Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Stories Causing Atlas to Shrug, February 3, 2015: Half of California Children on Government Healthcare for the Poor

When a government redefines "poor" to include only having one television or car, living with less then 100 channels of cable programming, or being so all-encompassing that in now enables half of all children in California to enroll in government healthcare for the impoverished, you know beyond a shadow of doubt, that government is dangerously close to extinguishing the light of Liberty. 

  And this is a spot on synopsis on that story from Megan McArdle at Bloomberg
... At every turn, when it has come time to actually make people bear the price [of Obamacare], the government has blinked. The employer mandate was delayed, cuts to Medicare Advantage were delayed, deadlines to purchase insurance were pushed back, and now the need to repay excess subsidies has been eased. Remember, these payments were increased just a few years back in order to pay for the repeal of a different, unworkable part of the bill: the provision that would have required people to issue 1099s to anyone who sold them more than $600 worth of stuff. 
But the political logic is inescapable: A bunch of people are about to find out that they got too much in subsidies, and now they owe the IRS hundreds, possibly even thousands, of dollars. Many of those people won't have the money, and they are about to get very upset. So the Barack Obama administration did what it has done before: nursed the program forward with administrative rulings that minimize the political blowback. Presumably the idea is that by the time it actually lets the cost side take effect, so many people will be getting subsidies that it will be effectively impossible to repeal. ...