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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:14 PM

Help countering Right Wing article from parents

Hello DU:

My mother, a teaparty conservative, forwarded me and many other members of my family an article claiming Obamacare would cost a family of four 20,000 a year. I would appreciate any and all information that can be used to counter her claims or information that would help her and the others she forwarded this message to to better understand the new health care laws. Any help appreciated!

Here is the article she sent:

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IRS: Cheapest Obamacare Plan Will Be $20,000 Per Family

http://m.cnsnews.com/news/article/irs-cheapest-obamacare-plan-will-be-20000-family


(CNSNews.com) – In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

The IRS's assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.

“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.

Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare--after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.

In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare's mandate to buy insurance.

To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.

In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.

Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a "penalty" (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a "tax") of $2,400 in 2016.

For those wondering how clear the IRS's clarifications of this new "penalty" rule are, here is one of the actual examples the IRS gives:

“Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage.

"(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J’s household income is $120,000. H and J’s applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.

"(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 - $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).

"(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).”


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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Help countering Right Wing article from parents (Original post)
abelenkpe Feb 2013 OP
SomethingFishy Feb 2013 #1
abelenkpe Feb 2013 #14
PLARS1999 Feb 2013 #2
Recursion Feb 2013 #11
CurtEastPoint Feb 2013 #3
abelenkpe Feb 2013 #13
cthulu2016 Feb 2013 #4
abelenkpe Feb 2013 #7
DoBotherMe Feb 2013 #5
Fight2Win Feb 2013 #6
abelenkpe Feb 2013 #9
sinkingfeeling Feb 2013 #8
Recursion Feb 2013 #10
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #12
abelenkpe Feb 2013 #15
PennsylvaniaMatt Feb 2013 #16

Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:30 PM

1. Well I went to the link...

CNS? Is that Christian News Service? Because the site had no information except for anti-Obama articles. It has a banner that says csnnews and that's it. No explanation of who they are, what they are where they are, no links, no contact us, no help button, it's a poorly designed site with poorly written articles.

Now, after going to the IRS link at the "website" I find that the $20,000 is a made up example that the IRS used to show what the penalties are.
Tell your parents that the people who posted the article thought that the people reading it were too stupid to bother clicking on the link where they would find out that the IRS used the $20,000 number as an example. It's just a fucking example. Nowhere in the IRS pdf does it claim that people will be paying $20,000 a year for insurance.

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:50 PM

14. Checked it out on wikipedia

apparently it was originally conservative news network. Coming from my family this is not surprising.

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Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:30 PM

2. That is cheap.

The last time I had a job that did not provide insurance I was paying $575/month, $6,900/year for individual coverage. If the cost breaks out evenly per member that plan would be $27,600 for a family of 4 but I imagine you get a break going from married couple to family.

ETA: With my employer provided plan I pay $65/week for what is a top level plan.

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Response to PLARS1999 (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:47 PM

11. Right, and they pay a lot more than $65/week (nt)

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Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:30 PM

3. I don't know but I googled that headline and the resulting hits are all...

from right-wing nutjob factories like Ron Paul and rapture bullshit.

I DID find this on Mother Jones:
"Conservatives Shocked to Discover Healthcare in America is Really Expensive
—By Kevin Drum| Fri Feb. 1, 2013 7:43 AM PST
"Can you respond to this?" asks a reader via Twitter. "Conservative friends are posting it all over." It turns out that "this" is a headline from CNS:

IRS: Cheapest Obamacare Plan Will Be $20,000 Per Family

Apparently conservatives are outraged by this, but I have one question for them: just how much do you think healthcare coverage costs? Do you have any clue at all?

It turns out that the IRS published some final regs related to Obamacare recently, and in an effort to be helpful they provided some worked-out examples that include some assumptions about how much health coverage is likely to cost for various kinds of families. In one example, they assume that a worker can buy coverage for himself for $5,000 and coverage for his entire family of four for $20,000. They then work out the tax implications of all this.

So is this unusual? Not really. The average cost of healthcare coverage for a family is currently about $16,000, and by 2015 (the base year for the IRS examples) that will probably be around $18,000 or so. And that's for employer-sponsored plans. Individual plans are generally steeper, so $20,000 isn't a bad guess. It might be a little high, but not by much. And the family in question will, of course, be eligible for generous subsidies that bring this cost down substantially, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. They won't actually pay $20,000 per year.

So is this outrageous? An example of Obamacare run amok? Hardly. It's just an example of how damn much healthcare coverage costs in America and why we needed Obamacare in the first place. Apparently a lot of conservatives are shocked when they find this out.

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Response to CurtEastPoint (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:48 PM

13. Thank you!

That is great information. I just realised I paid 16,000 through my employer plan so your numbers seem quite legit. Thanks!

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Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:33 PM

4. Those are round numbers to demonstrate how the calculation works

They are not real numbers... they are not predictions... they are example numbers to plug into an equation in a demonstration of the math.

RWers reading government documents they don't understand is a constant source of trouble.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:42 PM

7. Thats for sure!

My mom is easily outraged and not big on research. What kills me is her husband worked setting up companies with group health insurance plans so she should have a clue how much they typically cost.

Thanks for the reply!

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Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:38 PM

5. It's true

If an employer doesn't provide health coverage, the individual has to buy it. If they can't afford it, there is a subsidy. There is also a tax credit to offset the cost of health insurance:
http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-best-life/2012/07/13/how-the-health-insurance-mandate-penalty-will-work

The exchanges will offer a sliding scale of insurance subsidies that extend to incomes as high as four times the poverty guidelines.

The guidelines for 2012 begin at $11,170 for one person and increase by $3,960 for each additional person in the household. For a family of four, the 2012 guideline is $23,050. Tax credits for buying health insurance would be available for four-person households with taxable earnings up to 400 percent of that level, or $92,200.

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Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:40 PM

6. perhaps they should have supported universal not for profit health care

 


Maybe they should have participated in the discussion, helped support a real health care plan that removes the insurance middle man and regulates hospital costs, like every other intelligent country that basis policy on logic not corporate profit.

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Response to Fight2Win (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:45 PM

9. They should have

but since my father went into the insurance business after retiring from the navy he viewed the affordable health care act as something designed to hurt his business. Imagine his opinion of single payer? Or of his daughter who continues to support single payer. Really it is the only real answer!

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Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:43 PM

8. Not sure what the problem is. $20,000 for a family for private health insurance is about

what it costs. What she needs to know is that those who have to purchase private insurance are only required to pay 8% of their annual household income, if it falls 250% or less of the poverty line, with the feds picking up the difference. This premium assistance increases for families making up to 400% of the proverty line. That would be $92,200 a year for a family of 4.




And yes, that document by the IRS is hard to read.

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Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:46 PM

10. That's pretty cheap

Good luck finding one that cheap nowadays.

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Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:48 PM

12. Tell her it's about "personal responsibility". Or that they should have backed a public option, or

SINGLE PAYER.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:52 PM

15. I agree

and I will.

Single payer is really the only way to go.

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Response to abelenkpe (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:56 PM

16. I find it funny....

Whenever a right-winger talks about "Obamacare" as if it is a new government bureaucracy like "Medicare" and "Medicaid."

It gets tiring telling these people that "Obamacare" is not a separate government health care plan.....it is just a set of reforms for the PRIVATE insurance companies, which have been taking advantage of people, Democrat and Republican, for YEARS!

For all of the older, right-wingers...I pose one question: Where would you be right now had it not been for either Medicare, Social Security, or the VA? Programs that Democrats started, as Republicans screamed socialism, and now Republicans are hell bent on cutting.

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