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View Diary: Obama administration issues rules for individual mandate, America continues to exist (94 comments)

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  •  $44,680 for an individual (2+ / 0-)
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    AoT, Odysseus

    Is still a decent sum of money, depending where you live. obviously its going to go a hell of a lot farther in Alabama than in a major metropolitan area.

    If you are making $45K a year, you're not exactly destitute and you should be required to carry insurance.

    •  a few points: (2+ / 0-)
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      Odysseus, Willa Rogers

      a) you are correct that $44k is not poor. it's a lot higher than the median wage, in fact.

      b) still, because insurance can be incredibly expensive, it can still eat up a very large share of the income of somebody making that much money.

      c) you state that "you should be required to carry insurance" as a matter of fact.  You didn't offer any reasons why you think that.  I disagree, since such a huge portion of insurance payments is basically wasted, especially on things like executive's 4th vacation homes.  

      •  It is a matter of fact (1+ / 0-)
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        It is the law. And as far as wasted premiums, the medical loss ratio greatly reduces that.

        •  well (2+ / 0-)
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          Odysseus, Willa Rogers

          as for it being the law, that's not a good answer in a discussion of the value of that being the law.

          Further, even with the medical loss ratio, it's still a large % going into private pockets (and the return is a lot less than something like Medicare).

          And that's if the medical loss ratio holds - which it won't (it often hasn't in places where it was already law, such as California). There is a provision for insurance companies to request exemption from it in the ACA, and it comes down to one executive brance person (a position created by the ACA, but I forget the title of the position) to say yes or no. There's a good chance of regulatory capture.

    •  Hey, I was just trying to clear up the (0+ / 0-)

      "misinformation" above.  It have often heard folks mistakenly quote the amount of $88,000, though it applies to individuals.

      Yes, depending upon where you live, it isn't destitute.  But it's also not a great sum of money in many localities, especially if you're keeping up your own household (i.e., not sharing housing expenses with someone else).

      Personally, we've lived in both D.C. and Alaska (and Alaska has its own FPL because the cost of living there is so high), and I wouldn't envy anyone in either place that was keeping a household up by themselves on that annual income.

      I heard a couple of Brookings economists say during a congressional committee hearing last year, that in today's money (this was in 2012) "middle class" begins at somewhere between $60,000 and $65,000 annual "household" income.

      So, my biggest concern with the ACA is that the subsidies stop at the working class, not the middle class income levels.  For those folks in that income range with a mortgage and two car payments, it will be tough, if not impossible.  And I worry about the "age rating" 3:1 ratio.  I don't think that it's appropriate since group health insurance plans don't rate for age, just lifestyle (smoking).

      But for upper income folks, it will work out well since they will have access to much lower premiums, than before the ACA was enacted.  And for young people up to age 26 (or is it up to, and including?).   :-)


      “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 05:43:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, and actually, it can get people making less (1+ / 0-)
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      WASHINGTON — Some families could get priced out of health insurance due to what's being called a glitch in President Barack Obama's overhaul law. IRS regulations issued Wednesday failed to fix the problem as liberal backers of the president's plan had hoped.

      As a result, some families that can't afford the employer coverage that they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from the government to buy private health insurance on their own. How many people will be affected is unclear.

      The Obama administration says its hands were tied by the way Congress wrote the law. Officials said the administration tried to mitigate the impact. Families that can't get coverage because of the glitch will not face a tax penalty for remaining uninsured, the IRS rules said.....

      Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus, an advocacy group for children, cited estimates that close to 500,000 children could remain uninsured because of the glitch. "The children's community is disappointed by the administration's decision to deny access to coverage for children based on a bogus definition of affordability," Lesley said in a statement.

      The problem seems to be the way the law defined affordable.

      Congress said affordable coverage can't cost more than 9.5 percent of family income. People with coverage the law considers affordable cannot get subsidies to go into the new insurance markets. The purpose of that restriction was to prevent a stampede away from employer coverage.

      Congress went on to say that what counts as affordable is keyed to the cost of self-only coverage offered to an individual worker, not his or her family. A typical workplace plan costs about $5,600 for an individual worker. But the cost of family coverage is nearly three times higher, about $15,700, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

      So if the employer isn't willing to chip in for family premiums – as most big companies already do – some families will be out of luck. They may not be able to afford the full premium on their own, and they'd be locked out of the subsidies in the health care overhaul law.

      Employers are relieved that the Obama administration didn't try to put the cost of providing family coverage on them.

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