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Your ♡bamaCare!!! Fail of the Day

March 28th, 2014 - 7:18 am

John Berlau details an escape hatch for small business owners caught paying the “liberty tax.” This one is news to me, even after watching the train wreck unfold for four years:

Buried in Section 1501 on page 148 of the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an exemption from the individual mandate for a “health care sharing ministry,” a group whose members “share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and share medical expenses among members in accordance with those beliefs.” For any member of such group, the law says, “No penalty shall be imposed.”

It’s somewhat of a mystery how those pushing the law allowed such a potentially large exemption to the individual mandate to be inserted in the first place. This is definitely a case in which the law’s supporters, four years after the law has passed, don’t seem to know what’s in it. But fortunately, many Americans are finding and utilizing this escape hatch.

Health care ministries have been around since the 1990s, but they have grown by leaps and bounds since Obamacare passed and especially since the disastrous launch of the exchanges last fall. According to FoxNews.com, “Since the launch of HealthCare.gov on Oct. 1, membership at each of the ministries has exploded, with nearly 30,000 new enrollees — more than the number of people who selected a plan through Obamacare in 24 states.”

Health care ministries are not insurance in the sense that there is no contractual obligation to cover any service. As described by CatholicVote.org, “It’s a program in which members make a monthly monetary donation which is matched with the needs of other members who face medical bills, thus covering each others’ medical costs through a program of mutual, voluntary giving.”

Membership is exploding? No doubt. There’s an old saw I’ve never been able to source, but I remember it like so: “Show me a man’s incentives, and I’ll tell you what he does.”

♡bamaCare!!! incentivizes all kinds of odd, perverse, or previously almost unheard-of behaviors.

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All Comments   (4)
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Not exactly unheard-of. This sounds very much like the mutual-aid societies that were common in the pre-New Deal era.

So now we'll be able to band together in mutual-aid societies to help pay for our trips to the medical speakeasies. Forward! to the 1920's!
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have been told that this exception was insisted upon in the bill voting process for the same reason the Amish are permitted exceptions to FICA tax for social security and Medicare coverage, and workers compensation. The ACA would have imposed a comparable burden, and some Members and Senators wanted to provide the same exemptions.

The problem with huge and invasive government programs is that drafting rules to provide exceptions becomes impossible, opening the door too wide or missing the objective entirely. The opportunities for gaming the system and corrupting things just multiply like crazy.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's another saying that goes something like: if a business takes an action that makes no sense, you can be sure it was done for tax reasons. Which is a nice way of saying the tax code has many tools for damaging the economy.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Never read it, don't know what's in it, couldn't build it, can't manage it and have not a clue who or how many have paid for it.

In other words, the dorm room stoners seized one sixth of our economy and decided to give chance a piece.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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