Republicans have chosen to make budget/Obamacare battle all about GOP dysfunction

Hey, but don’t go by me. Y’all know I despise both parties so much that I’m always blaming them for all the world’s ills.

Listen to someone who actually wants the GOP to succeed in what it’s trying to do. Someone who is super-irritated with the way Republicans have contrived to make this disaster all about themselves, without any blame slopping over onto Democrats.

I refer to Kimberley Strassel, writing in The Wall Street Journal, where she is a member of the editorial board:

The tragic reality is that this vote isn’t shaping up to be all that perilous for the owners of the law. Nobody is even talking about Democrats. Nobody has put an iota of pressure on them for months. Every camera, every microphone has been trained on the GOP….

That debate was derailed when a rump group in the GOP unilaterally decided to impose “defund” as the broader Republican position. Having moved on their own, their only hope of enforcing support was to deliberately make this fight about Republicans—instead of Democrats. So what began last year as one possible strategy for undercutting the health-care law devolved this summer into a minority-imposed (and bogus) litmus test of conservative purity.

This effort has not, for some time now, been about victory. It has become, as RedState’s Erick Erickson put it with his usual eloquence, about shining a light on the “cockroaches” in the GOP. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has spent months berating his own side as “appeasers” who care only about “being invited to all the right cocktail parties in town.”

Outside conservative groups—Heritage Action, the Senate Conservatives Fund—have raised real cash on this venture, and they’ve spent most of it attacking House and Senate Republicans….

It’s like Democrats don’t exist. In fact, it’s like the issues at stake — health care, overall funding of the government, the faith and credit of the United States, the world economy — don’t exist, either, as far as those precipitating this crisis is concerned.

All that matters to this “rump group” driving events is ideological purity. It’s about smoking out, and “exposing,” the serious-minded Republicans who are not anarchic nihilists. You know, the actual conservatives — the ones who are not bomb-throwers.

We’re accustomed to seeing this kind of thing in South Carolina, where we have more than our share of extreme ideologues. Just ask Lindsey Graham, who is so often their target. He could now say, to the rest of the country, “Welcome to my world.”

I could take pleasure in the collapse from within of one of the major political parties — that would be one down, one to go — but their way of doing it is to bring down the house on all of us.

In light of the likely economic consequences of default, all I can do is hope that someone finds a way out of this trap — even if that means a political party saves itself in the process.

67 thoughts on “Republicans have chosen to make budget/Obamacare battle all about GOP dysfunction

  1. Doug Ross

    If this shakeout causes people like Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Peter King, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain to lose power, I’m all for it. This isn’t about anarchy… it’s about reversing a bloated, lobbyist fueled government.

    But it doesn’t matter, does it? Because the Tea Party is just a bunch of fringe lunatics. All the good, hard working politicians like McConnell, Boehner, et al need to do is ignore them. Right?

    The last people to accept a revolt are those in power.

  2. Bryan Caskey

    It seems like the whole defund vs. delay argument within the GOP was a purely tactical argument about a hypothetical plan to defund or delay ObamaCare (neither was ever in the cards). Neither of these tactics were going to work, but the GOP fractured (and totally flipped out) over which losing tactic to use. Essentially, it was a fight largely about political positioning, not substance.

    And it doesn’t seem to me, then, this being about political positioning over a hypothetical plan, that so much emotion and energy should have attached to it. But it did.

    This isn’t to say that there was no argument to get resolved in the GOP. But given that this was largely just about some hypothetical, doomed procedure, should there have been so much emotional debate over it? Should this have been trigger for the millionth You’re a RINO vs. You’re a TrueCon battle?

    In the end, (to me at least) it’s like one of those arguments that people in doomed marriages have in which they start screaming at each other over the smallest things — “Did you not put a coaster down on the coffee table?! Look at that water ring!!”

    Because the argument is not about the coffee table or proper coaster use; it’s about the fact that both parties want to split and go their separate ways.

    But that’s just me.

  3. Doug Ross

    How many Democrats will be elected over Republicans because of this internal fight? Which Republican Senators are at risk because of this? I don’t see it. There may be some Republican incumbents who are replaced by other Republicans…

      1. Doug Ross

        Well, if Republicans retain control of the House in 2014 and stay where they’re at in the Senate, then what’s the big deal?

        What I am seeing is that Demcrats have no leadership to take control of the agenda and message. Are you really satisfied with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi? They’re no better than McConnel and Boehner.

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        In 1996, districts were not as extremely gerrymandered as they are now.

        This isn’t about the Senate, because they don’t come from districts. It’s about the House. And the way the lines are drawn, it is unlikely that districts currently represented by Republicans will in the foreseeable future be represented by Democrats, or vice versa.

        No impossible. Just unlikely.

        In South Carolina, no Republican will be representing the 6th district, and no Democrat will represent the other six. (With the possible exception of the 5th, and maybe that’s impossible now. For the last 10 or more years that John Spratt held it, it was very much in flux, and he held on largely because he was an incumbent that the voters in the district liked. In 2010, he was not in good health, and it was the year of the Tea Party, so he lost. I would imagine that the district got even more Republican in the last redistricting, but I don’t know; I haven’t studied it, or interviewed anyone who is expert about it.)

        1. Doug Ross

          If you want to change the game, you have to change the players. Term limits can’t do any worse than what we have now.

        2. Brad Warthen Post author

          Until we fix redistricting, term limits would likely only make matters worse — from my perspective, although possibly not from yours.

          Now, the fact that there Republicans in office who are NOT this new brand of ideological extremist is the difference between a bad situation and a worse one. Those people have an advantage as incumbents that somewhat offsets the radicalism in their primary constituencies. Take away incumbency, and GOP primaries become contests between which radical newcomer shouts the loudest, or is more extreme.

          You will say (you’ve said something like this before) that this is good — since Tea Partiers get elected, they obviously represent the Will of The People.

          Except that they don’t. What happens is that the way districts are drawn exaggerates their clout at the polls.

          In 2012, there were more than a million more votes cast in the United States for Democrats in House races than for Republicans. But Republicans maintained their grip on the House. Because, apparently, of the way the lines are drawn. (The GOP must be better at gerrymandering than the Democrats are.)

          Once a district is gerrymandered to favor one party or the other, it gravitates toward extremism, both on the left and right. All that matters is the primary, so they end up being contests of who can appeal most to members of that party, and to hell with what any other voters in the district think.

          So it is that in a district in which nowhere near a majority of voters agree with the Tea Party, that extreme element can completely dominate the Republican Party. Which is all they need to do to get elected.

          As I said, incumbency helps some more moderate Republicans stay in office in spite of this dynamic — just as for years it helped John Spratt get re-elected in spite of the increasingly Republican nature of the electorate in that district.

          And that’s a good thing. Or at least, a not-as-bad thing…

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    The hede broke between the d and the g on my iPad mini, so I read that the GOP is going to make bud get Obamacare. I thought he was already insured…..

  5. Phillip

    There’s an interesting post by Ryan Lizza on the New Yorker blog about the demographics of the GOP “suicide caucus.” It kind of ties in both with Doug’s assessment (which Brad confirms in the comments about gerrymandering) that the GOP probably won’t lose their House majority over this. But they may have bought their extended House majority at the cost of a protracted minority status in the Senate and continued losses at the Presidential level. I still think the rhetoric I hear from some GOP on Obamacare sounds more like fear that it will work than concern about what the effect of the policy will be.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      That’s what Ted Cruz worries about — that Obamacare will be a big success.

      George Will thinks otherwise. He says the GOP should stay out of the way, and let Obamacare fail on its own.

      I agree with him, only with a twist: Either it’s going to work, in which case it would be unconscionable to stop it, or it’s going to fail, and the nation will have to regroup and try something else — or, which is more likely, try NOTHING else, which is our pattern in this country.

      Of course, it will be said by the Cruzes of the world that it will be a failure, but popular, and therefore won’t ever be repealed. This is closely related to the libertarian belief that the country consists of two kinds of people — hard-working folk who pay all the taxes and never get a dime’s worth of good out of government programs, and those vast numbers of leeches out there who sit on the couch and wait for their government checks to come in.

      Mitt Romney said the latter group makes up 47 percent of the electorate. Cruz evidently believes it’s more than 50, which plays into the libertarian horror that the republic will collapse from the weight of irresponsible majorities voting themselves freebies. And so it is that he distrusts democracy, and seeks other means for keeping a duly enacted, constitutional law from being implemented.

  6. Doug Ross

    Ted Cruz and Rand Paul won state wide elections. Several other Republican senators will face tough primary challenges due to the Tea Party and may be able to unseat Mitch McConnell. This is what people in some states want. It is not a fringe group. They WIN elections.

  7. Brad Warthen Post author

    What gets me about the GOP is that it’s the Johnny-Come-Lately extremists, the latter-day Republicans, who presume to define Republicanism, and to enforce it.

    If you’re a Reagan Republican — a part of the old coalition of pro-business types, country-clubbers and values voters — you’re a RINO, according to the Mark Sanford and Nikki Haley wings of the party.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Notice I said “wings,” plural. While the two have a lot in common, and Nikki was by far the Republican in the 2010 primary most like Sanford, there are differences.

      Sanford is more the hypothetical, Club for Growth, 19-century liberal kind of libertarian.

      Nikki Haley is of the more populist variety that became popular in 2010. It’s a more gut, less cerebral kind of libertarianism — more defined by its peeves than by ideas.

  8. bud

    It’s interesting that while we’re getting all worked up over the ACA, the budget extension and the debt limit foreign policy issues continue to unfold. And in an astonishing turn-around the administration is on the cusp of scoring two huge victories. With the UN on board the Syrians appear likely to give up their chemical weapons. That was unthinkable just a few months ago.

    The other big story involves Iran. Still a long way to go but it seems possible that Iran will soon moderate it’s position on it’s nukes.

    Add these two possible victories in bringing Osama Bin-Laden and Mr. Ghaddaffi to justice plus the end of the Iraq war and Mr. Obama is looking like the best foreign policy president since WW II. Maybe that’s why the conservatives yammer on incoherently about Benghazi. They have little of substance to complain about so why not make stuff up.

  9. Bart

    Sometimes it is difficult to face facts or to paraphrase an old saying, “if your ox is not being gored, why are you complaining?”. The hard truth is this in a nutshell. If one is in the age range of 50 to 65 and for some reason or the other, lose your job and cannot afford to pay COBRA to keep your health insurance (my wife and I had to do it before), a port in any storm that offers relief is welcome. For the families and individuals who face similar circumstances, the ACA will be a welcome relief and they will end up supporting it if it relieves them of a heavy financial burden and offers some health care protection. Who makes up the difference or pays more than their fair share will become a secondary issue with anyone who benefits from ACA. That is human nature and no matter how much it is discussed, cussed, praised, criticized, or demonized, self will be first served when the chips are really down.

    Some of us complain about and criticize the way the bill was handled in the beginning and rightfully so because it was so poorly written, assembled, and introduced. The costs were never fully explained, most benefits were never clarified as to inclusion or not, and a myriad of other problems not addressed or vetted properly. However, the bill is with us, it will become official on October 1 and there is nothing Republicans can do about it – nothing except rail against windmills like Don Quixote in Man of la Mancha. The effort may be applauded but the result will be failure and embarassment for tilting at the ACA windmill. Dulcinia will not be impressed in the end.

    Once it has time to run its course, as Brad stated, it will be a success or failure. But, based on past history, whether it fails or not, it is with us and will remain with us until the day it morphs into single payer.

    For me, I am not giving in and agreeing, just moving on and not wasting my time pointing out the obvious flaws over and over again plus the fact that most Americans do object to the bill. Why waste time and energy, devote it to something that can produce results like staying as healthy as possible to avoid the chaos to come.

  10. Mark Stewart

    While gerrymandering is permitted to exist, we will only get a less and less relevant Congress.

    What is interesting is what is going to happen then? Will the Supreme Court rule on this? Will voters grow weary of the GOP fissures and vote Democrat even in the finely crafted districts (outside of SC of course)? Or will the radicals prevail? In the end, it’s up to the voters to convey something other than ennui.

  11. FParker

    If you don’t participate, the IRS will handle it. If you’re one of the people who don’t pay taxes and don’t participate, you’ll get treatments provided free of charge. Once January 2015 comes around and this is still the plan, I think we’re going to see some major events happening in this country and they’re all going to be bad. People aren’t going to be able to pay 10% of their salary and stand by and have the government force them to pay. In college economic courses they used the examples of guns vs. butter, I think people better have a stockpile of both.

  12. bud

    Nothing changes until more state legislatures and governorships are controlled by the Democrats. It seems odd to me that places like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania vote for the Democratic candidate for president yet have GOP state officers. That results in a disproportionate number of GOP house members compared to the actual number of votes they receive. It could ultimately backfire if enough people in close GOP controlled districts decide that maybe a Dem is not so bad after all. But it might take some extreme level of disgust to get to that point. I don’t think we’re there quite yet. Non POTUS year elections favor the GOP and that’s when they gain the most.

    Would the Dems do the same type of gerrymandering if they were in charge? I doubt it. They just aren’t as diabolical. But at least there might be a bit of balance.

    1. Mark Stewart

      Bud, of course the Democratic Party gerrymandered! You live in the South!

      What has changed is the technology since 1996 to slice and dice and profile districts. It isn’t the concept of gerrymandering that is so insidious though, it is the application of this technology to craft “safe” – actually, verifiably safe – districts that has so distorted our democratic Republic.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        Bryan’s Simple Rule To Help Alleviate Gerrymandered Districts:

        Don’t allow counties to be divided.

        It’ wouldn’t be a perfect solution, but it would make things relatively better, makes common sense, and is easy to understand.

        1. Michael Rodgers

          I agree with your rule, and so does our state constitution. Unfortunately, federal law, which trumps, requires our state legislators to equalize population in all of our districts, for both state and federal government.
          For state government, our state legislators are allowed to have districts vary plus or minus up to 5 percent or perhaps even 10 percent without running afoul of federal law. For federal government, our state legislators are required to have US House districts that are exactly equal until the last person, so not only are counties split but also precincts.
          As a final note, having county election boards is terrible because too many districts cross county lines; the state is the right level for election boards.

      2. Bart

        Whoa there cowboy! Gerrymandering has been used since the original 13 colonies were established. It is not the evil child born of modern day Republican parents but something that has been around since it was named after Elbridge Gerry, an opportunistic flip-flopper between the Democrat and Republican parties in the 1800s. The name was coined in 1812, not recently. Gerrymandering has been used extensively by both parties over the last 2 centuries. The Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 made it illegal to establish voting districts using race as the main impetus to set boundaries but the exception is if the boundaries are set for a “partisan” advantage.

        If not mistaken, James Clyburn has a life time pass to the House because of a gerrymandering agreement between the parties. Robin Fallon stepped aside after the new district lines were drawn and deferred to Clyburn who is the permanently entrenched representative for the 6th district.

        And, rememer that it is law that every 10 years, lines are to be drawn to account for changes in populations and demographics that affect the number of residents in a district. In the end, it is the federal government who is responsible for placing the “stamp of approval” on redistricting.

        1. Mark Stewart

          Which is why the Supreme Court will end up taking on this issue.

          When it moves beyond political maneuvering to the effective denial of the right to vote, on everyone’s part, then it is time to reign in the Congress’ short-sighted partisanship.

          Everyone, no matter where they live should have a vote that counts. That will never be an untainted system; but it should never be a wholly corrupt one, either.

          1. Bart

            Don’t necessariyl disagree with you but it will take an extraordinary set of circumstances and radical proof of misdeeds in deciding districts that involve serious wrongdoing by the ones drawing the new lines before the SCOTUS will ever see it come before the justices. My take on it anyway.

          2. Michael Rodgers

            “…Justice John Paul Stevens has expressed regret since his retirement about his vote with the majority in a 5-to-4 reapportionment decision in 1989. That case, Karcher v. Daggett, interpreted the one-person, one-vote rule as requiring districts to be drawn with precise numerical equality, a requirement Justice Stevens now regards as having opened the door to political mischief in redistricting.”

          3. Michael Rodgers

            Yes, what was I trying to say? Just that while gerrymandering has been around since the early 1800’s as you said, the way it’s done now has been fine-tuned by court rulings from the late 20th century and by rapid advancements in technology. Perhaps the court will indeed take a case up and the new judges will evaluate what’s going on today. Though maybe it will have to be an especially egregious case as you said.

  13. FParker

    Okay, I’m seriously thinking that I might be through with your blog. For some reason you’ve decided to moderate what I say, my latest posts are going on 13 hours since being posted and are still waiting to be released. Have I said things that are not true, have I personally attacked another member, I have been called a “troll” by Kathryn and her posts continue to go through without moderation. How do you expect people to carry along a dialog when one person’s messages are posted immediately and the others having to wait until the next day? Either moderate everyone’s messages or no ones. All that is happening by what you’re doing is hold new members of your blog back while allowing a handful of regulars to dominate conversations. I’ve read your blog for about a year now and have noticed one thing, new members typically don’t stick around very long and it’s the same members’ comments over and over. Maybe you don’t want your blog to expand, maybe you’re happy with it being discussed among the same users day after day. If so, you’re succeeding at your plan.

      1. Silence

        I find it interesting and cool that we have a:
        Daniel Craig (current actor portraying James Bond)
        F Parker (Fess Parker played both Daniel Boone & Davy Crockett on TV and movies)
        David Crockett (I think he said he’s related to the hero of the Alamo)
        As far as I know, these follks are all using their real names. I just think it’s cool, and all we need now is a James Bond 007 to begin commenting.

        1. FParker

          Does Daniel Craig get his comments moderated as well? I mean, he posts one day and they might show up the next if Brad feels like allowing them.

  14. Doug Ross

    Here’s something on Obamacare that I hadn’t thought about:

    For the subsidies, when will they be paid? Will the government be paying them as the year goes on or rebate them after the person files his income tax the following year to prove what his income is? I can see either case turning into a big problem. For the former, it means making an assumption on a person’s income that could change up or down throughout the year depending on raises, moves to other states, or job losses. For the latter, the insured would have to pay the full amount throughout the year and then wait on a refund into April the next year. For a low income family, where are they going to find the money to pay the full amount?

    Anyone know how the subsidies work?

      1. Doug Ross

        That’s not going to work for poverty level people who don’t qualify for Medicaid, is it??? This is going to create all sorts of complex tax issues next year. This will encourage self-employed people to understate income in order to qualify for higher subsidies.

        And the whole idea of charging different rates based on where you live goes against the idea of a national healthcare solution. A person on one side of a state border could pay different rates than another person a mile away on the other side of the border. Typical government bureaucratic “solution”.

        1. Scout

          Paying different rates based on where you live is a product of a market based system. I thought you were a fan of market based solutions.

          1. Doug Ross

            The market isn’t setting the prices, Scout. The government is. Instead of just trolling me, maybe you should stick to the facts.

          2. Doug Ross

            And can YOU explain how a family that qualifies for subsidies is going to pay for the insurance until they get a tax rebate a year later? Where is the money coming from?

          3. Scout

            I’m not trolling you. My understanding was that the prices are different in different states because the markets are different in different states – different supply and different demand – i.e. market based forces influence the rates. The government is setting up the exchanges but the offerings are from private insurance carriers who are competing with each other in an open marketplace where they have to play by the same rules and consumers can compare prices side by side – thus allowing competition to drive pricing. Some markets have fewer carriers offering policies – i.e. differences in supply. Some markets have healthier populations than others – i.e. differences in demand. The carriers are private insurers – not government run insurance. The government is merely providing the conduit for the private insurance to get to consumers on a transparent level playing field. That is my understanding.

            I fully admit that this is way complex and I might have it wrong. I have not had time to study it in depth. But I’m not trolling you. This is what I thought was true. If it’s not, why don’t you educate me.

            This article here:

            containing the information that follows would seem to support my understanding:

            “Gary M. Cohen, the director of the federal Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said that premiums were generally lower in states with vigorous competition in their insurance markets and robust programs to review rates.

            In the 36 states where the federal government has primary responsibility for the exchanges, Mr. Cohen said, consumers will be able to choose from an average of 53 health plans. In most states, health plans will be offered by two or more insurance companies — a high of 13 companies in Wisconsin, but just one apiece in New Hampshire and West Virginia.

            “About one in four of these insurance companies is offering health plans in the individual market for the first time in 2014, a sign of healthy competition,” Mr. Cohen said. ”

            But maybe I’ve still got it wrong. If the government is setting the rates, can you please explain how. I’m asking seriously.

          4. Scout

            No, I can’t explain how the subsidies will work, but this lady here blogging over on Forbes site is doing a pretty good job.


            She’s got a whole series of articles explaining Obamacare in clear straightforward non-partisan language. This article here –
   – contains the answer to your question:

            “Question 2: I’m single, age 61, disabled, and don’t have enough income to even pay taxes. I have a preexisting insurance plan now, and it is horrible. How will tax credits help me if I don’t pay taxes?

            When you sign up for insurance on the exchange, you provide income information and your premium tax credit is calculated for you. This credit is applied directly to the insurance premiums and you pay any difference in the premium amount. It is not a credit to reduce your current tax bill – it is a credit that reduces how much you have to pay for your health insurance premium.”

            So it would appear that people who qualify for subsidies don’t have to front the money themselves and then get reimbursed at tax time. That’s nice.

          5. Doug Ross

            If different insurers are providing coverage they would not charge the same rates. There is no competition, just a government set rate that insurers can choose to accept or not as well as government set list of required services and coverages.

            How is it that I worked for several large companies over my career that offered health insurance and all of them charged the same price for family coverage regardless of where employees lived? Why introduce complexity into the situation? Do Federal government employees pay different rates for their insurance based on zip code? I doubt it.

            It is not a market based system if someone else sets price controls and limits options.

          6. Silence

            The exchanges and markets for the different states are different. Health insurance (and other insurance companies) are state regulated entities. Therefore while there may be a national holding company, the operating arms of the insurers, including their loss reserves and risk pools are seprated by state and could affect rates and offerings – subject to Obamacare requirements and regulation.

        2. Doug Ross

          And look at the two States mentioned in your list: New Hampshire and West Virginia. If there is only one provider in those States its not because of market based pricing. There are plenty of insurance companies providing coverage to non-Obamacare people in those States.

          1. Scout

            Different insurers are not providing the same rates. The rates that were released were averages among the plans offered in different areas; specifics about the plans have not been released yet. It has been stated that there is variability among the plans offered by differing providers in each area.

            Are you saying that the government refused to let those other providers participate in New Hampshire and West Virginia? If they are not participating it is their choice. Isn’t that how a market based system works – service providers decide what niche they want to fill and if they don’t think the return is great enough they can choose to not serve a certain population. To me, this is the central conflict between market based systems and trying to provide options for everybody. There are some situations where it is just not profitable to serve certain populations and in a market based system they just wouldn’t necessarily be served. This is the flaw in the private schools will fix education idea also. Dealing with the challenges involved in educating rural poor and disabled students is not something a lot of private providers have been willing to put the effort into, thus far.

            I mentioned in another post that hasn’t appeared yet that there is a blogger on named Carolyn McClanahan who has done a lot of clear explanatory posts about Obamacare. She states that in the situation you describe with large companies that cross state boundaries, they have the ability to negotiate the same rates for groups across larger areas. Prior to Obamacare, people buying in the individual market did not have access to group plans with the same level of coverage that the employer group plans with their negotiating power could offer. On the new exchanges, the plans offered now must contain more levels of coverage that have previously only been available in group plans – the groups on the exchanges are organized by geographical area. So they are different from the employer plans you describe that can negotiate across state lines. But it is still way better than what people in the individual market previously had access to.

            So my take on that is the new law requires the basic level of coverage that has to be included in the plans, but private insurers still get to decide if they will participate, what level of coverage they will offer, and how much they will charge. The government set part is only in requiring what must be included.

            The Forbes articles also said people using subsidies don’t have to front the money and wait for a tax refund. The credit is applied at the time they purchase on the exchange and they are only charged the difference.

            The Forbes articles were very helpful. I recommend them to anybody trying to understand the law.

          2. Doug Ross

            That doesn’t make any sense. Obamacare has the largest pool of potential recipients to use for negotiating rates and would create the largest risk pool to spread it across. Having different rates in every state isn’t a market solution no matter how you try to spin it. Obamacare is applying artificial barriers on both price and services provided AND adding a mandate to FORCE consumers to purchase a product. That is not market based either.

            Does Social Security pay different amounts in different states? Does Medicare provide different coverage in different states?

            It could have been done better and more efficiently.

  15. bud

    Simple. Just take in a paystub showing your salary and get a voucher to pay for the insurance. When filing time comes if you claim too little income that shows up on your 1040 and you owe taxes.

      1. Scout

        Bud’s version is closer to the truth from what I can tell. The Forbes’ articles suggest that when you sign up on the exchange you enter your financial information at that time and if you are eligible for a subsidy it is calculated and applied at that time. You are only charged the difference not covered by the credit for the plan you choose.

        Navigators are supposed to help you with the process of getting your information entered and understanding the choices and how the plans work so you can make informed decisions.

        1. Doug Ross

          Is there a link between the system and the IRS? I can foresee all sorts of issues with this. People moving, people getting or losing jobs.

          And wait til April of 2015 (conveniently after the mid-term elections) when people start owing money for their past year’s insurance because they under reported income.

          1. Scout

            I have no idea. I am merely relating what I understand to be in the law based on my brief web research. The more I look into it though, I am impressed at the things they did think of and appalled at the massive amount of misinformation that is floating around out there. It really seems like people just don’t want to understand the law. I really wonder if the republican’s who are fighting so hard against it even know what’s actually in it, or are they acting on misinformation too.

  16. FParker

    I wonder if this is what it was like when the government implemented income tax. Obamacare is similar in that it’s a forced tax, you don’t pay, you go to jail. Which by the way is one way to get free medical care. There are hundreds of thousands of people who don’t file income tax, these same people will get free medical treatments just as they always have while those of us who actually go out and work for a living will be penalized by having our insurance rates skyrocket. Obama is pushing this because it’s the only thing that he’ll have that will put his name in history books which is what he wants. He doesn’t want to be known as another Jimmy Carter.

    1. Norm Ivey

      The Affordable Care Act specifically prohibits jail time for refusing to buy insurance. They can’t garnish wages. They can only withhold a tax refund.

      1. FParker

        But won’t it be added to your amount owed the IRS? If you owe $1000, and they add on another $1400, can you just pay the $1000 and tell them to go screw themselves and not expect to be tossed in jail for not paying your taxes? If so, then why not just declare 21 dependents on your W-2 so you’ll never get a refund.

        1. Norm Ivey

          I suppose you could work it that way and never pay the penalty amount. I guess it depends on how the IRS applies your payment each year–do they apply it to the tax or to the penalty? That’s one for the lawyers, but there’s no criminal prosecution.

  17. FParker

    From Forbes’ website comments on Obamacare.

    You think this is bad, read some of the mandates right out of ObamaCare:

    Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual’s bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts.
    Page 65/section 164: The plan will be subsidized (by the government) for all union members, union retirees and for community organizations (such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now – ACORN).
    Page 203/line 14-15: The tax imposed under this section will not be treated as a tax. (How could anybody in their right mind come up with that?)
    Page 241 and 253: Doctors will all be paid the same regardless of specialty, and the government will set all doctors’ fees.
    This is what they do in Sweden too.
    Page 272. section 1145: Cancer hospitals will ration care according to the patient’s age.

    Page 317 and 321: The government will impose a prohibition on hospital expansion; however, communities may petition for an exception.
    Page 425, line 4-12: The government mandates advance-care planning consultations. Those on Social Security will be required to attend an “end-of-life planning” seminar every five years. (Death counseling..)
    Page 429, line 13-25: The government will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.”

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