The Curious Case of the ACA at tax time
Tax day has come and gone and nothing extraordinary happened (at least nothing extraordinary enough to be reported by the Washington Post or the New York Times). This non news should be news, because the much hated Obamacare mandate has been applied. Some Refund checks (many of which have not have been mailed yet) were or will be reduced by the Obamacare penalty. Then that’s it — extraordinarily the penalty can’t be enforced in any other way unlike other liabilities.
Perhaps more importantly, many more taxpayers have gone through the hassle of demonstrating that they have health insurance. This has not lead to enough outrage for it to be heard here on the other side of the Atlantic.
This is just the latest no news is good news for Obamacare. Oponents and alarmed supporters of have predicted several train wrecks, but only one has occurred — the exchange web site was not ready October 2013. However, actual payments to actual health care providers were made with no more than usual nightmare hassles starting January 1 2014. Roughly the predicted number of people signed up for health insurance. The vast majority of policyholders actually paid premiums. They were about as healthy as health insurance companies predicted, so selling insurance on the exchanges was profitable. More companies offered plans the second open enrollment period than the first. Efforts to find someone who was harmed because non Obamacare compliant mini-med plan (purchased after the ACA passed) was cancelled were unsuccessful.
None of these events was certain. Only the number of people signing up was headline news. Good news is no news. But this week saw a dramatically important non-event.
I suppose it’s too early to ask, and I suppose there might be a lot of noise mixed in with that signal, but is the ACA affecting US bankruptcy rates yet? Considering the bulk of US bankruptcies derive from either medical costs or the secondary repercussions of ill health, this ought to be one result, though not yet on the media radar.
I wouldn’t let the lack of news lull you into a false sense of security about the ACA. There is also a lack of reporting, though not for a lack of occurrence, of families who can’t seem to acquire coverage for their children. Minor children’s applications are required to be considered by the state Medicaid first, whether the parents want their children covered by the state plan or not. Unfortunately, this has yielded children 6, 9, even 12 months old or older who still have NO health coverage at all, because of some states’ Medicaid programs’ inexplicable inability to process or even acknowledge these children’s applications.
Sounds more like a state issue to me. States govern Medicaid (this is not a PPACA issue and the two are different). Secondly, I know of no state which has denied Medicaid coverage for children. Nonworking adults with children may be kept out in states not expanding Medicaid; but, children are covered. Single adults are not covered in states not expanding Medicaid. States not expanding Medicaid still cover adults under their own formulas for acceptance (FPL).
I think I captured it all. Can you be more definitive or direct me to where you saw this tidbit.
Unfortunately, it’s not an article to read, it’s a thing we are living in South Carolina. I wish there WERE articles covering this issue, I’m not aware of any. It’s in part a state issue because South Carolina’s Medicaid program simply isn’t keeping up. For those applying for Medicaid directly, the blame starts and stops with the state. However, some of us are in this fix precisely because of the ACA. Before the law came into effect, we were free to purchase insurance for our children anywhere we pleased. Unfortunately, we are finding out that if we purchased insurance through the exchange, we are at the mercy of SC Medicaid – until we have a denial from them, we cannot add our children to our plan. I suppose we could go find a barebones, overpriced plan for them elsewhere, but the whole point of this deal was to make affordable health insurance attainable, and not having to forgo things like food and shelter in order to obtain insurance.
Let me look around for details on SC and I will write about it. Maggie Mahar at Health Beat may be able to point me in the direction of some information too. Any bare bones plans you could find would still have to comply with the minimum requirements of the PPACA; however, there was a lot gained from preventative care. Insurance companies can enter the market as they desire and it is a conscious choice by them not to participate.