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2014 starts with a jolt of legal decisions

Mere hours into the start of 2014 and already there have been legal outcomes that are going to affect millions of Americans. Some will be happy, but assuredly not all. Yet, to varying degrees, all of these decisions will affect the nation. Considering that 2014 is a mid-term election year, these legal actions and their results – as well as other issues – demand that we ask ourselves 3 questions (which I will ask at the end of this article).

Starting in New York, the controversial NY SAFE Act was ruled as constitutional by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny in Buffalo. At the same time, Judge Skretny also ruled that the limitations on magazines (to contain 7 rounds maximum),

“…fails the relevant test because the purported link between the ban and the state’s interest is tenuous, strained, and unsupported in the record.”

The NY Safe Act has been seen as a model of what President Obama has been pushing to have Congress enact nationally – and part of his Executive Orders issued in 2013, circumventing Congress. The argument being that in restricting certain types of firearms the ability of the criminal and criminally insane to engage in mass shootings will be diminished (though VP Biden admitted in February 2013 that the Executive Orders will have no impact – which was sadly proven correct later that same year). This flies in the face of the fact that the overwhelming majority of shooting deaths occur with handguns (like the Binghamton Civic Center shooting) and the 2003 First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws which determined,

“The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.”

As well as the overall result of a gun restriction ban of “assault” firearms I reviewed in an investigation of the data over 30 years in an article Jan 11, 2013,

“…if the movement for gun restrictions as the primary safeguard to the public are correct, 75% of these kinds of tragedies will continue relatively unabated. Is the battle being waged against the 2nd Amendment, as some claim, and opposition like the NRA worth potentially stopping 1 – 2 events per year? To the families that have lost a loved one, of course. But if we are trying to increase the safety of the nation, shouldn’t the focus be on what is motivating the majority of these hateful crimes? Shouldn’t the resources be poured in to finding the root cause and eliminating it?”

As I have stated before, the delusion of safety by restricting certain arbitrary definitions of “assault weapons” and reducing magazine size is both misleading and unequal to the infringement on 2nd Amendment Rights. I agree with Judge Skretny that the magazine ban is unsupported and tenuous, as I presented in an article published on March 13, 2013

“… actively misleading the public into a false sense of safety based on pipe dreams and wishful thinking is as dangerous as any firearm ever made. We must also clearly state that using a preposterous fallacy meant to target the fear and emotion of the public to enact a politically motivated outcome is a tactic more akin to those wishing to shackle freedom than embracing or protecting it.”

Surely the debate over the NY Safe Act is not over, and will reach higher courts. Other States and the Federal Government will be watching closely, with a slew of laws to follow the ultimate outcome. Whether or not this has any effect on mass shootings is debatable, and historically leans towards being ineffective. But the impact on the 2nd Amendment may be irreversible.

On a larger scale, also on January 1, 2014, there is the news that the Government has been blocked in forcing the birth control requirement of the Obamacare law. US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor enacted an injunction in the late hours of Dec 31 2013, that prevents enforcement of this provision of the law. The reason is the infringement of religious freedom that is being argued Obamacare restricts.

This is yet another factor that is adding to the obtuse and ever more convoluted impact of the Affordable Care Act. With each passing month more groups and classes of those required to be affected by Obamacare are being delayed or excluded from inclusion. This of course alters the projected mix of population that healthcare insurers have calculated into premiums, and projections of an increase in costs continue to become more reliable.

This is yet another example of the rushed and poorly thought out ramifications of the Affordable Care Act long-term. It may well be just another factor that helps to establish that Obamacare will fail in its purported primary mission of reducing health care costs. The full impact of cancellations, the massive and still existing problems with the Healthcare.gov website, the yet to be determined inclusion of businesses (or their decisions to opt-out of providing healthcare), and the less than projected sign up of millions of Americans as well as other provisions of the law have yet to be felt in earnest.

It is fair to say that as courts address the underlying components of Obamacare, and those excluded are mandated to be included in the wide berth of the law, the reality of what this law will mean to freedoms and costs will be seen later in the year. I hold little hope of clarity or price reductions.

Lastly there was the decision in Florida, by Judge Mary S. Scriven of the United States District Court in Orlando, to strike down the requirement of drug screening for those seeking welfare.

Judge Scriven stated,

“The court finds there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied.”

This of course will impact many States (29 States have considered such laws and 9 have enacted similar laws) as there is a growing view in the populace (who themselves are faced with drug tests to be employed) that such a requirement is valid and worthwhile. Many feel that those seeking public assistance should be held to the same standards as those paying for the assistance via their taxes (which I agree with). In addition, supporters point to the safety and welfare of the households where drug use does exist, that can potentially be aided by the enforcement of these drug tests as a condition of public aide.

At the core of this argument is National Treasury Employees Union v. von Raab., US Supreme Court, 1989. This was the case that the Supreme Court reviewed and upheld that drug testing of Federal employees was constitutional. This lead to the widespread use of drug testing as a requirement in the private sector.

I believe that the Supreme Court decision explains why drug testing of welfare applicants is valid – though the ruling had no private sector applications at the time. [emphasis added]

“Petitioners’ contention that the testing program is unreasonable because it is not based on a belief that testing will reveal any drug use by covered employees evinces an unduly narrow view of the context in which the program was implemented. Although it was not motivated by any perceived drug problem among Service employees, the program is nevertheless justified by the extraordinary safety and national security hazards that would attend the promotion of drug users to the sensitive positions in question. Moreover, the mere circumstance that all but a few of the employees tested are innocent does not impugn the program’s [489 U.S. 656, 658] validity, since it is designed to prevent the substantial harm that could be caused by the promotion of drug users as much as it is designed to detect actual drug use. Pp. 673-675.”

If you substitute “Welfare recipient” for “service employee” and remove “national security hazards” – almost the the same way that the private sector has done in its interpretation of the law to require drug testing – the reasoning remains intact. Thus the law, in my non-attorney opinion, is a valid law and Judge Scriven is wrong.

As 2014 moves forward, and the number of those seeking public assistance increases (as has been the trend) – placing an ever larger burden on States and the taxes of residents of those States – there will be more focus on this ruling by the Supreme Court and how it applies to the private sector as well as those seeking public assistance.

As a result of all 3 of these events, as well as many more issues, the nation will face tough decisions in 2014. Decisions that will affect the economy, freedoms, and pursuit of happiness of all Americans to some degree or another. The questions that I ask you are simple.

  • Where does your elected politicians stand on these important issues?
  • Is the position they hold the one that you (and a majority of constituent) have?
  • If it is not, why did you elect that politician?

    These 3 questions are the core reason of why I am running for the New York 22nd Congressional District seat in 2014. Many other politicians will be up for election in the mid-terms this year. But the key to re-election, in my opinion, should be the answer to these 3 questions – as opposed to the campaign promises and 30 second polispeak ads that are sure to fill airwaves.

  • Obamacare: Should we be surprised

    With the most recent news on the Affordable Care Act it seemed appropriate to review what has lead to the reality that was the first month of Obamacare.

    The fact that only 27,000 signed up via Healthcare.gov, which may be pumped up by stats that no company in the world could justify if they used them, should not surprise anyone. That’s not because of just the recent problems with the $600 million website – which will cost unknown tens of millions more of taxpayer dollars to fix and still may not reach the Nov. 30th deadline set by President Obama.

    The fact that millions of Americans have lost the healthcare they like and want to keep is also just the tip of the iceberg. Even as President Obama proposes changes to the ACA – which he cannot implement unilaterally, and therefore is only another promise until Congress acts – the true nature of how Obamacare functions is becoming apparent. Tens of millions must pay more, for a relatively few to pay less or get coverage they never had before.

    Worse is the news that the latest “fix”, an attempt for the President to live up to the promise made to the nation more than 32 times over the past 3 years, is just as likely to increase premiums and cause more havoc than is already in the works.

    “Changing the rules after health plans have already met the requirements of the law could destabilize the market and result in higher premiums for consumer.” – Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans

    All of this was predictable, and in fact was predicted. In my commentary June 29, 2012 on the Supreme Court ruling the writing on the wall was laid bare

    “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” – page 12

    Thus the question before the Supreme Court was only and always ‘can it be done’, never ‘should it be done’.

    Long before that, on May 18, 2010, I highlighted the foresight of the time. 56% believed that the deficit would increase due to Obamacare, and it will. 54% thought that the cost of healthcare would increase, and it has. Infact some are finding out via Healthcare.gov and canceled policies that the increases are doubled and treble what they used to pay. The question of if the quality of healthcare will go down, feared by 50% of those polled in 2010, is yet to be seen but the current debacle lends itself to the thought that higher quality is more than a gamble.

    Which says nothing of the fact that the cost was already racing higher back in July 2012, well before the Healthcare.gov website added to the taxpayer bill.

    “The cost to completely change the health care system is $1.17 trillion. Compared to the promises of October 2009 three million more will get health insurance coverage, at a cost of an extra $423 billion. Not exactly what was promised, not by a longshot.”

    Perhaps the biggest clue were the reactions of Dems that voted and supported Obamacare. In August of 2009, Senator Schumer ignored questions about the Affordable Care Act; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sent repeated copies of the same boilerplate non-response – until she was embarrassed that this was publicly identified.

    There are many other examples that can be given, going back to the original debate on Obamacare – the pile of 2000 pages that some Representatives (Rep John Conyers most vividly) took pride in NOT reading. Then there was the infamous blank contract pitch of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (then Speaker of the House) – letting us know in very unsubtle terms that what we were going to get from ACA was a secret that America had to experience to learn about it, which we now are.

    So should anyone be surprised at what the Affordable Care Act has become? Is there any reason why abject failure, by every criteria, is not the expected and reliable outcome of a law passed without bipartisan support, against the will of the public, that was ill-defined and essentially unread?

    4 years of political commentary on this subject alone makes me sure of only one thing. Congress and the Government must be held accountable. Anything less only hurts the American public.

    Obamacare: 2010 vs 2013

    Way back in May 2010, while I was working as a political commentator, I presented the views of America – as stated in polls at that time – about Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act if you prefer). Then, as now, the majority of Americans opposed Obamacare. So, with important news out today, I wanted to review that.

    On May 18, 2010, I wrote (and a Youtube video as well):

    “56% of those surveyed have said that they believe Obamacare will increase the federal deficit…54% believe the cost of healthcare will increase. 50% expect the quality of care to fall. 63% of seniors, the group most directly affected by and likely to use the Obamacare, are in favor of repealing the Reform.”

    As of 2013 we know that Obamacare is NOT deficit neutral. In fact it will add to the deficit according to the CBO. Further, as millions of Americans have realized since October 1st, healthcare costs are increasing. Personally, in a company sponsored healthcare plan, the increase is more than 14% higher. Were I to have gone through the Obamacare exchange the increase would have been in excess of 200%.

    As for quality of care, and the impact on seniors (besides cost), is still to be seen. Given the proposed increase in patient levels without a commensurate increase in doctors, common sense says that reductions are likely.

    But I did mention breaking news.

    In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 President Obama repeatedly brushed off polls and opposition to Obamacare with the comment, “We will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period.” (June 15, 2009)

    Well that isn’t exactly true. In fact for 40% – 67% of Americans with individual plans, some 7 million people, that isn’t even close to sort-of true. Like Democrat pundit Kirsten Powers, millions are getting letters in the mail that they getting new plans, often at higher costs – whether they like it or not. Because Obamacare requires it.

    More importantly, the White House knew that this would happen… in 2010. As stated via NBC News,

    “Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

    That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.”

    So, the polls in 2010 were right. Opponents of Obamacare were right. President Obama knew they were right, and kept up the stageshow anyway.

    I have to wonder, if so much that critics were pointing out over the past 3 years is right, and we are learning that the White House knew it to be true, how much more is going to be right? What consequences are going to come from the partisan ramrod to pass Obamacare?

    Healthcare reform is needed in this nation, but Obamacare isn’t the answer. The time to stop it before there is irreparable harm is short, but I believe it should be pursued. That’s what constituents want, still. That’s what their elected Representative should be talking about right now.

    What do you think?

    What do they say about first impressions?

    Like millions of Americans on Oct. 1, 2013, I took to the internet in the early morning hours to check out the truth about what Obamacare might mean to me. Not because of a need for health insurance which I already have, but out of a morbid curiosity akin to watching a racing car wreck at full speed live. It’s gruesome and horrifying but you won’t stop watching til its all done.

    After 3 years of discussion, planning, and political battles Obamacare – or the Affordable Care Act by its official and generally unused name – came to life in health care exchanges, at the cost of a Government shutdown. The result, for residents of New York State at least, can be summed up in the word underwhelming.

    Since 2:00 AM through 11:25 PM the result – that cost $1 trillion dollars, is arguably creating a trend of part-time work, and is rife with whispers of corporations big and small abandoning employees to the cumbersome indelicate micromanagement of the Government in an all to quickly approaching future – was nothing. The system, just less than a month earlier, that was rumored to fail and likely to expose the critical private data of average Americans to cybercriminals like bees to honey lived up to a single expectation… it collapsed immediately.

    No quotes for individuals and families. No miraculous savings on monthly premiums (with a penalty of extreme deductibles and out-of-pocket costs out of the range of the very people it was intended to help). Not even a flicker of the internal design of the pages that would lead to the fruition of the grand plan that was executed behind closed doors, with political deals just short of bribes for members of a supermajority that acted against the will of the public in the most partisan action to ever be ignored by the very people damning Republicans efforts to disembowel this Frankenstein’s monster as partisan.

    In business and life it is often said that the first impression is critical. It leaves a near indelible mark on the memory, and colors all future interaction with its residue. All to often, the first impression is the most clear observation of what is to come, and the ultimate expression of what will develop over time.

    Obamacare, in one fell swoop, has clearly stated what it is…a mess that cannot function even with billions of dollars and years of effort.

    Some will say, just as President Obama did before the on switch was flipped, that such a massive undertaking will have hiccups and errors at the start. That the initial steps of so massive a reform must stutter-step before taking grand strides forward. Then again, Dr. Frankenstein felt his monster was wonderous. An impression felt by him alone.

    Still, the unwritten rule of thumb may be wrong. The law of averages implies that eventually the Government must achieve success in micromanaging something. Yes, maybe even Billy Crystal’s Fernando might be proven wrong and something that looks bad and feels bad might actually wind up being really good. Then again, what entitlement programs has lived up to the long-term expectations it was created under?

    Maybe on day 2, or 3, or at some point in the not too distant future Healthcare.gov will work (at least for those in New York State). Possibly those that hang in there will find the pot of gold they were promised. We can only hope so, because the cost in debt, freedom, and growth in Government will NEVER be fully undone.

    Obamacare is hope, the final plague left in Pandora’s Box. At least that is the first impression it has given me.

    Government shutdown over Obamacare – is it worth it?

    The Government of the United States has officially shutdown as of 12:01 AM on Oct 1,2013. Well the discretionary spending portion of the Government anyway. Now come the blame game and dire finger pointing by the media and pundits alike. But was this shutdown over Obamacare worth it?

    The answer to the question depends entirely on why politicians sought the OK Corral showdown in the first place. But before I go there let’s get some perspective.

    The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was presented as a non-tax that would provide everyone in America with health insurance if they wanted or needed it. For those that did not want to take part in the Government healthcare exchanges, they were told they could keep their existing plan and doctors. The best part, as the public was told, was that the cost of healthcare would go down, and it would save money from being added to the deficit. This was the promise of Obamacare.

    Since June 2009 the majority of Americans (that’s Democrats, Independents, and Republicans) has not bought into the above pitch. According to every poll, by anyone you want to select as far as I am aware, there has not been less that 51% opposition to Obamacare in over 3 years.

    In the meantime, the public has learned that Obamacare is a tax, which is why the Supreme Court did not strike it down. Chief Justice Roberts also made clear that the quality and repercussions of laws are not the responsibility of the Supreme Court, just the constitutionality.

    We have learned that the cost of healthcare has increased, and there is no cost savings. In fact Obamacare increases the deficit. Almost everyone in America is expected to be covered – just a pesky 10-15 million won’t be involved for reasons ranging from lack of knowledge, lack of income, dislike of the law, and in some cases the perceived lack of need.

    It gets better. As years have passed America has learned of hordes of flaws in the law, most unintentional and likely due to the fact that the law was passed without being read by the supermajority of Democrats that passed it (which oddly enough is not considered a partisan action by the media). We have learned that boat-loads of corporations from the smallest to international giants have chosen to bail on healthcare – eliminating the option of workers from keeping their plans and doctors.

    We have also learned that implementation of this law has been about as flawed as its creation, with serious questions on the safety of the data input by Americans that chose to explore the exchanges (whether they want to or now need to). At the same time one of the biggest parts of the law, and several smaller parts, have been pushed back at least a year due to complications – but not the mandate on the public.

    But the promise of cheaper monthly premiums for healthcare has been all the rage leading up to Oct. 1st. Still, in all that hoopla the math presented left out the costs of out-of-pocket expenses – like copay, deductibles, and what is or is not covered by the plans. The real world cost is not just a monthly premium, but you’d never know that from what has been presented so far.

    Thus, public opinion has remained negative. Even in the face of uncounted speeches by the spectacular orator President Obama. Even with the aid of multiple Hollywood supporters, members of the NFL and NBA, and a host of other marketing gimmicks meant to spur a positive response.

    So back to the question at the start. Is this partisan attempt to wipe out Obamacare worth shutting down the Government?

    If, as some on the far left have told me, it is an attempt to attack the Black President then no. But there is nothing in the language used by anyone over the past 3 years when discussing Obamacare to imply anything racial. That doesn’t stop some from suggesting it, but it’s an issue that doesn’t exist.

    If it is simply an attempt by the political party out of favor at the moment to confound the other side of the aisle, then no. But the pubic opinion and the problems above explicitly describe more than a political tug-of-war.

    If it is just an attempt by Republicans to preserve their ability to get re-elected by constituents who want to see a more principled and conservative representation, then no. While there is no doubt that more than a few Republicans, either with dreams of elections to higher office or looking to shore up a very moderate if not Democrat voting record, have voted to repeal or defund Obamacare just for the political gain that is not enough of a reason to shutdown the Government. Again, the public and the litany of problems, plus revelations on what Obamacare really is and does clearly states that this is more than mere political math.

    If this is an honest (or at least as honest as some politicians get) attempt to represent the views of the majority of Americans for more than 3 years, then it is worth it. It would mean that this has been an attempt to correct the initial partisan passage of the law, the failures of the law to address serious concerns (like malpractice insurance – a key factor in healthcare increases, and interstate competition for health insurance plans, ect), and the consistent refusal of Democrats to repeal a law the nation has not wanted (which in itself is a partisan reaction without the slightest concern for public opinion or representation).

    For me, I believe that a shutdown of the Government as an attempt to repeal or defund Obamacare as it is written is essential for a reason I believe is more important than everything else mentioned so far. Because it is a law that gives power to the Government over the public in a manner never seen before.

    Nothing is more terrifying than a Government that can tell its populace they must do whatever. Not that they can choose this or that, or if they elect to invoke this privilege they must comply with regulations and laws. Obamacare is the Pandora’s Box that leads to a far less free nation than has ever existed before. It is only a question of time before a new law – for the good of the public – is passed (possibly with great enthusiasm) the restricts and limits freedom in ways that generations 2 or 3 decades ago would have rioted over. This is the path that leads to Governments like Syria, Iran, the old USSR, and China to name just a few examples.

    IF, and only if, Republicans have taken this hard stance to represent the public and protect the freedoms they swore an oath to defend, then the Government shutdown is worth it. Anything less is just political grandstanding, and an attempt to ward off election challenges from the Right and the Left.

    Which reason, for each Representative, will be very clear is short order. Hopefully the public at large will notice.

    What are the Obamacare numbers for the NY-22?

    Over the years there has been a massive discussion about what Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) will cost, and how individuals will pay that cost. Yet, to date there have been no real answers that the Average American can pull up and understand at a glance. In fact there is no system available to even easily get an estimate of the cost at this time. But after being asked again recently, I decided to cull some data to get an idea of what might be the result.

    First, healthcare insurance is now a requirement of all citizens (enforced as of 2014). No matter if you are in poverty or a billionaire, you must have healthcare insurance or suffer penalties – 2.5% of income (maximum, based on income) assessed on your income taxes. Thus, if you are making say $25,000 a year and choose not to get healthcare you will have a fine of $95 added to your taxes. Of course the average refund for a person in New York State (2011) was $3070.70. So the above example would still result in a refund to the taxpayer.

    This is the first problem with Obamacare. Some people, generally the young that are just starting their careers or those that are poor, will not suffer negatively from the penalty (if it even applies). So the impetus to get healthcare insurance before it is needed is subdued, increasing the burden on those with health insurance and likely a catalyst to increase cost in the future.

    Separate of the penalty, what happens to those that do get health insurance. We will look at 2 groups, a single person making $31,796 and a family of 3 making the same (1 kid). The dollar amounts and family size are based on the Census results for NY State – of which the results for the NY-22 are lower.

    Before we look at the estimates, the following is the annual cost of healthcare in America: Single – $5,615 and for a Family – $15,745. The deductible is respectively $1,120 and $2.075. For those covered by an employer, they pay respectively $1,225 and $4,316.

    The approximate out of pocket cost, based on 2010 figures, is $2787. That is the cost of co-pays and other expenses separate of the health insurance premium. Estimates are for that figure to go to $3,301 in 2014.

    So given the above, assume that either your employers have either removed their healthcare coverage (because it is cheaper not to provide it) or that it is not an option (you are either part of the trend of part-time workers or otherwise unable to get other coverage). We will also assume that the age is 50, again based on Census data.

    Example 1

    A non-smoker under the above conditions, NOT including out-of-pocket costs, is 277% above poverty and so could have a premium of $2,806 for a silver plan, $1,883 for a bronze plan. Of this the Government might give a tax credit of $2,584*.

    A non-smoking family of 3 with 1 child under 20, under the above conditions, NOT including out-of-pocket costs, is 163% above poverty and so could have a premium of $1,459 for a silver plan, $0 for a bronze plan. Of this the Government might give a tax credit of $11,238*.

    The key points that should be addressed:

  • A Bronze healthcare plan is the minimum required by law. As of this time no standard for what that minimum is has been established. It is quite possible, that like many State auto insurance minimums, the requirement will be inadequate to the needs of the general public – which would either place the burden of the difference on the plan holder or the general public (causing premiums to increase in the future).
  • A Silver plan is more comprehensive than the bare-bones Bronze. Again, no standard exists at this time.
  • The above estimates are based on the poverty level, which changes annually. Therefore, the potential tax credit can go up or down independent of actual healthcare costs or income of the plan holder, without prior notice.
  • The above does not cover the additional $3,301 in out-of-pocket costs.
  • Cost increases dramatically for each smoker in household. Therefore there is a built in enticement to lie about this – which can again influence costs.

    So what happens in the above estimate figures, if the plan holder gets a raise (assuming that poverty does not change)? If we ONLY change the income by 3% the figures become

    Example 2

    A non-smoker under the above conditions ($32749 annual), NOT including out-of-pocket costs, is 285% above poverty and so could have a premium of $2,969 for a silver plan, $2,046 for a bronze plan. Of this the Government might give a tax credit of $2,421*.

    A non-smoking family of 3 with 1 child under 20, under the above conditions ($32749 annual), NOT including out-of-pocket costs, is 168% above poverty and so could have a premium of $1,576 for a silver plan, $0 for a bronze plan. Of this the Government might give a tax credit of $11,121*.

    The increase is 5.8% for a Single person, 8% for a Family. That far outpaces the actual income gain.

    *Another critical point about the healthcare premium. The Government provides a tax credit on the income taxes for what has been paid. In other words, the plan holder will pay (in Example 1) Single – $5309, Family – $12,697 up front. The tax credit will be applied on their taxes that following year, which may result in a refund of all or just part of what is paid. The estimated $3,301 in out-of-pocket costs is NOT covered by the tax credit.

    Therefore, under this non-State specific summary, a single person making just $31,796 could pay a total of $8610, a family of 3 could pay $15,998, of which they may or may not get all, part, or none of the tax credit as actual in pocket cash depending on the poverty level at the time of the tax return and their income tax return filed.

    Complicated? More than a bit. Especially as no standard for what is considered a basic minimum has been reached.

    Worse is if you just change the age. If the same data from Example 1 is used, but the age is 25 instead of 50, the tax credit drops to just $229 out of a premium of $3030 for a Single. Instead of the proposed 51% discount, the younger plan holder will only get a 24.5% discount. Not much incentive for the youth to join up, with whom the cost savings of the Obamacare estimates are dependent on. If younger Americans opt out, paying $95 on their tax returns and keeping the cash in their pocket thru the year, costs for Obamacare will rocket higher.

    But no matter the complications, as of January 1, 2014, all citizens must comply with the demands of the Government or be penalized. In the meantime, businesses have a 1 year reprieve as they try to sort through the actual costs and determine the best way to go. As the growing trend of part-time workers has indicated, many have realized that it is cheaper and far more expedient to drop healthcare than adapt to the Government loopholes. The public does not get the same options though.

    I hope this has helped.

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