Health Care-mudgeons

The title of Ross Douthat’s NYT column,”Obamacare, failing ahead of schedule,” was the icing on the crap cake of criticism. Look, I wanted a simpler single-payer plan myself, but these idiots have no idea how convoluted the process already is for those of us on the individual insurance market. I’ll take a few computer glitches over the excruciating, week-long process of putting my medical history on endless pages of forms, which could later be used to drop me coverage when I most need it. Nothing could be worse than that.


  • Andy Cers

    There should be two more panels of “Health Care mudgeons”
    here. The first would be a single mom with two kids. Jenny used to get health
    care at her full time restaurant job, but no longer. Her hours were reduced
    from 40+ to 28 and now she will have to pay for health care out of pocket from
    her reduced take home pay and is scared she can no longer afford rent in the
    nice neighborhood she selected to give her kids safety and good public schools.
    The second is a man who used to have a good full time career which ended in the
    recession and he has only been able find sporaadic part time work in his field.
    So he started a small subchapter-S business. Because S-corp businesses taxes
    are paid through the individual owners taxes, he discovered that his small business
    that he was drawing a barely adequate paycheck from caused him to not qualify
    for ACA subsidies. He had been going uninsured for several years, paying for
    his health care out of pocket as needed. Now he will be forced to buy an
    expensive policy he cannot afford or be fined by the IRS. His other choice would be to quit working building a business altogether – and go on public assistance and Medicaid.

  • ct

    Mr “S” gets a subsidy for his family of four (wife and two kids) even if he makes $90k/yr. Yes, that includes any business profit (divided by the number of business owners). No, it does not count gross income: if his business costs him $900k/yr and brings in $990k/yr, the total business income is $90k. So he can retain $10k of profit for next year, and pay himself $80k, and and still get his subsidy … or pay himself the entire $90k, and still get his subsidy. (There’s no advantage to retaining the money in an S corp, it moves freely from personal to corporate and back; that’s the whole POINT of an S corp; if he wants a different structure, he can move to a C corp.) The obvious reason his “barely adequate” $80-90k paycheck might not cover a plan before would be a pre-existing condition, which might have raised the cost of insurance to $30k/yr. Now a silver plan, for the same family of four, will cost him around $6-7k/yr, with the subsidy, because of his “barely adequate” $90k total income. Oh my, how DREADFUL! (I suppose he could cough up the couple hundred bucks of fine instead. How likely is breast cancer anyway? And whooping cough, well, that’s so rarely fatal! Besides, surely one of the kids is a spare.)

    As for Jenny, well, if you know anyone who’s worked for a restaurant, you know she simply doesn’t exist. She’s like the “ACA-based cut” Paul Cox talked about:

  • Andy Cers

    Jenny is my sweetie’s daughter in law. She has two kids like I said and reported her employer reduced most staff to 28 hours max due to the ACA. She told us about this two weeks ago. The other example is someone in my family. None of what I posted was imaginary. If you want to seek imaginary tales just stick with

  • ct

    The financial community doesn’t see ACA pushing employers into part-time either:

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.