Tuesday, May 14, 2013

If Only Conservatives Spent This Much Time Trying To Actually Help People

Over at the Washington Post, Sarah Kliff did a piece on what would happen if someone didn't pay the Obamacare tax penalty. The question was asked by a 61 year old conservative named "Gene", who is not a fan of Obamacare and has come up with a brilliant plan to really sock it to Obama:

Gene is a self-employed New Yorker  who currently purchases his own health insurance. He also is a strong opponent of Obamacare. And starting next year, Gene plans to drop his health coverage in express protest of the health law’s mandate.

“I will cancel my insurance the instant I can no longer be denied insurance for preexisting conditions,” Gene wrote in an e-mail Sunday night. “I will not fill out the special IRS form.”
 But how will Gene avoid paying the penalty?

If an individual does not carry insurance coverage and does not have exemptions, that’s where a tax penalty could come into play. In 2014, the health law includes a $95 penalty for not carrying health insurance. This penalty is administered by the Internal Revenue Service through the tax return system. In order to collect, the IRS will typically dock that amount from an individual’s tax return.

Gene has, however, already thought this issue through. He plans to adjust his “quarterly estimated payments to ensure I do not have a tax refund, which I understand to be the only source from which the IRS can extract any penalties that I refuse to pay voluntarily.”

 Very clever. Wait, I'm sorry, I meant "douchey".

So just to review, Gene apparently wants to drop his insurance once it becomes okay for him to buy insurance without the need to worry about pre-existing conditions, break the law by not buying insurance, making it impossible for himself to be then punished by the law, and then presumably buying insurance eventually when he gets sick.

Seriously, is there any better encapsulation of the teabagger mindset than this? I thought conservatives hated the idea of people gaming the system? 

Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean Gene's advocating that anyone actually do this (it's one of those thinking-out-loud hypothetical questions that conservatives often ask, like "What if Obama were assassinated?"). It's why he requested that Kliff not reveal his last name, though did request to include a link to his blog, which incidentally, does include his last name.

Wonder if Obamacare covers dementia...

Update: Turns out Gene Schwimmer, isn't any ordinary mouthbreather. He's written several articles for the ultra right-wing American Thinker, as well.


  1. Xenos: Very well written. Keep it up!

  2. As it stands now, Gene will probably pull this off.

    Where he may become surprised is when he gets sick, he won't be able to get/apply (for) health insurance until open enrollment 2014 (Oct 1 - Dec 7, 2014). So, were Gene to become ill or fall off of a ladder or blow out a knee (next year), he will be fully responsible for all of those medical bills. Or, perhaps, if the bill is large enough, he may file for bankruptcy as people do now.

    Oh, and Gene, please don't forget that the self-employed are eligible to tax deduct their health insurance premiums which makes your health insurance even, shall we say, 'cheaper'. I'll go with less expensive.

    And if you can set up/qualify for an HRA, then you can tax deduct your health insurance premiums from your self employment tax as well, further reducing the 'real' cost of your health insurance.

    There are likely to be options available for the non-subsidized outside of The Exchange from 'the private marketplace' that Gene may like, but like most Repub/Conservatives he will never admit or acknowledge the right direction in which health insurance (or access to health care) is now moving.

    I wonder if he would feel differently were he a diabetic. As a diabetic, he would have never been able to get health insurance in the first place from the private marketplace. No individual carrier would insure him. He would have had to find a corporate job (or have his wife find one) in order to get a guaranteed issue group policy.

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