Topic: Health Care

How Big is the Penalty if You Don’t Get Health Insurance?

By :: November 6th, 2013

Stories about the Affordable Care Act often tell readers that they’ll have to pay a $95 penalty if they don’t get adequate health insurance coverage. But, like a lot of other things I read about the health law, that’s not quite correct. The penalty (which the Supreme Court said is actually a tax) could be […]

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Would the Government be Shuttered if Obamacare were Romneycare?

By :: October 1st, 2013

Enrollment in the new health care exchanges begins today and the government is partially shut down in protest—never mind that Obamacare funding is largely immune to the shutdown. The Republicans in the House appear to be getting most of the blame for the shutdown because they insist that continued government funding be tied to at […]

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Is Obamacare the GOP’s White Whale?

By :: September 17th, 2013

 “The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them…All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up in the lee of things;…all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all evil…visibly personified …and made practically assailable in Moby Dick” […]

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Do Low-Income Taxpayers Cheat?

By :: July 18th, 2013

My blog last Tuesday on overblown concerns about people falsely claiming subsides under the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges generated a lot of response. Much focused on my assertion that the income tax system operates remarkably well as a largely voluntary program. Their retort: I naively misjudged the willingness of low-income people to cheat. In […]

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Will Obamacare Delays Encourage Health Exchange Cheating?

By :: July 16th, 2013

The latest flap over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act involves the ability of the IRS to verify the income people use to calculate their health exchange subsidy.  While critics of Obamacare warn darkly that this will cause massive cheating, it appears that there is much less to the matter of delayed income verification […]

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Will the Slowdown in Health Cost Growth Change the Budget Debate?

By :: May 9th, 2013

Upon these three facts everyone agrees:  1) After a long period of explosive increases, health cost growth has slowed markedly in recent years. 2) A share of the slowdown is partially, but not entirely, due to the recent economic slump.  3) If future medical costs continue to grow at their current low rate the federal […]

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Will Enough People Enroll in Obamacare?

By :: July 5th, 2012

Earlier this week, I concluded that the Affordable Care Act’s tax on those who do not have health insurance will be both modest and difficult for the IRS to collect. But will it be enough to encourage people to buy coverage?  If not, healthy people may opt out until they get sick, a decision that […]

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Obamacare’s Uninsured Tax is a Mouse

By :: July 3rd, 2012

The Affordable Care Act’s tax on those who choose not to buy health insurance was the linchpin of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law’s constitutionality. But in reality, the tax (nee penalty) is a mouse. The tax itself is modest, at least to start. It will affect relatively few people. And it will be […]

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The Supreme Court Says the Health Care Mandate is a Constitutional Tax

By :: June 28th, 2012

In its long-awaited decision on the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has ruled that Congress can require people to either have health insurance or pay a tax if they don’t.   Because the High Court found that the penalty for not having coverage is a tax and not a fee or a banana, it […]

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Romney and Obama: Big Speeches, Little Vision

By :: June 14th, 2012

Yesterday, Mitt Romney laid out what his campaign said was his vision for health reform. Today, he followed that up with a talk on economic policy. And President Obama delivered a speech that his campaign promoted as a framework for economic policy. Sadly, while men both included plenty of criticism of the other guy, neither told […]

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