In addition to the "outs" provided in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) itself, the Obama administration has engineered 14 ways uninsured Americans can avoid paying a penalty for not having health insurance, according to today's Wall Street Journal.
An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation has discovered that about 90 percent of the nation's 30 million uninsured won't pay a penalty in 2016 when the assessment rises from 2014's 1 percent of income to 2.5 percent, according to the report. The result will be that only 4 million of the 30 million estimated uninsured will be subject to a tax penalty in 2016.
Earlier this year, the administration released a hardship form detailing 14 reasons for not having health insurance and thus being waived from the no-insurance penalty. The outs included having your previous policy canceled, suffering domestic violence, experiencing property damage from fire or flood, and the last category — "another hardship — please submit documentation if possible."
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says 77,000 individuals and families had applied for exemptions as of April, but many exemption requests can only be accomplished on tax forms submitted in 2015.
The exemptions provided by the ACA include Native Americans, illegal immigrants and certain religious sects.
Observed Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the CBO and president of the American Action Forum, a conservative think tank, of the exemptions' push: "If your pajamas don't fit well, you don't need health insurance, It basically waives the individual mandate."
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