Tag Archives: ACA

Mark Caserta: Obamacare works, but not for America

9 Mar

imagesMar. 06, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Liberals keep telling Americans that Obamacare is working, and they may be right.

In fact, last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Americans that all of the Obamacare “horror stories” simply aren’t true.

“There’s plenty of horror stories being told,” Reid said from the Senate floor about Republicans. “All of them are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.”

I’m not sure Betsy Tadder from Illinois would agree.

In an interview with Fox News last fall, Ms. Tadder shared the uncertainty she now faces after her health insurance carrier canceled her policy.

Betsy Tadder previously paid $454 a month for a plan she liked, but it was set to end in December. After searching her options, the cheapest replacement plan she could find will cost her $871, nearly twice the cost of her canceled plan and with a much higher deductible.

“I could stretch my budget to afford a policy, but the deductible is $12,700. I don’t have $12,700 to pay for a deductible on Obamacare,” Tadder said. She went on to explain that her income was too high for subsidies, but too low for a better policy.

It’s interesting Senator Reid would accuse Republicans of lying about Obamacare when the president’s entire signature healthcare reform bill was sold on a series of lies.

The president misled Americans by promising they could choose to keep their healthcare plan or doctor if they wanted. He also led Americans to believe the typical family would receive a $2,500 annual reduction in their annual premium. Both were dubbed lies by Politifact.com.

And Americans were lied to about Obamacare providing affordable health insurance for every American. Based on the Congressional Budget Office’s February 2014 Baseline analysis, 31 million non-elderly Americans will be left uninsured by the year 2016.

So in the midst of the deception and with millions of Americans having already lost their health insurance, why would liberals keep insisting Obamacare is working?

I submit that Obamacare isn’t about providing affordable healthcare to more Americans at all.

It’s about fundamentally changing America with increased government control in our lives.

Understand the entire success of Obama’s plan depends on the Marxist principles of redistribution. People who once had affordable healthcare are being forced into a “community” of buyers where those “who have” support those “who do not.”

Socialism openly declares that “their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” And life’s possessions are taken “from each according to his abilities” and redistributed to “each according to his needs.”

And liberals qualify the millions of canceled policies by telling American’s they simply weren’t smart enough to figure out their policies weren’t any good. But no worries, we now have a leader who knows what’s best for everyone.

Is this really the America we want to leave for our children? Do we really want the government making these decisions for us?

Obama’s ideology better aligns with The Communist Manifesto than with the U.S. Constitution.

Yes, Obamacare is working all right. It’s working against America.

Obama acts is if he’s above the law; he’s not

3 Mar


Feb. 27, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

What liberals refer to as “obstructionist” tactics by Republicans in blocking the socialist policies of Barack Hussein Obama, conservatives call “preserving the Constitution.”

It’s interesting that while the president has often referred to himself as a “constitutional law professor,” the title is somewhat gratuitous. While never a full-time or tenured professor, he did teach courses in constitutional law at the University of Chicago as a “senior lecturer.”

Unfortunately, rather than use his knowledge to adhere to its provisions, the president has chosen to test the boundaries of our government’s founding document.

Article II, Section 3 of the U. S. Constitution, sometimes known as the “Faithful Execution Clause,” is best read as a duty that qualifies the president’s executive power. By virtue of this power, the president is required to “take care” that our nation’s laws are “faithfully executed.”

But not only has Obama been derelict in his duty to protect our laws, he’s an offender.

As Democrats are so fond of reminding Republicans, Obamacare is now the law of the land.

But despite the fact The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was indeed signed into law in 2010 and ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court, President Obama believes it’s within his power to make changes without Congressional action!

Our Constitution clearly grants legislative powers to Congress. The president does not have the authority to arbitrarily “alter” legislation signed into law.

The employer mandate, which requires businesses employing 50 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance or pay a fine, was scheduled to take effect in 2014, but has been delayed entirely or in part, twice, by the president!

The fact that Obamacare is poor legislation doesn’t grant the president powers exceeding those afforded him by the Constitution.

And in the first case of its kind, the Supreme Court is now arguing the legality of four “recess” appointments made by President Obama to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2012. The Constitution allows the president to make temporary appointments to those positions that otherwise require Senate confirmation, but only when the Senate is in recess. The problem is — the Senate was not in recess!

Three federal appeals courts have already ruled that Obama overstepped his authority in these appointments.

It’s obvious the president is following the “executive version” of the liberal playbook which calls for continuous contestation of preconceived limitations designed to “progressively” tilt the scales of totalitarian power to the left.

President Obama is arguably the most liberal president in our nation’s history. If he’s successful in these attempts to bypass our nation’s laws, what leftist policies will he pursue in his remaining years in office?

The U.S. Constitution is not merely a guideline to be consulted by those it was written to regulate. It’s the supreme law of the land written to protect the rights of all Americans and must be protected.

It’s time Americans “tether” President Obama to the Constitution and hold him accountable for adhering to its precepts.

This president is not above the law.

Obamacare projected to cut employment

13 Feb

obamacare 3 years laterFeb. 13, 2014 @ 07:11 AM


Can it get any worse for Barack Obama and his signa­ture healthcare law? Until now, the Obama administra­tion has only had to worry about stories of canceled health plans, low enrollment and a botched website rollout. But now they’ll have to figure a way to counter last week’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) figures regarding Obamacare’s projected impact on jobs and the economy.

Last week CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf delivered testimony on Capitol Hill that the Affordable Care Act will create a “disincentive for people to work,” adding fuel to Republican arguments that the law will hurt the economy.

The non-partisan CBO report found that more people would opt to keep their income low to stay eligible for federal health care subsidies or Med­icaid. The workforce changes would mean nationwide losses equal to 2.3 million full-time jobs by 2021, the report said.

House Speaker John Boehner believes the report validates the GOP’s longstanding concerns.

“For years, Republicans have said that the president’s health care law creates uncertainty for small businesses, hurts take-home pay, and makes it harder to invest in new work­ers,” Boehner said in a state­ment. “The middle class is get­ting squeezed in this economy, and this CBO report confirms that Obamacare is making it worse .” Interestingly, the mounting evidence against the presi­dent’s healthcare law has even liberals admitting the bill may be flawed. Yet many still sug­gest it will provide affordable healthcare for everyone.

Time truly dissipates the facts, so allow me to refresh the memories of forgetful liberals.

Pre-Obamacare, based on a 2011 study by the Department of Health and Human Services, there were approximately 25 million people in our nation uninsured. But according to the CBO, once the bill is fully implemented, the end result will be approximately 30 mil­lion people still left uninsured! Sure, there will be new people getting health care coverage. But liberals ignore the mil­lions who have already lost their coverage and the millions more projected to lose their coverage when the employer mandate takes effect in 2015 for larger businesses.

Liberals also ignore the fact that Barack Hussein Obama knowingly misled Americans into thinking they could keep their healthcare coverage if they liked it.

“No matter how we reform health care, I intend to keep this promise,” Obama told a Town hall in Wisconsin. “If you like your doctor, you’ll be able to keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.” This grandiose misrepresen­tation won Obama the Politi­fact “Lie of the Year” award. Attempting to rewrite history by claiming what he “actually” said was Americans could keep their plan “if it hasn’t changed since the law passed” was deemed a “pants on fire” lie by Politifact.

Sadly, this legislation was deceitfully sold to Americans and is being blindly supported by liberal minions who believe this president can do no wrong.

But when the smoke clears, Obamacare will have had a devastating impact on jobs and our economy.

And Barack Obama will have forged a legacy of failure at America’s expense.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dis­patch editorial page

Mark Caserta : Ignoring insurance mandate could be costly

26 Jan

Jan. 23, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

Over the past several months, the Obama administration has primarily employed a “soft approach” in convincing individuals to enroll on their health insurance marketplace website.

But their approach will most certainly “broaden” in scope very soon.

March 31 is the open-enrollment deadline for Americans to purchase healthcare coverage as required by the Obamacare individual mandate.

Beginning next year, absent a qualifying exemption, the IRS will begin financially penalizing Americans who refuse to follow the Democrats’ marching orders.

Following this weighty deadline, the IRS will begin “casting its net” to capture what the administration calls a “shared responsibility payment” from individuals who chose “not” to purchase health insurance.

Now, the infinite details would be impossible to capture in a few words, but I’ll highlight the “big rocks.”

While the penalty begins small, it increases in subsequent years and could conceivably reach thousands of dollars per family per year once fully implemented.

The IRS website provides a sequential look at the increases over the next few years:

2014: $95 per person per year or 1 percent of your income.

2015: $325 per person per year or 2 percent of your income.

2016: $695 per person per year or 2.5 percent of your income.

2017: Tax penalty will increase by the rate of inflation going forward, or 2.5 percent of your income.

It’s noteworthy that these percentages are based on your modified adjusted gross income, which adds back certain deductions such as IRA contributions and student loan or higher education deductions. It’s also pro-rated for the number of months you are without coverage beginning after three months.

Currently, the only means the IRS has to collect the penalty is to withhold any money you would get back after filing your income tax returns.

“The amount of the shared responsibility payment will be included on the annual Form 1040 starting with the 2014 return taxpayers file,” Eric Smith, an IRS spokesperson told U.S. News. “It will offset any refund that would otherwise be due or will add to any balance due.”

Now there’s a laundry list of qualifying exemptions, many which benefit low-income Americans. For example, if the lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8 percent of your household income or if your income is less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level, you’ll be relieved of any penalty.

Additional information can be obtained by visiting http://www.irs.gov.

The road ahead is marred with potholes of uncertainty. Higher medical costs, shortage of doctors and longer wait times are all possibilities. If insurance providers collapse under the changes, the government will most likely step in and “rescue” Americans with a single-payer, government-run, healthcare system.

This administration’s belief that Americans have “shared” responsibility in paying for other people’s health insurance aligns perfectly with Barack Obama’s “spread the wealth” ideology.

Each of us must take personal responsibility and seek our best possible options while they’re still available.

But ignoring Obamacare’s individual mandate won’t be a choice.

Doing so could be costly.

ObamaCare Exemption: How to Avoid the ObamaCare Tax Penalty

19 Jan


Those who have insurance through work or currently do not have insurance obviously have nothing to worry about when it comes to the tax penalty. Those on Medicare or Medicaid will also be exempt. Aside from this Americans below the %133 FPL threshold will be exempt as well. Overall around 26 million Americans will be exempt from the tax penalty.

If you belong to any of the groups listed below you are exempt from ObamaCare’s mandate to “obtain minimum essential coverage” (i.e. buy insurance):

• Unaffordable coverage options Exemption. People who would have to pay more than 8 percent of their household income for health insurance

• No filing requirement. People with incomes below the threshold required for filing taxes (in 2012, $9,750 for a single person and $27,100 for a married couple with two children)

• Hardship. The Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Affordable Insurance Exchange, has certified that you have suffered a hardship that makes you unable to obtain coverage.

• Short Coverage Gap Exemption. If go without coverage for less than three consecutive months during the year you will not be responsible for the fee for those months. Make sure to sign up for a plan that starts by April 1st, 2014 to avoid the per month fee in 2014. Open enrollment ends March 31st, but if you sign up after March 15th your coverage won’t start until May 1st, 2014 and you may be responsible for the fee for going without health coverage in April.

• Religious conscience. People who qualify for religious exemptions. The Social Security Administration administers the process for recognizing these sects according to the criteria in the law.

• Health care sharing ministry. You are a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry

• Not lawfully present. Undocumented immigrants; You are not a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or an alien lawfully present in the U.S.

• Incarceration. People who are incarcerated.

• Indian tribes. Members of a federally recognized Indian tribe.

For those who can afford it and choose not to purchase health insurance the tax will be unavoidable. The money collected from these taxes goes towards funding ObamaCare and subsidizing hospitals who will have to cover unpaid emergency room visits. The money is also a down payment on your almost inevitable use of the health care system.

Check out the official IRS website on exemptions and the Individual mandate for additional details.

Hardship Exemption Update December 20th, 2013: If you had your plan canceled in 2014 due to the Affordable Care Act you now qualify for a hardship exemption in 2014. That means you won’t have to pay the fee if you decide to go without insurance and will qualify for a low premium, high out-of-pocket catastrophic plan on your State’s health insurance marketplace. This change does not affect your ability to get subsidies or purchase other marketplace plans.

ObamaCare Exemption: How to Apply for an Exemption

ObamaCare exemptions (i.e. getting an exemption from the Affordable Care Acts individual shared responsibility fee) for unaffordable coverage, short coverage gaps, certain hardships and individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States can be claimed only as part of filing a federal income tax return. The exemption for those under the federal income tax return filing threshold is available automatically. No special action is needed. For other exemptions you’ll need to claim exemption on your income taxes and/or apply for a exemption certificate through the marketplace.

What Happens If I Don’t Pay the Individual Mandate Fee?

The only way for the IRS to collect the fee for not having health insurance, if you choose not to pay it, is for them to withhold the money you would get back from the IRS after filing your income tax returns. The IRS cannot enforce the Individual Shared Responsibility provision with jail time, liens, or any other of typical methods of collection.

What is Minimum Essential Coverage?

In order to avoid the mandate you’ll have to obtain “minimum essential coverage”. Basically this includes all Government and job based insurance and most private insurance. As a rule of thumb if you have insurance already you don’t have to worry about the mandate.

Minimum essential coverage includes the following:
•Employer-sponsored coverage (including COBRA coverage and retiree coverage)
•Coverage purchased in the individual market, including a qualified health plan offered by the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as an Affordable Insurance Exchange)
•Medicare Part A coverage and Medicare Advantage plans
•Most Medicaid coverage
•Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage
•Certain types of veterans health coverage administered by the Veterans Administration
•Coverage provided to Peace Corps volunteers
•Coverage under the Non-appropriated Fund Health Benefit Program
•Refugee Medical Assistance supported by the Administration for Children and Families
•Self-funded health coverage offered to students by universities for plan or policy years that begin on or before Dec. 31, 2014 (for later plan or policy years, sponsors of these programs may apply to HHS to be recognized as minimum essential coverage)
•State high risk pools for plan or policy years that begin on or before Dec. 31, 2014 (for later plan or policy years, sponsors of these program may apply to HHS to be recognized as minimum essential coverage)

Minimum essential coverage does not include coverage providing only limited benefits, such as coverage only for vision care or dental care, and Medicaid covering only certain benefits such as family planning, workers’ compensation, or disability policies.

Can I Buy Insurance for my Kids and Pay the Tax for Myself?

You can get coverage for any of all of your dependents but you will still be responsible for the tax penalty for yourself


9 Jan


Two Obamacare “meltdown” events have yet to happen – and some folks will be blind-sided…

The following is a list of “tips” the White House is providing on their website for insuring you’re properly covered.

Now this is their “disclaimer” so that when something unexpectedly happens, they can say, “Well, we had the directions on our website…”
Here are the two meltdown events coming:

1) When the employer mandate kicks in, millions more Americans will lose their health coverage at their job and be “forced” to shop the insurance exchanges.
2) Those uninformed people, many whom voted for Obama, who did not purchase the coverage mandated will be hit with fines deducted from their tax returns. If they won’t receive a tax return, the IRS will, no doubt, garnish their wages or put a tax lien on their property.

The only hope is for Republicans to win the Senate in November and the presidency in 2016. We can then use the “nuclear option” the Democrats just created to dump this piece of garbage and make some much needed changes to health care in our country.

A New Day in Health Care Coverage | The White House



Obamacare more about power than healthcare

26 Dec

Mark Caserta: Obamacare more about power than healthcare

Dec. 26, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Americans have been given a false choice regarding healthcare reform.

There were many viable alternatives for making healthcare more available and affordable in America that didn’t require tearing down the entire system and replacing it with a mandate that all Americans “bow” at the altar of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Internal Revenue Service.

Yet Democrat leadership failed to pursue reasonable solutions which studies have shown would significantly improve healthcare in the U.S. while maintaining an individual’s right to choose the coverage which best suits their needs.

Americans struggling to make ends meet should receive tax breaks commensurate with their income enabling them to afford quality healthcare for themselves and their family. I would personally like to see the money our government sends to other nations outside of humanitarian needs redirected to subsidize healthcare coverage for Americans at or below our nation’s poverty level. America must stay strong to help others!

People with pre-existing conditions shouldn’t be left out in the cold. But we can’t expect insurance companies to simply “absorb” these additional costs. Again, our government should re-allocate foreign aid funding, as well as eliminate their own irresponsible spending, to cover these additional costs in the form of a tax subsidy.

We must allow insurance companies to sell their policies across state lines. We have every reason to believe that healthy competition will reduce costs and provide more options for Americans just as every other U.S. industry.

Tort reform on medical malpractice is needed. Our current system increases costs both directly, in the form of higher malpractice insurance premiums, and indirectly, in the form of defensive medicine when medical services are prescribed simply to circumvent liability rather than benefit the patient.

Employers should be encouraged to offer Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to their employees. HSAs allow individuals to set aside money from each paycheck, before taxes, for future medical care. The American people are much more frugal and conscientious with their money than the government! An HSA may also be an excellent fit with a high-deductible insurance plan.

Pre-Obamacare, according to the Congressional Budget Office, (CBO) there were around 15 million uninsured Americans in the U.S. But based on CBO projections, once Obamacare is fully implemented, and working smoothly, that number climbs to 30 million in 2023!

I submit the Obamacare journey, which has cost our nation billions of dollars, has never really been about providing health coverage for all Americans, but something entirely different.

President Obama and Democrats sold Obamacare on a series of lies knowing it would result in a base of voters not only dependent upon government, but subject to extortion of their tax dollars if they defied the mandate.

A defining characteristic of this administration is to arrogantly operate within the narrowest definition of executive power and outside of the people’s consent.

The fact that Obamacare shifts power away from the people and to government challenges the fundamental belief that government must derive its “just powers from the consent of the governed”.

Obamacare isn’t about healthcare. It’s about power.
one bill at at time


19 Dec

obamacare 3 years later Obama deserved the ‘Lie of the Year’ award

Dec. 19, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

The votes are in. And the winner of the Politifact.com 2013 “Lie of the Year” award goes to (drum roll please) …

President Barack Obama’s “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” promise he exploited for over three years!

Congratulations, Mr. President. Along with disappointing millions of Americans, you’ve successfully compromised the integrity of the office of president of the United States.

The president’s bogus pledge was the winner of this year’s “Lie of the Year” award from Politifact.com, a Tampa Bay Times project in which reporters and editors from the Times and affiliated media outlets “fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups.” On their website, original statements are evaluated and assigned a “Truth-O-Meter” rating, which range from “True” for completely accurate statements to “Pants on Fire” for outright lies.

In winning this year’s award, Barack Hussein Obama received the esteemed “Pants on Fire” rating for his presidential prevarication, and deservedly so.

In justifying last week’s annual award, Politifact explained the administration’s responses subsequent to the president’s and his Marxist minions’ original canard provided the necessary “tail wind” leading up to this year’s recognition.

Shortly after the lackluster rollout of the Healthcare.gov website and millions of Americans receiving insurance cancellation notices, the administration tried desperately to shift the blame to the health care providers.

“It’s important to remember both before the ACA was ever even a gleam in anybody’s eye, let alone passed into law, that insurance companies were doing this all the time, especially in the individual market because it was lightly regulated and the incentives were so skewed,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

But the president distanced himself from the field in winning this year’s award when he tried to rewrite history altogether and “lie about his lie.”

“Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law, (it was also at this point the moniker “Obamacare” disappeared from the lips of liberals) and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed,” the president told his political supporters.

But as Politifact reported, President Obama uttered his infamous “If you like it, you can keep it” phrase at least 37 times without any such caveat or disclaimer.

While I offer a facetious portrayal of this annual accolade, I submit that this was an unapologetic deceit of the highest order which is impacting the lives of millions of Americans who are losing their healthcare coverage.

One must wonder what other lies Americans have been told to advance or protect this president’s socialist agenda?

Were Americans lied to about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, the ATF’s “Fast and Furious” scandal, the IRS targeting Tea Party groups or the NSA?

These questions remain unanswered but voter polling makes one thing perfectly clear.

If Americans had known the truth about Obamacare, Barack Obama would have never won the 2012 presidential election.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

GOP should return to health care message

3 Nov

insuranceOct. 31, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

As the shortcomings of Obamacare emerge, now is the time for the GOP to get back on message regarding its plan to provide accessible, affordable healthcare to all Americans.

Folks, if Obamacare is such a great proposition for America, why the need to force individuals to purchase it or be penalized financially? It’s very simple. Without everyone’s participation, it wouldn’t be financially viable. Government-run healthcare epitomizes the socialist ideology of Barack Obama. The president is simply executing his “inadvertently” expressed intention when he told Joe the Plumber, “…when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Unfortunately, that’s socialism.

The push for increased government involvement in healthcare dates back over 100 years, when presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt, campaigning on the Progressive Party ticket, called for the establishment of a national health insurance system modeled on what had already been established in Germany.

But in America we deserve and demand a choice.

Indeed, rising healthcare costs have had a catastrophic impact on Americans and our economy. But the choices legislators have made in regulating the industry have not helped in providing affordable healthcare. And political “jousting” has depreciated the narrative far below the interests of most Americans.

It should be objectionable to all Americans that the first path Democrats chose to reform healthcare was to provide the government power to “mandate” its purchase without first pursuing other options to improve its accessibility and affordability.

The U.S. Census Department says about 15 percent of Americans needed health insurance prior to Obamacare. Logic suggests first attempting to make insurance more affordable for those Americans before revamping the entire healthcare system!

Early on, the GOP offered some viable solutions which would help make quality healthcare affordable and accessible for everyone including those with pre-existing conditions.

It begins with allowing Americans who like their healthcare coverage to keep it while giving all Americans the freedom to choose the health plan that best meets their needs and ensuring all medical decisions are made by patients and their doctors — not government bureaucrats.

Eliminating the barriers of purchasing health insurance across state lines would create healthy market competition. Individuals and families who reside in one state would be able to purchase affordable health insurance from another. Likewise, health insurance plans would be able to sell their policies in all states, just as other companies do in selling a wide variety of goods and services.

Comprehensive medical liability reform is needed to reduce the costly, unnecessary defensive medicine practiced by doctors trying to protect themselves from overzealous trial lawyers.

The tax code should be adjusted to fairly extend tax credits to those who do not have employer-provided insurance but purchase health insurance on their own. The deduction would be equivalent to the cost of an individual’s or family’s insurance premiums.

These are but a few of the options the GOP once clearly articulated.

It’s time now for Republicans to return to focusing on real healthcare solutions and allow Obamacare to be exposed.

By 2016, many more Americans will be listening intently to your message.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.


25 Oct

OBAMACAREFor everyone who comes across someone who supports Obamacare. Just ask one simple question:

“If it’s such a good deal, why MAKE people buy it or be fined? Why not just make it available?

And if, perhaps, they’re smart enough to say, “Because unless everyone purchased it, there wouldn’t be enough money to subsidize the program.”

Respond: “That’s exactly right. It’s what Obama called “spreading the wealth around” and it’s socialism.”

If they still try to argue, dust off your shoes and walk away. They’re a hopeless progressive who gets what they deserve.

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