Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nanny State Tuesdays - Week 5

Not much going on this week, other than the bull$%^& SCOTUS ruling that Obamacare is a tax. Last I checked any time you get hit with a payment for doing something "wrong" it's a fine, not a tax. First time I can think of that the federal government has established the requirement to buy something or you have pay a "tax" into the general fund.

I realize not many people have actually read the entire bill (I did, my eyes are still bleeding months after I've finished). For those that didn't know, the tax that gets levelled on you if you don't have insurance that meets the government's requirements goes into the general fund not the Medicare/Medicaid fund. You do not get healthcare coverage from this. You do however lose a ton of funding for Medicare. Oh, you also get taxed if you have too good of a health insurance plan (what they call Cadillac healthcare plans). Nice, huh? If you make a decent paycheck and have really good healthcare you still eat a healthcare tax. Isn't that something in the vein of triple taxation by the way? Your company gets taxed, you get taxed on income, and then you get taxed again for having a good health plan.

Also, the ACA being upheld means a lot of part-time employees are going to be in pain shortly. I'd bet money that few people know the number of hours considered part-time has been adjusted when it comes to required healthcare coverage by their employer. Anyone who works 30 or more hours per week is considered full-time by the ACA, and thus must be covered by the employer unless they have less than 50 employees (that number gets reached very quickly when the majority of your employees are part-time), otherwise the employer eats a rather large fine ($2000 month if I remember right, I'd have to run back through the document to confirm). So if you have a part-time job you might want to plan to get another one, once that takes effect in 2014 you'll probably be losing hours.

The only positive thing to the mandate getting called a tax is that in 2014 as soon as someone pays the fine they can bring it back up in the Supreme Court as unconstitutional because it's actually a fine for non-participation. The SCOTUS is required to rule the document constitutional if it's a tax because a tax cannot be challenged until someone has actually paid it thanks to the Anti-Injunction Act.

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