Welcome to ObamaCare Part X: You Know What We Meant
By Nicole Kaeding
Following the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrats in Congress and President Obama rushed to pass the huge federal takeover of American health care, sacrificing careful review and analysis with political expediency. As a result, the bill that passed Congress is full of mistakes and overreaches. Americans for Prosperity previously highlighted one such flaw: the eligibility for tax credits to purchase insurance isn’t nearly as large as intended. In typical Washington fashion, bureaucrats are now ignoring the law and “fixing” the glitch themselves.
Under the President’s health care law, states are asked to create health care exchanges. If a state does not create an exchange, the federal government will do so in its absence. Individuals, looking to satisfy the Constitutionally-dubious individual mandate, will purchase insurance from these exchanges and receive a tax credit if they are below 400% of the federal poverty level, approximately $89,000 for a family of four. Due to the glitch in the law, only state-created exchanges, not federal exchanges, provide access to the tax credit.
As more and more states continue to drag their feet on creating these giant unfunded bureaucracies, the federal government will need to step in and create a large number of these exchanges. This creates a huge problem. The tax credits’ job is to make health insurance “affordable” for individuals since the policies and so-called reforms included in the bill won’t. If most individuals won’t have access to the tax credits, what can the officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) do to foster the purchase of insurance?
On Friday, we got our answer. In a regulation just released, the IRS said it will give tax credits away to all individuals regardless of the exchange’s structure and in directly defiance of the bill’s language. According to the rule, “it is consistent with the language, purpose, and structure… [of] the Affordable Care Act as a whole.” Actually, it’s in direct contradiction to the language of the Act.
That is what happens when bureaucrats are put in charge. Forget what the language of the bill says or that the majority of Americans still hate this bill. Bureaucrats will move forward to advance their own goals under the pretext that “you know what we meant.”
Welcome to ObamaCare.
Check out previous posts in the “Welcome to ObamaCare” series by clicking below:
- Part I – Overselling on Child Coverage and Preexisting Conditions
- Part II – Obama Taxing Benefits Costs Companies Millions
- Part III – CMS Finally Admits ObamaCare “Cost Savings” Are Phony
- Part IV – Can You Really “Keep Your Plan” If You Like It?
- Part V – Businesses Feeling the Impact, Asking for Waivers
- Part VI – Proposed Regulations “Exchange” a Good Idea for a Bad One
- Part VII – Acting up in CLASS
- Part VIII – Don’t Let a Simple Thing Like Funding Stop You
- Part IX-Exchange Flexibility? What Flexibility?