More Troubling Questions About Obamacare


It seems there is a new headline daily addressing the problems with enacting Obamacare next January.

A glitch in the Obamacare law will keep out millions of Americans that would otherwise be qualified. It will affect Americans of modest incomes who simply can’t afford family coverage offered by their employer according to a leading healthcare advocacy group. Millions of Americans will be priced out of health insurance under President Barack Obama’s law.

It is true that tax breaks averaging around $4,000 will be available. That will greatly help about 18 million Americans to pay for the Affordable Care Act that begins in earnest January, 2014.

The Problem (One Of Many)

The tax credits center on low and middle-income Americans. That would be people who do not have access to affordable health coverage through their employer. Obamcare specifically states that employer-sponsored insurance is affordable so long as a worker’s share of the premium does not exceed 9.5 percent of the worker’s household income.

The IRS findings emphatically stated affordability should be based strictly on individual coverage costs. Even if a family coverage plan comes through an employer-based plan, the 9.5 percent cutoff for workers would not be eligible for the tax credits.

That means buying insurance for dependents and children.

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA says “It’s an issue. It needs to be fixed.” He specifically called it “the family glitch problem.”

“The tax credit subsidies are a game changer. They will help make health coverage affordable for huge numbers of uninsured families in Florida who would have been priced out of the health coverage and care they need,” Pollack said.

Pollack had no estimate of the number of families in his home state of Florida. There is little hope for a legal fix in Washington where the Republicans control the House and are hell-bent on repealing the law altogether.

An Even Bigger Problem In Florida

The state legislature has opposed Republican Governor Rick Scott’s endorsement of an expansion of Medicaid. Without the expansion expected to happen when the law was passed in 2010, about 1.8 million Floridians would be left without healthcare coverage.

Families USA health policy director Kathleen Stoll told Reuters recent studies indicated between 2 million and 4 million people across the United States would be adversely affected by the federal rule limiting aid and the IRS interpretation of whether an employer’s health plan is affordable.

As the January, 2014 deadline for the Affordable Health Care Law to begin enactment, the more it seems the entire Obamacare idea is falling apart piece by piece. As Stoll wistfully concluded, “Hopefully within the next couple of years there will be room to fix it.”

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. His BS in journalism from University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.

Dwight has 30 years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. A native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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