The whole point of Obamacare was to get everyone involved. To cover the sickest, the young and healthiest would need to join and pay. That is called cost sharing (or wealth distribution). When Obama lied and said that this is not a tax he was called to carpet and had to change his tune. It is a tax and people are penalized if they don’t get insurance. Or will they be? In a recent WSJ article it was stated that “almost 90% of the nation’s 30 million uninsured won’t pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement.” And what kind of exemptions are these?
The Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine based on hardships, including suffering domestic violence, experiencing substantial property damage from a fire or flood, and having a canceled insurance plan. Those come on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects.
But it is actually easier than that. In the article is talks about one lady who got her electricity shut off and will use that cancellation notice to not have to pay insurance. That doesn’t sound hard to do, does it? From the WSJ piece:
“If your pajamas don’t fit well, you don’t need health insurance,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and president of the American Action Forum, a conservative think tank. “It basically waives the individual mandate.”
How will this trend affect you?
The exemptions are worrying insurers. The penalties were intended as a cudgel to increase the number of people signing up, thereby maximizing the pool of insured. Insurers are concerned that the exemptions could make it easier for younger, healthier people to forgo coverage, leaving the pools overly filled with old people or those with health problems. That, in turn, could cause premiums to rise.
Yup, expect to pay more to cover those who refuse to pay anything.
There is no bite in Obamacare and without it the whole thing is an utter failure (amongst many other reasons).