The left’s advice on how to make Obamacare affordable is

According to Kathleen Pender from the San Francisco Chronicler for everyone that is right on that cusp where Obamacare goes from “paid for with other people’s money” to “you are going to be paying a shit ton more so the freeloaders can get free shit” is to lower their income!

People whose 2014 income will be a little too high to get subsidized health insurance from Covered California next year should start thinking now about ways to lower it to increase their odds of getting the valuable tax subsidy.

“If they can adjust (their income), they should,” says Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation. “It’s not cheating, it’s allowed.” Under the Affordable Care Act, if your 2014 income is between 138 and 400 percent of poverty level for your household size, you can purchase health insurance on a state-run exchange (such as Covered California) and receive a federal tax subsidy to offset all or part of your premium.

If your income falls below 138 percent of poverty, you qualify for Medicaid, which provides no-cost health care to low-income people. In California, it’s called Medi-Cal. If your income is higher than 400 percent of poverty, you can purchase a policy on or off the exchange, but in either case, you won’t get a subsidy and the policy must provide certain essential benefits that many low-cost individual policies lack today, such as maternity care.

And that’s their message in its simplest form: be poor! Cause if you are not, you are gonna get ass raped by the government. As I have often said: the one thing progressive “social justice” policies can guarantee us all is equality of misery and poverty. That’s because it’s the easiest thing to do. And I have over 100 years of history to back it up. Welcome to the jungle…

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  1. Seattle Outcast

    All I know so far is that my wife’s selection at work vanished and she’ll have to choose another one, and my work started really pushing a high deductible plan that didn’t exist a year ago. And by “high”, I mean over 3 times what the previously offered high deductible plan limit was, nearly $13,000.

    The plan I’ve been putting my wife and I on for the last 13 years is still there, but for how much longer?

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  2. Hal_10000

    Gee, it’s almost like the critics who pointed out that Obamacare created 100+% marginal rates at certain levels of income were right. Too bad they ignored us.

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    I like that – “adjust your family income”… downward.

    Hey, sucker, you make too much money. Better drop one of those part time jobs you were forced to get in order to pay off your college loans while also getting food and rent taken care. Better yet, ask your primary employer to convert your current job from full time to part time, or negotiate a wage decrease.

    Only a “Progressive” would such “insight” on how to solve your money issues…

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  4. AlexInCT *

    All I know so far is that my wife’s selection at work vanished and she’ll have to choose another one, and my work started really pushing a high deductible plan that didn’t exist a year ago. And by “high”, I mean over 3 times what the previously offered high deductible plan limit was, nearly $13,000.

    I used to have an HSA at my previous employer. It had a high decuctable doughnut after the first $1000 of around $4700. After that everything was coverd at 90%. I paid about 15% of what I am paying now for my plan, and these days I have fewer people on my plan, but even accounting for the fact this was over 5 years ago, that’s one heck of a jump. BTW, most of that hike came over the last 2 years. My annual premiums are up by an insane number the last 2 years.

    Anyway, I loved that HSA because it helped with my tax situation. I put away the maximum annual contribution every year I was in it and never took a penny out of it. In all but one year I didn’t have my medical expenses go over the $1K initial coverage. The year it did go over, I also ate through the $4700 out of pocket deductible, but I still never took money out of the HSA savings account. I kept my bills and I then took as much money out of the savings account that final year when i left that employer. Lets just say I could have paid for a car if I had wanted to do that.

    None of the plans Obamacare allows will do anything but rip me the fuck off while lowering my quality of care. But hey, “Social Justice”!

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  5. AlexInCT *

    A “progressive” insight?

    Not sure what you meant CM, but it was a vehicle to escape onerous taxation levels just because I worked hard to get educated and then worked hard to earn money. Progressives usually don’t bother with this stuff. People like Tim Geithner would simply not pay taxes until he was under scrutiny.

    Frankly I would have preferred lower tax rates and a completely different healthcare system where the healthcare insurance actually was an insurance plan to protect you against catastrophic events or illnesses, and you paid for your own care otherwise. Have I mentioned how much I hate these rigged systems that allow government bureaucrats to control who wins and who loses at the game of life, before? Flat tax for everyone. No hand outs and no regulation that allows politicians to collect cash for favors. That’s social justice.

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  6. CM

    “Not sure what you meant CM, but it was a vehicle to escape onerous taxation levels”

    Which is exactly what the point of the article is. People always try to make it look like their incomes are lower so they pay less tax. This is doing the same thing so they pay less for health insurance. What is the difference?
    Did you read the second page of your own article?

    Suggesting “Better drop one of those part time jobs you were forced to get in order to pay off your college loans while also getting food and rent taken care. Better yet, ask your primary employer to convert your current job from full time to part time, or negotiate a wage decrease” is completely disingenuous, as if that’s the only way to reduce their official ‘income’. And it’s a little strange that apparently “only a “Progressive” would such “insight” on how to solve your money issues…” when accountants the world over spend a considerable amount of time instructing rich people of all political persuasions how to pay less tax by reducing their personal income in the paperwork.
    Pretending the author’s only answer is “work less” is just silly and demonstrably false. And yet people are happy to jump aboard, so I guess why wouldn’t you.

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  7. hist_ed

    CM that happens with any income dependent tax of benefit. The big problem highlighted here with Obama care is how steep the cutoff is. You make $1 more than the righteous amount and you lose thousands in subsidies. Just like hiring that 50th employee (or working that 30th hour), the cost of hitting the limit is astronomical. Add this to the long line of liberal disincentives to work hard. I bet millions of people will be checking their paychecks in December and crapping out on work a lot. “Hey boss, I know I scheduled for 5 shifts over next weeks but I have to take an unpaid leave. The $900 pay will cost my $4000).” Or

    “Hey boys we did really well this year, so I am upping the Christmas bonus by $1500″

    “NOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

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  8. CM

    I do see your point. Specific (rather than graduated) cut-offs are very blunt.
    It all depends on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)

    From Alex’s article:

    There are several ways to reduce MAGI. If you are working, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to an individual retirement account, 401(k) or other workplace plan for 2014. (IRA contributions for 2014 can be made until April 15, 2015.)

    You might be able to take advantage of other deductions that appear above the AGI line on your tax return, such as student loan interest and tuition and fees.

    Don’t worry about itemized deductions (for charitable contributions, mortgage interest, state income taxes and such). They won’t impact your MAGI because they come below AGI on your tax return.

    What you can deduct from your income starting-point is listed here:
    http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/healthcare/MAGI_summary13.pdf

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  9. Seattle Outcast

    Worse, you fail to see how fucked up Obamacare is, even after having it carefully explained to you in monosyllables and crayon.

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  10. InsipiD

    “If they can adjust (their income), they should,” says Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation. “It’s not cheating, it’s allowed.”

    Kaiser’s employee cafeteria definitely serves Kool-Aid.

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  11. CM

    “Worse, you fail to see how fucked up Obamacare is, even after having it carefully explained to you in monosyllables and crayon.”

    I didn’t even comment on how fucked up it is (I’m addressing a specific argument being made). As usual, you’ll apparently decide my opinion for me. Just like you got to determine polling last year. Same level of accuracy too.

    “Kaiser’s employee cafeteria definitely serves Kool-Aid.”

    Again, how is that suggestion any different from the advice and daily work of every single accountant to show as little income on people’s tax returns as possible (lawfully) so they pay less tax? Yes, I understand that there are specific cut-offs (which makes it a very blunt mechanism), but that just provides an even greater incentive to find ways of reducing your stated income. So all accountants drink Kool-Aid?

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  12. Seattle Outcast

    I didn’t even comment on how fucked up it is (I’m addressing a specific argument being made). As usual, you’ll apparently decide my opinion for me. Just like you got to determine polling last year. Same level of accuracy too.

    Please, you blast your opinion far and wide, and what the hell is this continual crap about “polling” that you can’t let go of? Did you post something that I never bothered to read that somehow allows you to claim a “win”, or is this your continued denial of calling Somalia a libertarian paradise?

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  13. Mississippi Yankee

    “If they can adjust (their income), they should,” says Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation. “It’s not cheating, it’s allowed.”

    If I’m reading this bint (and CM) correctly the “new normal” is to continue to earn right up until one reaches the ObamaCare salary limit cliff. At that point it is recommended to roll over, let the government scratch your tummy for the remainder of the year.

    It also means that any personal AND professional potential should be shelved all in an effort to “go along to get along”.

    American Exceptionalism be damned, this is a full assault on everyones Individual Exceptionalism. And it comes at no surprise that the usual socialist suspects are running around with their tiny penises erect yelling how much this is a good idea and they in fact ‘do it all the time’.

    Once again I weep for my fallen Republic.

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  14. CM

    Please, you blast your opinion far and wide, and what the hell is this continual crap about “polling” that you can’t let go of? Did you post something that I never bothered to read that somehow allows you to claim a “win”, or is this your continued denial of calling Somalia a libertarian paradise?

    Where have I said ANYTHING positive about Obamacare? I’ve certainly never claimed Somalia as being anything, let alone a libertarian paradise (you’ve yet to provide any evidence, let alone anyone who can recall me doing so). But that has never, and clearly will never, stop you making shit up to please yourself.
    The ongoing polling references relate to how you dismissed all polling and clung on grimly to the sham that was ‘unskewedpolls.com’. And I bet you learnt not a single thing from the experience. It illustrates that you’re the Dick Morris of the blog – inexplicably getting almost everything wrong, but mindlessly continuing as if it doesn’t happen.

    It also means that any personal AND professional potential should be shelved all in an effort to “go along to get along”.

    So that’s what accountants tell their clients too then?

    Once again I weep for my fallen Republic.

    It does suck that you feel that way.

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  15. hist_ed

    CM I thought my explanation was clear enough that you could draw a distinction. You acknowledged it but then seem to think it is not unusual and compare it to normal tax credits and deductions. Here it is a little easier: All of the other deductions phase out gradually. I am aware of no other provision in the tax code that has this perverse effect. If I am looking at an IRA contribution, not making it means that I lose about 30% of it to taxes. If I screw up my yearly income calculation and go $400 over the obamacare limit, then I pay something like 1000% tax on that $400. If I am making just under the limit in salary and my boss offers me a raise, I am going to turn it down (interestingly in some union jobs that might not be possible-as a teacher I get a raise every year and it is a contract violation for me to try to turn it down). My income is at the level that certain deductions and credit are getting phased out but with all of them, if I make more money I keep some of that greater income.

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