Glitch in Health Insurance Overhaul May Leave Some Families Uncovered


WASHINGTON -- Some families could get priced out of health insurance due to what's being called a glitch in President Barack Obama's overhaul law. IRS regulations issued Wednesday failed to fix the problem as liberal backers of the president's plan had hoped.

As a result, some families that can't afford the employer coverage that they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from the government to buy private health insurance on their own. How many people will be affected is unclear.

The Obama administration says its hands were tied by the way Congress wrote the law. Officials said the administration tried to mitigate the impact. Families that can't get coverage because of the glitch will not face a tax penalty for remaining uninsured, the IRS rules said.

"This is a very significant problem, and we have urged that it be fixed," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an advocacy group that supported the overhaul from its early days. "It is clear that the only way this can be fixed is through legislation and not the regulatory process."

But there's not much hope for an immediate fix from Congress, since the House is controlled by Republicans who would still like to see the whole law repealed.

The affordability glitch is one of a series of problems coming into sharper focus as the law moves to full implementation.

Starting Oct. 1, many middle-class uninsured will be able to sign up for government-subsidized private coverage through new health care marketplaces known as exchanges. Coverage will be effective Jan. 1. Low-income people will be steered to expanded safety-net programs. At the same time, virtually all Americans will be required to carry health insurance, either through an employer, a government program, or by buying their own plan.

Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus, an advocacy group for children, cited estimates that close to 500,000 children could remain uninsured because of the glitch. "The children's community is disappointed by the administration's decision to deny access to coverage for children based on a bogus definition of affordability," Lesley said in a statement.

The problem seems to be the way the law defined affordable.

Congress said affordable coverage can't cost more than 9.5 percent of family income. People with coverage the law considers affordable cannot get subsidies to go into the new insurance markets. The purpose of that restriction was to prevent a stampede away from employer coverage.

Congress went on to say that what counts as affordable is keyed to the cost of self-only coverage offered to an individual worker, not his or her family. A typical workplace plan costs about $5,600 for an individual worker. But the cost of family coverage is nearly three times higher, about $15,700, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

So if the employer isn't willing to chip in for family premiums - as most big companies already do - some families will be out of luck. They may not be able to afford the full premium on their own, and they'd be locked out of the subsidies in the health care overhaul law.

Employers are relieved that the Obama administration didn't try to put the cost of providing family coverage on them.

"They are bound by the law and cannot extend further than what the law provides," said Neil Trautwein, a vice president of the National Retail Federation.

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All of you Obama idiots had a chance to get rid of this nightmare by electing Romney. The most important thing to you is insuring all the loser illegals. Good going.

February 01 2013 at 1:35 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to crimeslawyer's comment


February 02 2013 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Remember Nancy Pelosi said they had to pass Obama care to find out what was in it.

This article has nothing to do with gun control--get a life.

January 31 2013 at 9:41 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Another dem enduced problem that will point the finger at someone else...........set back and watch

January 31 2013 at 9:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Maybe O should have just kept his stupid idea to himself, nobody wanted it, and now their finding out that
this is going to cost them more then they bargained for, not only is your paycheck going to get smaller there are still thousands of Americans Legal ones that will be without insurance. Wow this really worked didn't it.

January 31 2013 at 8:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


January 31 2013 at 8:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Q. How much does it cost U.S. taxpayers to provide health care for illegal immigrants?
A. Billions of dollars are estimated to be spent each year, although data are scarce on both the costs and use of health care. Transient living conditions, undercounting of migrant workers and desire to avoid contact with government agencies limit the nation's ability to accurately determine the costs of their medical care.

In some hospitals, as much as two-thirds of total operating costs are for uncompensated care for illegal aliens. As a result, hundreds of emergency departments have closed. In Los Angeles, for example, 10 hospitals have closed in the past five years because of uncompensated care.

Congress in 2005 authorized $1 billion in funding over four years to help physicians and hospitals recover costs of providing emergency care to illegal immigrants. This was a critical first step in recognizing the growing funding crisis in the nation's emergency departments, which affects everyone's access to emergency care.

January 31 2013 at 8:46 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

What's the difference between a thief and a Politician?? The thief when caught will pull some time in prison.
The Politician on the other hand will still get his retirement and a slap on the wrist if caught.

He might have to resign though. Just like JR had to..

Just days after winning a handy reelection to his Chicago-area district, 17-year Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., has entered negotiations for a plea deal that would include his resignation from Congress and likely jail time.

Jackson, Jr., the son of civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., and husband to Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, has not yet pleaded guilty to alleged misuse of campaign funds to decorate his house and purchase a $40,000 Rolex watch for a female friend. But CBS Chicago reports the congressman's lawyer, white-collar criminal defense attorney Dan Webb, is negotiating with the federal government a plea bargain that will likely be reached by year's end.

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. "not well," he says
Jesse Jackson, Jr. "completely debilitated by depression," wife says

The tentative deal includes Jackson, Jr.'s resignation from Congress for health reasons, a "guilty" plea involving misuse of campaign funds, and repayment of any contributions that were converted to personal use. At least some jail time is expected. Jackson, Jr.'s pension, which would pay out between $65,000 and $80,000 a year when he turns 62, is also part of the talks.

January 31 2013 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ragtopdaz's comment

J. Jackson jr. made one mistake - he forgot to apologize. Yes, he didn't use the "A" word. The word apology is generally meant to be used in serious matters. I personally received numerous butt whippings after having been made to apologize for something I said or did. Today it can literally allow you to get away with a felony and even murder with the accusers being tried as the perpetuators by some liberals backed by the press. Let this be a lesson, never forget the "A" word, it is better than a confession.
And by the way, when this blows over, as traditional Chicago politics go, he will be re-elected as nothing had happened. That's the way it is on the south side of Chicago.

January 31 2013 at 9:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Rome wasn't built in a day either. We've got to start somewhere.

January 31 2013 at 8:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nancy Pelosi never read the health care bill but she sure read all the insider trading stock tips sent to her..

Nancy Pelosi Blocked Credit Card Reform While Investing Millions in Exclusive Visa Stock Offering

Former Speaker of the House–and current Minority Leader–Nancy Pelosi apparently bought $1 million to $5 million of Visa stock in one of the most sought-after and profitable initial public offerings (IPO) in American history, thwarted serious credit card reform for two years, and then watched her investment skyrocket 203%.
Her response to a reporter when asked about this was " What's your point? I did nothing wrong."
Politicians spend most of their time fighting off law suites and the ethics committee for they crimes they were caught doing.
The rest of their time is spend on defending all of the illegal's in this country who cry discrimination because they might get deported back to their own cesspool of a country. The politicians fight to keep them here so they can turn this country into a mirror image of the place they just left.

January 31 2013 at 8:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just found out that a lot of union people are falling into that group!!!!!!!!!!! And they thought they were exempt. So much for all the state government workers. Mayor of Chicago - you know, O's buddy, is rolling his government employees (AFSME) into the government program - that way, no more unfunded pension or benefits. Way to go.

January 31 2013 at 8:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply