Thursday, May 21, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Two Thirds of H&R Block Tax Filers Receiving ACA Subsidies Owe the IRS

Saturday, May 16, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Massachusetts Health Connector Investigated


“The catastrophic ObamaCare rollout merely two years ago has disappeared into the distant political past, forgotten, with zero accountability for the taxpayer waste and disruption to individuals and business. Massachusetts may prove to be an exception.

Late last week the administration of Republican Governor Charlie Baker confirmed that the FBI and U.S. Attorney for Boston have subpoenaed records related to the commonwealth’s “connector” dating to 2010. This insurance clearinghouse was Mitt Romney’s 2006 beta version for ObamaCare’s exchanges, but updating the connector to comply with the far more complex federal law became a fiasco rivaling any of the other federal and state ObamaCare failures.

The target of the investigation hasn’t been disclosed. But the best autopsy of the connector mess is being published Monday by Boston’s Pioneer Institute think tank, where Josh Archambault reviews internal audits and whistleblower testimony he obtained. The evidence is damaging to both Massachusetts’s exchange contractor, CGI Corp., and the administration of former Democratic Governor Deval Patrick.

Mr. Archambault reveals years of third-rate technological work, disregarded deadlines, pervasive mismanagement, little outcome measurement and general bureaucratic incompetence. An outside auditor noted as early as 2012 that the “quantity and/or skills/experience level of project resources may be impacting the ability to complete project tasks within planned timeframes” and questioned if staff were “sufficiently knowledgable.”

A test before going public showed a 90% failure rate, and the new connector detonated on the launch pad. Some 320,000 residents attempting to gain coverage had to be dumped into a temporary “free” Medicaid program without any income eligibility determination. Pioneer pegs the total cost of the mess at around $1 billion.” - ObamaCare’s Big Dig, The Massachusetts exchange is under federal investigation, wsj.com, 05/10/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/obamacares-big-dig-1431299268?KEYWORDS=Obamacare%27s+Big+Dig



 

 
 

 

 


 


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hawaii’s Obamacare Exchange, Hawaii Health Connector, Is No More


“Despite over $205 million in federal taxpayer funding, Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange website will soon shut down. Since its implementation, the exchange has somehow failed to become financially viable because of lower than expected Obamacare enrollment figures. With the state legislature rejecting a $28 million bailout, the website will now be unable to operate past this year.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser the Hawaii Health Connector will stop taking new enrollees on Friday and plans to begin migrating to the federally run Healthcare.gov. Outreach services will end by May 31, all technology will be transferred to the state by September 30, and its workforce will be eliminated by February 28.” - Hawaii’s $205 Million Obamacare Exchange Implodes, Americans for Tax Reform, 05/12/2015

Link to the entire story appears below:

http://www.atr.org/hawaii-s-205-million-obamacare-exchange-implodes

Saturday, April 25, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Average Tax/Penalty for Noncompliance $1,130

“As millions of Americans scramble to file their tax returns, many are shocked by the full cost of ObamaCare’s individual mandate.

“Those who failed to obtain minimum essential health insurance coverage last year will have had to send the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a check for $1,130, on average,” Doug Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, testified today before a congressional hearing.

An estimated 6.3 million people will be required to pay a penalty this year because they didn’t buy qualifying health insurance in 2014, Holtz-Eakin testified. Another 30 million people didn’t buy the mandated coverage either but won’t have to pay the penalty because of the myriad exemptions the Obama administration is allowing, with or without legal justification.

Holtz-Eakin, now president of the American Action Forum, based his calculations on the number of people who will pay the penalty and the average value of the penalty, using demographic information from the American Community Survey and enrollment statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“In reality, the individual mandate has been less of a mandate and more of a suggestion,” he told the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-TX.” - Average Fine For Noncompliance With ObamaCare Is $1130, Expert Testifies, Forbes, 04/14/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gracemarieturner/2015/04/14/average-fine-for-noncompliance-with-obamacare-is-1130-expert-testifies/?mc_cid=653e60c898&mc_eid=2b1a7a9dca

Friday, April 17, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: When Politically Supplanting One Entitlement with Another Entitlement Doesn’t Balance the Books

‘Earlier this month, the Obama administration reversed course on spending cuts to the popular Medicare Advantage program. Instead of a nearly 1% cut in payments, private health insurers that offer Advantage plans to seniors would get a 1.25% boost.

The turnabout hardly made news, which isn't surprising since it was the third year in a row that the administration said it was planning to cut payments only to reverse course.

It is, however, emblematic of the fiscal trouble ObamaCare has planted in the federal budget.


When ObamaCare was being debated, opponents said it relied on unsustainable spending cuts in Medicare, tax hikes that wouldn't work as expected, and other political land mines designed only so President Obama could claim when he signed the law in 2010 that: "It is paid for. It is fiscally responsible."

Recent events are proving opponents right.

Nearly half of ObamaCare's costs, for example, are supposed to be "paid for" by spending cuts to Medicare, including $136 billion from Medicare Advantage in the first 10 years.

But since the law took effect, the administration has tried to minimize the cuts to the increasingly popular Advantage program, which lets seniors choose from a wide range of subsidized private plans, and now accounts for a third of Medicare enrollees.

Medicare's Third Rail

The administration effectively canceled the first two years' Medicare Advantage cuts with $8 billion in bonuses paid out as part of a "demonstration project" widely derided as phony. It also delayed rules changes that would have led to further cuts.’

‘The other big chunk of Medicare savings — nearly $200 billion — is supposed to come from payment cuts to doctors and hospitals. But when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' chief actuarylooked at this provision, he said such cuts were "unsustainable" because 15% of Medicare Part A providers would operate in the red by 2018.

By 2040, "half of hospitals, two-thirds of skilled nursing facilities, and 90% of home health agencies" would be losing money. Congress just permanently repealed a payment cut plan for Medicare doctors, which Congress had repeatedly delayed since it was enacted in 1997.

Even the little-known "Medicare Improvement Fund" has proved troublesome. ObamaCare eliminated this fund for a one-time $20.7 billion savings. But in 2014, Obama signed a law that recreated the fund and put more than $200 million back into it.’ - ObamaCare's Financial Crisis Is Fast Approaching, IBD, 04/15/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://news.investors.com/politics-obamacare/041515-747986-obamacare-taxes-and-spending-cuts-arent-working.htm

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ACA/Obamacare: Penalty/Tax Reaches New Zeniths Regarding Uninsured Status in 2015

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The fee for not having health insurance coverage in 2015 will increase to 2% of your annual household income or up to $975 per family, $325 per adult and $162.50 for each child under the age of 18 years, whichever is higher. That's twice as much as the maximum penalty in 2014, when the fee was 1% of your annual household income, or $95.00 per adult and $47.50 per child under the age of 18 years.

The maximum penalty per family in 2014 looks like a bargain now at $285, a hike of nearly 250%. The fee will continue to get stiffer in 2016 when it will cost families 2.5% of their annual household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under age 18, the federal government's way of incentivizing uninsured Americans to get health care coverage.

Whether through the incentive to avoid the penalties or the need to get health care coverage to protect their personal finances and have access to doctors and hospitals, as of February 22, 2015, nearly 11.7 million consumers had signed up for health insurance coverage in the government’s marketplace, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More than half (55%) paid monthly premiums of $100 or less after tax credits, totaling $1,200 a year or less for coverage.

Despite the relative affordability of health insurance and a requirement to pay a stiff penalty for not having coverage, many Americans eschew Obamacare. According to a new analysis by Avalere Health, many Americans are still opting to go without health insurance coverage.” - The Penalty for Going Without Obamacare Soars Nearly 250% Over 2014 Fee, MSN Money, 04/08/2015

Link to the entire article appears below:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/insurance/the-penalty-for-going-without-obamacare-soars-nearly-250percent-over-2014-fee/ar-AAazVPp