Obamacare could leave half a million kids without insurance.

Posted: September 27, 2013 in Political musings
Tags: , , , , , ,

poor childI reproduce this article by Emily Hulsey word for word from the Independent Journal Review in order to show categorically that Wellthisiswhatithink is not rabidly one-eyed as regards Obamacare, and also because we believe we do our readers no service by ignoring issues when they arise just because they’re showing the side of politics we support in a poor light. Someone in the President’s office needs to answer this concern directly, Democrats must hold the executive to account, and lawmakers from both sides owe it to working people to correct the mistake promptly. There are things in the article I dislike – Obamacare is not a “terror”, that’s a nonsense. But the substantive point needs answering, and fast.

Article begins:

“family glitch” in the Affordable Care Act could cost families thousands of dollars and leave as many as 500,000 children without health insurance.

This problem is due to the way the health care law was written. The law requires that employers provide “affordable” health care to their employees; it defines affordable as “9.5% or less of an employee’s household income.” However, it does not require that employers provide “affordable” care to their employees’ families. The results are terrifying:

That can make a huge difference; the Kaiser Family Foundation said an average plan for an individual is about $5,600, but it goes up to $15,700 for families. Most employers help out with those costs, but not all.

Unlike part-time or unemployed workers, those who are offered “affordable” insurance by their employers but choose to order from the health care exchanges will not receive any government subsidies to help with the costs.

“We saw this two-and-a-half years ago and thought, ‘Has anyone else noticed this?’” said Kosali Simon, a professor of public affairs at Indiana University who specializes in health economics. “Everyone said, ‘No, no. You must be wrong.’ But we weren’t, and that’s going to leave a lot of people out.”

Thousands of people are going to be in a Catch-22 when it comes to buying insurance for their spouses and kids. Their only options will be to pay astronomically high prices through their employer or to pay astronomically high prices through the government exchanges. Many parents will simply not be able to afford it. As a result, up to 500,000 children who don’t qualify for government assistance could go without healthcare.

Here is an example of what could happen:

1. Single mom Jane works full-time for ABC Corporation. Her employer is complying with the new insurance changes required by Obamacare.

2. Jane is told that her employer will be switching health insurance plans in January. She learns that her premiums will be about the same as they have been – about 9% of her total income. However, the premiums for her children are expected to double.

3. Now unable to afford coverage for her children under her employer’s insurance, Jane decides to shop through her state health care exchange, only to learn that those prices are even higher. She uses the exchange’s subsidy calculator, but it informs her that she doesn’t qualify for any government help since ABC Corporation offers coverage to its employees.

4. Jane realizes that she has no way to provide health insurance to her kids. She makes too much, in the government’s eyes, to qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. She cannot afford the premiums offered by her employer, and she cannot afford individual plans without qualifying for a subsidy.

This is a “glitch” in the law, and it is fixable. All Congress has to do is change the language of the healthcare law in one of two ways:

  • Require employers to provide “affordable” insurance to employees and their families, not just employees, OR
  • Require the government to offer subsidies to dependent family members who do not have access to “affordable” healthcare through an employer.

If the law is not fixed by the time the employer mandate rolls out (and let’s not kid ourselves here), thousands of families will have zero access to affordable health insurance for their spouses and children. This glitch is just another casualty of the terror that is Obamacare, but it is an especially painful one.

When I was in school, our teachers drilled into our head the mantra, “Always double-check your work.” The lawmakers who supported the Affordable Care Act failed to double-check the work. It was written in haste and carelessly passed into law.

The Democrats put party lines and political carelessness ahead of their commitment to pass laws that will help, not hinder, their constituents. Now the American people – children – are the ones who will pay for their irresponsibility.

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Comments
  1. Amazingly (no, not really), you had the audacity to copy an article from USA Today and FAILED to include the bottom part, which stated that 70% of these kids are now eligible for Medicaid. But, their parents may not know it- and the folks of YOUR ilk are desperately trying to confuse them and/or preclude the REAL information arriving at their doorsteps.

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  2. The real ‘terror’ in Obamacare is that, according to many of its opponents who have researched the detail in far greater depth than I, it is full of such glitches as well as the fact that over the next three years it will take more and more money from the working citizen WITHOUT providing universal healthcare. It was rushed into law in haste (Pelosi: ‘don’t bother about reading it; just vote for it) by people who will not be using it as their own healthcare system and who will not pay the price when it implodes.

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