Administration adds hardship exemption to ObamaCare's individual mandate


From the UPI:

Health and Human service released a seven page bulletin Wednesday announcing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s decision to extend the transitional policy of the Affordable Care Act by two years, to Oct. 1, 2016.

Effectively, this makes the individual mandate – the requirement that all individuals purchase insurance by the end of March or face a tax penalty – considered by many to be the backbone of the Affordable Care Act, an option one can opt out of rather than a requirement.

The transitional policy allows for hardship exemption from the tax penalty if an individual can’t afford to sign up for coverage. Previously, exemptions were only offered in extreme cases – such as bankruptcy, eviction, or homelessness – and required documentation, while the current language allows users to seek exemption if they “consider other available policies unaffordable" or if they “experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance," and only requires "documentation if possible.”

From the application for an exemption:

“If possible.” Heh.

So I’m sure Ted Cruz is sitting right next to his office phone today waiting for the apology…after all Obama and the Democrats shut down the government last October rather than go with his idea to delay the individual mandate.

And now they’ve done it themselves.



Actually I think the Republicans have been holding the Senate and Congress hostage for the last 6 years. They are too interested in the success and welfare of big business to serve the general populace.


Let me fix that for you:

Actually I think the -]Republicans/-] Uniparty have been holding the Senate and Congress hostage for the last -]6/-]70 years. They are too interested in the success and welfare of -]big business/-] special interest groups (of which big business is one of many) to serve the general populace

Agreed as amended.

(Edited above for clarity)


I can’t wait to have a Republican president now. He or she will be able to grant waivers to allow drilling in ANWR, and on other federal lands without congressional approval. Just a pen and a phone. :thumbsup:



Balderdash. Name for me one social welfare program that has been cut, not a reduction in growth mind you, actually been cut these last 5 years. The current budget is twice what Pres. Clinton’s last budget was in 2000.

But let’s remember this; it is business, people, who create wealth and jobs, not government.
At best, government only has the power to allow a positive climate for business and economic growth. This regime, OTOH, has set out to do exactly the opposite.



I often say the same thing facetiously. I don’t think people who are ok with Obama ruling by fiat are thinking about what will happen when there’s someone in the Oval Office with whom they don’t agree. When that time comes, I don’t want to hear any whining about it.


I am happy you caught the facetious nature of my comment. Based on the current president’s actions regarding ACA, a Republican president could simply shut the program down by executive order. As much as I despise this law, as being outside at least the spirit of the Constitution, it was passed by Congress and signed by the president. It needs to be repealed through constitutionally approved means, not by imperial presidential fiat.



What is that going to do to insurance costs for those who need insurance? And how many of those that signed up because of the law will now bail?


Somehow, I think most people who were going to skip Obamacare would have already decided to skip it before this. So I don’t think it will make that big a difference.

If it makes any difference, it would shrink the risk pool and those people who would leave the risk pool would be those who are willing to assume the risk themselves rather than transferring the risk to a third party (the insurer). Of course, the ones who are more willing to assume the risks are those with a lower probability of having a threat exploit a vulnerability (threat = disease or injury, vulnerability = disability or lack of immunity or weakness or the like). If those with a low probability leave the risk pool, those remaining will have to pool together more money each to mitigate the risks. In other words, prices would rise, and fairly sharply.


You couldn’t just lie to me? :stuck_out_tongue: I know a bunch of people who sharp increases are going to be detrimental and they really need the insurance.


Unfortunately, it’s all a matter of risk management. That’s why car insurance cancels policies of DUI people and people with bad accident histories…forcing them to go on high risk policies…so their bad driving won’t unduly impact rates for those of us in the main risk pool. And that’s why you have to have a physical before getting a serious life insurance policy.

People claimed evil intent on insurance companies for the former rules on preexisting conditions. It wasn’t that so much as wanting to mitigate risk by controlling who could be a part of the risk pool. The alternative is to raise the rates. Well, they got rid of preexisting conditions and what happened to everybody’s rates? They went up. That means more revenue for the insurance companies (more expenses, too, but they’ll still make about the same profit percentage one way or the other). And next year, once they figure out who, exactly, is in their new risk pools and what kind of charges they are making, they will adjust premiums accordingly.

You do the math…if the risk pool is made up mostly of sick people, which way do you think premiums will go?

Your friends shouldn’t have to worry, though, unless they happen to have the bad fortune of making over 400% of the poverty level, as you and I will be picking up the tab for the extra premium costs, not your friends directly. (Remember the “affordable premium subsidy”? That comes from tax dollars, meaning that you and I will pay for it)

Oh, one thing though…eligibility for subsidies next year are based upon your friends’ modified adjusted gross income this year. So, if any of them are close to 400% of FPL, they’d better be real careful.

As an example, the FPL for a household of 2 is $15,730 this year. So let’s say you have a friend who just lives with her husband, no kids. If the two of them have a MAGI of less than $61,480, they’re OK. (That number would include all forms of income, not just wages) If they accidentally earned $61,481, guess what? No subsidy for you, GI.

Where people are going to find this out the hard way is with this new overtime rule Obama is pushing out. That will quickly push a whole bunch of folks out of the group eligible for subsidies. And the thing is, they won’t even think about it until tax time. And by then, it will be too late. But I bet you won’t hear too much about that in the news.


Most are in the gray zone, where they make too much for Medicaid, but not enough to comfortably pay for insurance even with the subsidy (if they even qualify for the subsidy because their employer offers insurance).


A few more exemptions and delays and there won’t be much left.



Yeah, I make a little more than the subsidy amount and would still not be able to afford a premium each month. Just wouldn’t be able to do it. And I don’t have to pay taxes so a tax refund wouldn’t help.


We can only hope.


closed #16

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