Monday, July 9, 2012
Hi. In a New York Times article published on MSNBC.com on Saturday, the author, Robert Pear, talks about the “exchanges” mandated by the Affordable Care Act. According to the law, each state is to create an exchange, a marketplace where Americans who can’t afford to buy health insurance on their own can buy insurance with support from the federal government. If the state doesn’t do this, doesn’t set up this exchange as it appears some are reluctant to do, the federal government will do it for them.
People needing assistance to buy health insurance will receive subsidies averaging $500 per person, or $6,000 per year. A two person household could get assistance averaging $1,000 per month or $12,000 per year. Notice that it’s “per person,” whether or not you’re married, the same way Medicare works. These subsidizes would be in the form of tax credits allowed to individuals in families making from $23,050 (the government definition of “poverty” for a family of four) to, get this, four times this poverty level or $92,200, also for a family of four.
Okay, two things: First, you don’t realize tax credits until you file your taxes, which can be months, even a year or more after you have to pay your health insurance premium. If you don’t have the money to pay that premium, what are you going to do? You can’t pay it with a tax credit until you receive the refund that tax credit made possible.
Second, is there anyone, whatever your income, reading this who honestly thinks it’s right for our government, trillions of dollars in debt, to use our taxes to give a family of four making $92,200 per year tax credits of $6,000, $12,000 or more per year to buy health insurance?
The Affordable Care Act – that was supported by both Maryland’s Senator Ben Cardin and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger representing Maryland’s Second District – is a mess. Both these gentlemen are attorneys, for crying out loud. Reading stuff is what they’re supposed to be good at. And it’s not that the Affordable Car Act wasn’t important from either social or fiscal points of view. Far, far from it. So, we’re left with one of two conclusions: Either they were both too lazy to read the act, or they read it and didn’t understand it.
Either way, Ben Cardin and Dutch Ruppersberger have failed to prove themselves worthy of re-election. Either way, particularly given the importance of this legislation, they’ve proven themselves incompetent and in urgent need of replacement by their challengers, Dan Bongino and State Senator Nancy Jacobs respectively, who are running against them.
By the way, both Cardin and Ruppersberger also missed the point that the penalty people pay for not getting health insurance – the penalty that the Supreme Court determined to be a tax – has, itself, no penalty for non-payment, a technicality that pulls the rug out from under the individual mandate.
It’s simple. They either didn’t read the Affordable Care Act or read it, and didn’t understand it, but still voted for it – because that is what incumbents do who go to Washington, get paid $174,000 per year plus benefits, including great health insurance, to do nothing more than vote their party’s line.