Obamacare and how it affects JWs

by Rattigan350 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • Rattigan350

    While I think that Obamacare is bad for forcing people to get health insurance by penalizing them for not having it; It is going to hit JWs hard.

    So many brag on the assembly parts that they quit corporate jobs to pioneer, but they don't get insurance after that.

    There are many that are pioneer couples or single pioneers that are just doing small jobs like cleaning that can't afford insurance, so they don't get it. They will want to be obedient to Caesar and have to get it next year, straining their budgets. Or if they don't get it, they will have to pay the penalty.

    We will see how that plays out next year.

  • Chaserious

    The penalty really isn't in full effect until 2016, so it won't have its full effect until many who are affected file their tax returns in spring 2017. So it should be a while until we can tell. It's an interesting point you raise, however. A married couple with no kids and no health insurance would pay about $1400, and about $2100 if they have kids. That would be a pretty hard sock to a lot of pioneers. (In 2014, the maximum penalty for a family will be under $300, which is why I say it will be a few years before we can tell). I suspect that an increasing number of pioneers of working age will begin working full-time jobs, now that you can "place" literature virtually. They can write a bunch of emails on their lunch hour and after work and count time that way. Or maybe they will reduce the pioneer hours again.

  • TheClarinetist

    The penalty was struck down as unconstitutional by the supreme court, last I heard. You can pay it, but it's optional. EDIT: Can't find a source on that, so I probably just misunderstood something.

    What I expect to hit the JWs hardest is, part time workers are being limited to 27 hours a week because any more and the company they work for has to pay for health insurance for them (that's what I was told by my boss, so may not be 100% accurate)

  • diana netherton
    diana netherton

    They should do..I'm tired of paying so much. I just took a huge hit on my paycheck...between

    the payroll and tax and my insurance switching, I am paying $75 a paycheck. When does it

    become too much? I realise that taxes are mandatory and I have no problem with paying them,

    but EVERYTHING is going up. I'm ready to head over my own fiscal cliff.

  • wasblind

    Well, They got two choices

    1) They can pay until the " Kingdom come " or

    2) They can use their vote that's allowed by Ceasar to change things

    Why should a Jehovah's Witness complain if they don't vote or about a world they say they are no part of

  • MeanMrMustard

    " The penalty was struck down as unconstitutional by the supreme court, last I heard."

    The last I heard, it was a penalty most of the time, except on the day the penalty is due ... then it is a tax and is perfectly OK.

  • sammielee24

    I don't think it's going to affect anyone who has minimal income at all and if someone is doing small jobs and has very little, they will be able to use all sorts of tax exemptions and credits. They might even benefit from Obamacare. sammieswife

    from Sept 2012 article -

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 6 million Americans – significantly more than first estimated_ will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama's health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said Wednesday. Most would be in the middle class.

    The new estimate amounts to an inconvenient fact for the administration, a reminder of what critics see as broken promises.

    The numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are 50 percent higher than a previous projection by the same office in 2010, shortly after the law passed. The earlier estimate found 4 million people would be affected in 2016, when the penalty is fully in effect.

    That's still only a sliver of the population, given that more than 150 million people currently are covered by employer plans. Nonetheless, in his first campaign for the White House, Obama pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000.

    And the budget office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who'll face the penalty would be making up to or less than five times the federal poverty level. Currently that would work out to $55,850 or less for an individual and $115,250 or less for a family of four.

    Average penalty: about $1,200 in 2016.

    "The bad news and broken promises from Obamacare just keep piling up," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who wants to repeal the law.

    Starting in 2014, virtually every legal resident of the U.S. will be required to carry health insurance or face a tax penalty, with exemptions for financial hardship, religious objections and certain other circumstances. Most people will not have to worry about the requirement since they already have coverage through employers, government programs like Medicare or by buying their own policies.

    A spokeswoman for the Obama administration said 98 percent of Americans will not be affected by the tax penalty – and suggested that those who will be should face up to their civic responsibilities.

    "This (analysis) doesn't change the basic fact that the individual responsibility policy will only affect people who can afford health care but choose not to buy it," said Erin Shields Britt of the Health and Human Services Department. "We're no longer going to subsidize the care of those who can afford to buy insurance but make a choice not to buy it."

    The budget office said most of the increase in its estimate is due to changes in underlying projections about the economy, incorporating the effects of new federal legislation, as well as higher unemployment and lower wages.

    The Supreme Court upheld Obama's law as constitutional in a 5-4 decision this summer, finding that the insurance mandate and the tax penalty enforcing it fall within the power of Congress to impose taxes. The penalty will be collected by the IRS, just like taxes.

    The budget office said the penalty will raise $6.9 billion in 2016.

    The new law will also provide government aid to help middle-class and low-income households afford coverage, the financial carrot that balances out the penalty.

    Nonetheless, some people might still decide to remain uninsured because they object to government mandates or because they feel they would come out ahead financially even if they have to pay the penalty. Health insurance is expensive, with employer-provided family coverage averaging nearly $15,800 a year for a family and $4,300 for a single plan. Indeed, insurance industry experts say the federal penalty may be too low.

  • Chaserious

    The penalty was struck down as unconstitutional by the supreme court, last I heard.

    This is not correct. The ACA was upheld in its entirety by the Supreme Court. "[T] he Supreme Court found that penalties the law places on people who don't buy health insurance count as a tax protected by the Constitution."

    source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/05/politics/scotus-health-care-tax/index.html

    Edit: Sorry, I didn't see your edit!

  • Chaserious

    Sammielee - The hardship figure is about $19,000 a year for a married couple with no kids. Those earning more will have to pay the penalty. I imagine that even most pioneer couples make more than that combined. And I don't think pioneering is going to count as a religious objection.

  • sammielee24

    I still don't believe you are going to see a real hardship in penalties.

    While I don't agree with the method of collecting because no matter what is said, when you put the IRS in charge of that collection it will at some point become a matter of tax penalties and as a result, could affect everything from getting a passport to a credit score - I believe that previous articles point to the fact that with a sliding scale, the penalty is minimal somewhere up to around $50,000.

    Had people not supported a public option - and there will be some sort of public option and/or credit - the healthcare solution would not have been pushed in this direction. That is the biggest shame. It won't affect the JW pioneer or family any more than it does millions of other people who are working and living on minimum wages. sammieswife

    2014 Tax Penalties For Not Having Health Insurance Under ObamaCare

    Now that the Supreme court has upheld key provisions of President Obama’s health care reform plan, also known as ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act, all Americans with an income above a certain threshold will have to purchase health insurance. The provision referred to as the individual mandate is what will legally require most US citizens and legal residents to obtain private, employer sponsored or public health insurance (through state run exchanges) starting in 2014. Based on the most recent data available it is estimated that more than half of the US population gets health insurance directly through their employers, while 50 million people are uninsured. The remaining consumers either buy their ownprivate insurance or are covered by federal/state government programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare.

    Here is a brief summary of the penalties for not having health insurance:

    Individuals: From 2014 (reported in 2015), individuals who did not have insurance would owe $95, or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater. But the penalty would subsequently rise in 2016, reaching $695, or 2 percent of income, whichever is greater. From 2017, the minimum tax per person will rise each year with inflation. And for children 18 and under, the minimum per-person tax is half of that for adults. The tax penalty is pro-rated, so that a person who is not covered for only a single month would pay 1/12th of the tax that would be due for the full year.

    Families: For families the health insurance non-compliance penalty is capped at $285 per family, or 1% of income, whichever is greater. By 2016, it will jump sharply to $2,085 per family, or 2.5% of income, whichever is greater. From 2017, the penalty/tax will rise in line with inflation. The minimum amount per family is capped at triple the per-person tax, no matter how many individuals are in the taxpayer’s household. So, for example, a couple with one child over 18 (or two children age 18 or under), and no coverage, would pay a minimum of $285 in 2014, $975 in 2015 and $2,085 in 2016. And that would be the minimum no matter how many uninsured dependents a taxpayer has.

    Individuals or families who fall below income-tax filing thresholds would not owe anything. Nor would people who are unemployed or cannot find a policy that costs less than 8% of their modified adjusted gross income. On the other hand, to offset the cost of providing insurance to low income households, individuals making more than $200,000 a year and couples earning above $250,000 will get additional health care taxes deducted as payroll taxes. These people are also hit with a 3.8 percent tax on investment income.

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