Health Insurance Info for Colorado

news & commentary on health insurance and benefits

The “family glitch” isn’t a glitch at all…

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The Biden folks have released what they claim is a “fix” for the alleged “family glitch” this week (if you don’t know what the family glitch is, look it up). Somehow, the folks at IRS and Treasury got themselves a new set of tea leaves, because the statute hasn’t changed in many years, since 2010. In fact, Team Obama made it a top priority for eight years and came to the conclusion that they couldn’t do it.

They were right; the statute is clear. Absent Congressional action, the fix they are proposing is fanciful legalese at best and an outright lie & deception (imagine that, from Washington D.C.) at worst.

Let’s be specific – in spite of media hyperventilation and Democrat machinations, the so-called “family glitch” isn’t a glitch at all. The statute, passed as part of the laughingly named Affordable Care Act, in the middle of the night, as a budget reconciliation bill, with no severability clause and with absolutely no Republican support, was the direct result of political consideration and policy restraint, designed to keep the costs below the threshold supported by Obama, as well as avoiding any disruption to the employer-based healthcare system (that would come later). In short, its language could not be more succinct.

That has now all been thrown out by artful lawyering by political appointees at IRS and Treasury, opening a veritable can of worms (not to mention class actions law suits .. “were you denied subsidized health insurance? Call Dewey Cheatam & Howe today!”) and an explosion of federal spending in the forms of large premium tax credits, made larger by the American Rescue Plan Act.

But apparently everyone thinks this is such a great deal! Sure, lets shrink the employer based healthcare system, moving 20 million or more people from employer-based coverage to taxpayer-subsidized health insurance on marketplace exchanges, continue to expand the federal deficit (hey, no shortages there, right?) and strengthen government subsidized healthcare at the expense of private health insurance. Cool, eh? Why, even my lobbying group, NAHU, apparently is all in on this (while ignoring the fact that the very benefit professionals who pay them dues to keep their lights on are endangered to extinction with this illegal expansion of Obamacare).

The Obama Administration concluded that the fix could not be accomplished without legislation from Congress. This fact, coupled with this new “rule”, means that the IRS and Treasury are now thoroughly politicized (if that fact doesn’t worry you.. well, more tea anyone?). The “firewall” has been breached.

What firewall, you say? The ACA has a provision that prevents employees from choosing between premium tax credits to buy an subsidized plan and enrolling in their employers’ private health insurance. This was designed to prevent people from ditching their employer-based health insurance in favor of a subsidized marketplace exchange policy (read: massively cheaper). This isn’t about maintaining and strengthening the healthcare system as we know it, far from it! It’s clear that the vast majority of people who gain eligibility under this scheme already have access to employer-based coverage. Do the math.

You can’t beat a government with a printing press. Insurance companies love getting free money from the government, because it never stops. Displacing private spending with government subsidies will greatly expand federal spending and actually lead to making life more complicated for folks who can’t understand their health insurance now – wait until they have two or more policies to deal with. Strengthening the public sector at the expense of the private sector has been a long, time-honored tradition with Democrats back to the age of FDR – and Democrats have made no secret that their end game is the destruction of health insurance companies in favor of a single payor government system. Right, Jan?

But I’m the canary in the coal mine. Step right up, folks, the gravy trains a-rollin’.

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