Posts Tagged ‘exemption’
February 2nd, 2015 at 8:03 pm
White House Considering More ObamaCare Exemptions

Here’s everything you need to know about the corrupting tendencies of the modern administrative state.

When the ruling elite’s social engineering policies threaten to weaken its grip on power, the law can be bent in any way that pleases them.

Exhibit A is a news article from the New York Times, which begins, “Obama administration officials and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act say they worry that the tax-filing season will generate new anger as uninsured consumers learn that they must pay tax penalties and as many people struggle with complex forms needed to justify tax credits they received in 2014 to pay for health insurance.”

The solution: “The White House has already granted some exemptions and is considering more to avoid a political firestorm.”

You read that correctly. If lots of people will be angry because ObamaCare is slated to work as designed – by ensuring that the people who received insurance subsidies actually qualified for them – it’s completely permissible to just exempt them from compliance.

This is interest group politics run amuck.

It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating. If Mitt Romney had said during the 2012 presidential campaign that all he needed to repeal ObamaCare was to be elected so he could not enforce the law, the Left would have been up in arms swearing to sue him in court for dereliction of duty. When Barack Obama does the same thing it’s suddenly accepted as executive discretion.

One day liberals may see a conservative reap a policy windfall thanks to Obama’s careless actions. If this is the way it’s going to be in the future, don’t be surprised to see presidents of every partisan stripe erode the rule of law by carving out exemptions for their political base. Today it’s the working poor. Tomorrow it might be trust fund kids who see their capital gains taxes go uncollected.

And then, we’ll be Greece.

November 3rd, 2014 at 5:09 pm
Fed Court Blocks Contraception Mandate Reporting Requirements

With its newest batch of regulations, the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) essentially is telling non-profit religious employers that they can claim an exemption from ObamaCare’s contraception mandate, so long as they provide all the information necessary to violate the deeply held beliefs that justify the exemption.

As Lyle Denniston of SCOTUS Blog explains, the rules “also required the organization to tell the government what its health coverage plan for its employees was by name and type, and to provide contact information to the insurer operating the plan.

“The added information was designed to enable HHS to then take the initiative to arrange for the religious organization’s female employees to have contraceptive coverage at no cost, and with no cost to the organization itself.”

The controversial HHS rules came to light because of a legal challenge filed by a Catholic university in Florida. A federal judge blocked enforcement of the rules pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

A couple of observations immediately come to mind. First, there is no such thing as free contraception. If the insurance company must provide it “free” to some customers, it will then pass on the cost to others (e.g. higher premiums). Even the manpower at HHS spent on coordinating this run-around the First Amendment costs taxpayers money.

This brings up another point. How can it be that the federal agency charged with implementing ObamaCare has the resources and personnel available to investigate, negotiate and procure “free” contraception to the thousands (and more) employees working at exempt religious employers?

It’s not like there’s a public health crisis over lack of access to contraception. If HHS has so many extra people and dollars laying around, it should funnel them to real priorities like fighting Ebola, or perhaps, finishing ObamaCare’s main insurance portal before the second enrollment period begins in a matter of days.

Instead we get demands for information in order to make religious objectors participate in the very activity they cannot abide.

December 20th, 2013 at 12:02 pm
Individual Mandate Starts to Crumble

Late yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that anyone whose individual insurance policy was cancelled due to Obamacare and now has to pay for a more expensive plan is exempt from the individual mandate until 2015.

You read that right. The individual mandate – the keystone of Obamacare’s coverage and funding structure – no longer applies to an estimated 5 million Americans.

This is HUGE. By granting this carve-out, the Obama administration has voluntarily weakened the mechanism that is supposed to guarantee insurance companies selling plans through an Obamacare exchange sufficient numbers of people to fill out their risk pools.

Now, suddenly, these companies are facing the very real possibility that millions of people will choose to hold off buying insurance until they get sick. The new exemption changes a consumer’s calculation. Prior to yesterday, all the emphasis was on signing up by the December 23rd deadline to avoid a 2014 tax penalty.

Now, for up to 5 million people, the decision point to buy insurance occurs when they get sick. Thus, insurance companies won’t get to spread the risk of illness by banking premium payments from healthy people. Many more people buying insurance going forward will need costly care the moment they sign up.

In other words, this move destroys the nature of insurance.

It’s also indefensible as a matter of justice to require the uninsured to comply with the mandate.

“Put more simply, Republicans will immediately begin calling for the uninsured to get this same exemption. What will the Obama administration say in response? Why are people whose plans were cancelled more deserving of help than people who couldn’t afford a plan in the first place?” asks Ezra Klein.

As I said in my column this week, Obamacare’s failures are completely that fault of its supporters. Republicans shouldn’t help fix something that is so broken. 2014 should be the year the GOP unites around a viable alternative to replace this monstrosity after it is repealed.