by William Teach | February 19, 2015 7:43 am
The NY Times Editorial Board is rather upset about the Ocare penalty, and writes about “when one penalty is enough“, coming up with an solution quickly
Millions of Americans may be in for a shock when they file tax returns and learn that they have to pay a fine for failing to enroll in health insurance in 2014 and an even bigger fine for failing to enroll in 2015 before the enrollment period ended on Feb. 15. While there is nothing they can do to avoid the 2014 fine, which must be paid this year, they could avoid the 2015 fine, payable next year, if the Obama administration allowed them more time to enroll.
Oh, see, that’s so simple! Give people who aren’t planning on signing up more time to sign up!
The government should open a special enrollment period that lasts beyond April 15, the traditional filing time for most taxpayers. That would be fair to millions of consumers who remain uninformed about the health care law and ignorant about the subsidies it provides and the penalties for failing to enroll. And it would strengthen implementation of health care reform.
Did the NY Times just call many Americans stupid? Well, in all fairness, anyone who is unaware of Ocare is stupid.
The Affordable Care Act requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or, with some exceptions, pay a fine, which is assessed at the time they pay their income taxes. For individual adults who failed to enroll in 2014, the fine is $95 or 1 percent of applicable yearly income, whichever is higher. For individuals who failed to enroll in 2015, the fine will jump to $325 or 2 percent of applicable yearly income, to be paid when taxes are filed next year. That is a big jump that will hurt many people on modest incomes. The fines leap even higher the following year.
Here’s an idea: do away with the Mandate!
Here’s the problem: many people may be hit with Ocare penalties because they switched jobs. I left my job in August, started a new one in September. I had to be there 90 days before I was eligible to enroll in their health insurance plan. That means I was without (sadly) for over 3 months. And, since I said (blank) this place, I’m out (for several reasons), and resigned, obtaining a job at a company that wasn’t long on promises, short on delivery, and doesn’t have a manager who just barely skirted the legal definition of “hostile workplace”. Will I get hit with the penalty? Well, I have to fill out a big old form and submit it to find out.
Anyhow, one liberal commenter has an idea
If people don’t comply with the state’s wishes, the state should crush them like a bug.
The NYTs celebrates big government tyranny. Succumb to an insipid wholly-partisan “law” that the president has unilaterally and unconstitutionally altered over 15 times…or else.
Of course they do. And the solution is apparently to extend the signup period.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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