estimated that six million uninsured people would fail to qualify for a hardship exemption and be forced to pay the penalty, producing $7 billion in revenue. Today we’re down to four million who fail to qualify and $4 billion in revenue. What happened in the interim? You already know: Late last year, HHS quietly added a “temporary” hardship exemption for anyone who’d had their old insurance plan canceled, even though canceling old plans was the whole point of ObamaCare. As Ezra Klein put it, the feds were now treating ObamaCare itself as a hardship worthy of an exemption. (That’d make a dynamite attack ad for the GOP if the law wasn’t too complicated to explain in 30 seconds.) Then, four months ago, HHS went a step further for good measure and added the catch-all hardship category described in the last paragraph of the excerpt above — with no requirement that the applicant provide proof that they were really suffering from a hardship. In other words, we’ve gone from Obama waging a legal war before the Supreme Court to protect the mandate to Obama handing out exemptions essentially as a matter of right, no questions asked, to anyone who wants one. It’s de facto repeal of the mandate, albeit on a case by case basis. (Not unlike his approach to immigration, in which he’s going to repeal parts of U.S. immigration law de facto in the guise of exercising “prosecutorial discretion” towards each individual illegal.) It’s also a $3 billion hit to the federal coffers, but so what? It makes jittery Democrats feel better before the midterms and that’s what’s important.

Incidentally, the rule extending these hyper-broad mandate exemptions is due to expire in … October 2016, one month before America chooses a new president. What do you suppose are the odds that it’ll be extended beyond that date before then?


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Odds it will be changed?

“To infinity and beyond!”

PolAgnostic on August 7, 2014 at 8:04 PM

So who are the 10% who are going to pay this mandate ‘penalty’…the slow ones? I mean, I don’t have insurance (though I could at an exorbitant rate)…but you bet I’ll apply.

AUINSC on August 7, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Does this thing even have a revenue stream now?? It seems like everyday we hear about some part of it being of questionable legality or just absurdly impractical. What will Ned Pepper say??

sorrowen on August 7, 2014 at 8:11 PM

The beast may starve itself.

(gasp) They may not even be able to afford death panels!

formwiz on August 7, 2014 at 8:12 PM

We’ve become a banana republic in less than 7 years!

celt on August 7, 2014 at 8:15 PM

The beast may starve itself.

(gasp) They may not even be able to afford death panels!

formwiz on August 7, 2014 at 8:12 PM

We can only hope…

The beast must still die an official death…so it stays dead.

workingclass artist on August 7, 2014 at 8:17 PM

If your birthday this year falls on a day of the week ending in ‘y’, you are exempted from the Roberts Tax.

slickwillie2001 on August 7, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Why don’t we borrow an idea from Mitt Romney and give an Obamacare exemption to all 50 states?

Or Obama might give an exemption to all 57 states…

Steve Z on August 7, 2014 at 8:23 PM

No surprise here, Obama violated the Constitution with the first batch of exemptions years back and the RINOs leading the House remained silent, given an inch he’s now taking a mile.

Scottie on August 7, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Absolutely no plan to have health care anything else but totally wrecked.

Bmore on August 7, 2014 at 8:30 PM

President Favorites…..
Rule of Man
Not
Rule of Law
Kenya is America
America is Kenya

Privatize It on August 7, 2014 at 8:31 PM

The beast may starve itself.

(gasp) They may not even be able to afford death panels!

formwiz on August 7, 2014 at 8:12 PM

.
That is simultaneously a ‘pathetic truth’, and funny as HANG.

listens2glenn on August 7, 2014 at 8:38 PM

No surprise here, Obama violated the Constitution with the first batch of exemptions years back and the RINOs leading the House remained silent, given an inch he’s now taking a mile.

Scottie on August 7, 2014 at 8:25 PM

rofl. You don’t know how funny that expression is to me. Makes me think of what my pop told me back in 1963.

arnold ziffel on August 7, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Obama’s executive actions on Obamacare seem to be killing about Obamacare which is ironic. The revenue’s needed won’t be coming due to thr questionable legality and how this retarded over weight crack baby was put together. Defund it or repeal put the thing out of its misery and let the public choose their own healthcare.

sorrowen on August 7, 2014 at 8:45 PM

So who are the 10% who are going to pay this mandate ‘penalty’…the slow ones?

AUINSC on August 7, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Who? Ned Pecker & Co. – the true believers.

Cody1991 on August 7, 2014 at 8:51 PM

With it looking more like Halbig is going to SCOTUS, that could be even fewer people paying that *ahem!* penalty/tax…

Newtie and the Beauty on August 7, 2014 at 8:59 PM

You know the WORST thing about barry being Prez?

For the rest of his *life*, he’s going to keep popping up at events and spouting stupid shit, like Carter.

a5minmajor on August 7, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Suckas!!!!

All you people that thought the law was the law.

This should make all those young and indestructible jump on the Obama-Democrat Care bandwagon.

A nation of men, not laws.

jukin3 on August 7, 2014 at 9:07 PM

So the funding they expected from the penalties will have to come from….from….yeah.

Bishop on August 7, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Neither will I ever pay. Whether they say I “have to” or not.

This administration is outside the law and we have no obligation to obey it.

DISOBEY, people!

Bat Chain Puller on August 7, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Single payer is and always will be the goal.

cynccook on August 7, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Meanwhile in the real world….

Two red states see biggest drop in uninsured rate because of Medicaid

In Arkansas, the rate of uninsured dropped from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 12.4 percent now — a change of over 10 points.

In Kentucky, it dropped from 20.4 percent to 11.9 percent — a change of 8.5 percent.

In Colorado, it dropped from 17 percent to 11 percent — a change of six percent.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/174290/arkansas-kentucky-report-sharpest-drops-uninsured-rate.aspx

In Arkansas, Rep. Tom Cotton has nothing but gibberish to add to the healthcare debate, refusing to answer clearly what he’d do to protect the people in his state that have so recently gained health insurance if his vision of repeal is realized.

And Sen. Mitch McConnell is, if anything, even more incoherent on Kentucky’s Obamcare program, Kynect.

Ned Pepper on August 7, 2014 at 9:19 PM

You know the WORST thing about barry being Prez?

For the rest of his *life*, he’s going to keep popping up at events and spouting stupid shit, like Carter.

a5minmajor on August 7, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Get serious. Barf will hit the bong, mess around on golf courts, play with his buds (ifykwim) while Big Mo tries to splash around in the celebrity media circles.

He’s lazy (by his own admission) as we know, and self-interested. He’s a welfare queen who enjoys the fact that we will pay for his upkeep in perpetuity.

Meh. Good riddance.

896 days left.

Cody1991 on August 7, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Politics versus economics once again.

Maybe so, but I’m still thinking that this program or whatever it is was never really about health care in the first place. What things will we see coming out of this monstrosity after the November elections? How did they think that their poor voting base would have liked having money taken from them in the first place? But, why would we think that they would indeed do that in the first place?

And what about all those new IRS agents?

I’m thinking they’re still going to go after health care providers and employers (the non-exempt ones that is) and shake them down for money.

Something’s not right here, and I can’t shake this feeling that they’re positioning themselves to go after the middle class and small businesses.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 7, 2014 at 9:21 PM

So the funding they expected from the penalties will have to come from….from….yeah.

Bishop on August 7, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Yup.

Got a mirror?

massrighty on August 7, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Meh. Good riddance.

896 days left.

Cody1991 on August 7, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Plus, they’ll wheel him out as a “first-black” whenever they need minority cred, then send him to the 19 hole when they don’t need him. And, he’s too friggin selfish to do any disaster-relief-charity-fundraising stuff.

Man, when your Presidency is not even as good as James Earl Carter, and your post-Presidency is not even on par with Clinton, you know you’ve really failed upward.

massrighty on August 7, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Ned Pepper on August 7, 2014 at 9:19 PM You do realize O’care is barely functioning illogically put together,absurdly counterdictive piece of shit right? It’s so confusing,so nonsensical and implausibly put together it will not work even though Obama just wants to raid more American household income in short it’s unworkable,retarded piece of legislative BS.

sorrowen on August 7, 2014 at 9:37 PM

sorrowen on August 7, 2014 at 9:37 PM

I expect Ned Pecker and his Traveler family are all on Medicaid, so it’s no matter to him.

slickwillie2001 on August 7, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Ned Pepper on August 7, 2014 at 9:19 PM

The Arkansas legislature was held hostage until some idiot got the vote he wanted to fund that Medicaid monster. Who the hell do you think is paying for all this? It’s the few of us who still have jobs, that’s who.

brdchris1 on August 7, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Exemptions = more uninsured than before the law was signed.

docflash on August 7, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Exemptions = more uninsured than before the law was signed.

docflash on August 7, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Yup; and, all the 26+ year olds can claim the undocumented “hardship of having to find health insurance” exemption referenced above.

massrighty on August 7, 2014 at 9:53 PM

sorrowen on August 7, 2014 at 9:37 PM

You do realize that no matter conservatives bitch and moan, Obamacare is here to stay.

This country is not going back to the days before Obamacare was signed into law. Ever.

Nobody is going to bring back pre-existing condition restriction on getting insurance.

Nobody is going to bring back lifetime caps on how much insurance companies pay out.

Ronald Reagan was selling his tapes against Medicare in 1964. By 1984, he was working with Democrats to expand Medicare.

Social Security had huge problems when it got going in the late 1930s. Now it is here to stay.

Obamacare, warts and all, is here to stay.

Ned Pepper on August 7, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Exemptions = more uninsured than before the law was signed.

docflash on August 7, 2014 at 9:49 PM

I expect that most of the claimed reduction in the “uninsured” went into Medicaid, which is not really insurance. Finding those actual numbers is like pulling teeth.

Signing more Americans up for free crap is not much of an accomplishment.

slickwillie2001 on August 7, 2014 at 9:54 PM

I wouldn’t have paid it regardless, he can shove it.

He doesn’t live by any rules, why should we?

Diluculo on August 7, 2014 at 9:59 PM

At this point it’s on life support and Ned Puppet should embrace the fact trying to govern by and legislate by fiat does not work look at the boarder and look at Obamacare it does not work. We are a republic not a monarchy…as much as O wants to be king.

sorrowen on August 7, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Insurers would be allowed, if they so chose, to bring back plans that had already been canceled.

NO THEY WON’T!

State Insurance Commissioners have to okay those plans.

Guess what? Try and buy your OLD plan in The People’s Republik of Kalifornia.

GarandFan on August 7, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Neither will I ever pay. Whether they say I “have to” or not.

This administration is outside the law and we have no obligation to obey it.

DISOBEY, people!

Bat Chain Puller on August 7, 2014 at 9:10 PM

This! I cancelled my health insurance once the government mandated I must have it. The government will not force me to buy any damn thing. I will go to jail first.

Doomsday on August 7, 2014 at 10:36 PM

In Arkansas, Rep. Tom Cotton has nothing but gibberish to add to the healthcare debate, refusing to answer clearly what he’d do to protect the people in his state that have so recently gained health insurance if his vision of repeal is realized.

And Sen. Mitch McConnell is, if anything, even more incoherent on Kentucky’s Obamcare program, Kynect.

Ned Pepper on August 7, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Now from DailyKos

In Arkansas, Rep. Tom Cotton has nothing but gibberish to add to the healthcare debate, refusing to answer clearly what he’d do to protect the people in his state that have so recently gained health insurance if his vision of repeal is realized. And Sen. Mitch McConnell is, if anything, even more incoherent on Kentucky’s Obamcare program, Kynect.

LOLOLOL….word for word.

Ded Pecker can’t even reword anything to even make it sound like an orginal thought. LOLOLOL

Sing daisy for us b!tch.

HumpBot Salvation on August 7, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Making it up as we go along…

jaywemm on August 7, 2014 at 10:53 PM

The plan was always to create an unsustainable system that had to collapse, just so the government could take it all over as single payer. I’d say it’s pretty much right on schedule.

worldtvlr on August 7, 2014 at 11:42 PM

Does the word Turd ring a bell?

Mason on August 8, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Has anyone else noticed that all the democrats are totes running on Obama’s democrat care and having king Barky the Liar at all their campaign rallies?

No?

jukin3 on August 8, 2014 at 12:22 AM

After the Democrats are finished destroying the insurance industry, single-payer will save them. Heh.

unclesmrgol on August 8, 2014 at 1:01 AM

Almost 90% of the nation’s 30 million uninsured won’t pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement…

I know that they aren’t concerned with it nor tracking it anymore, but how is that going to affect the solvency and cost of the law? It looks as though it is taking almost a 50% hit from the numbers.

In other words, we’ve gone from Obama waging a legal war before the Supreme Court to protect the mandate to Obama handing out exemptions essentially as a matter of right, no questions asked, to anyone who wants one.

I can’t see how Obozo can square this legally. Ultimate flip-flop. Oh…sorry…he evolved.

Patriot Vet on August 8, 2014 at 7:28 AM

I thought it was the law of the land.

sadatoni on August 8, 2014 at 7:29 AM

LOLOLOL….word for word.

Ded Pecker can’t even reword anything to even make it sound like an orginal thought. LOLOLOL

Sing daisy for us b!tch.

HumpBot Salvation on August 7, 2014 at 10:37 PM

HA! Just like the Demwit from Montana! Douche.

Patriot Vet on August 8, 2014 at 7:39 AM

Ned’s spooked.

“Please don’t take my bennies!!”

CurtZHP on August 8, 2014 at 7:40 AM

You do realize that no matter conservatives bitch and moan, Obamacare is here to stay. – “Needlenose” Ned Puppy

Yes, Ned is an incompetent troll, but for anyone else who hasn’t quite figured out what’s going on: Obamacare was never intended to stay. O-care was intentionally thrown together with no concern for its workability because it was always seen as a stop-gap measure. The ultimate goal is single-payer, i.e. the gov is the one and only insurer. The entire insurance industry ceases to exist.

Thus, the Republicans get blamed for “obstructing” o-care and the Feds step in to save us all from ourselves.

No, Obamacare is not here to stay. It is only a means to an end…

Ace ODale on August 8, 2014 at 10:05 AM

So do the 10% have a Constitutional challenge for unequal treatment?

MTinMN on August 8, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Or Obama might give an exemption to all 57 states…

Steve Z on August 7, 2014 at 8:23 PM

58.
remember it was visited 57 and 1 more to go.

dmacleo on August 8, 2014 at 12:42 PM

My wife and I beat on each other, so stuff your 0bamaTax! LMAO! /s

DannoJyd on August 8, 2014 at 3:10 PM