I was a stalwart all through the past four years plus, never wavering when others jumped on and off the bandwagon. But this NYT article just crushed me like a grape:
The Obama administration adopted a strict definition of affordable health insurance on Wednesday that will deny federal financial assistance to millions of Americans with modest incomes who cannot afford family coverage offered by employers.I have been without health coverage since the 1990s. (Continued below the fold...)
In deciding whether an employer’s health plan is affordable, the Internal Revenue Service said it would look at the cost of coverage only for an individual employee, not for a family. Family coverage might be prohibitively expensive, but federal subsidies would not be available to help buy insurance for children in the family.
The policy decision came in a final regulation interpreting ambiguous language in the 2010 health care law.
I had been banking on being able to finally get health care starting January 1, 2014. Three days over the past few years have been especially meaningful (after, of course, Election Night '08 and the January 2009 inauguration): the day the PPACA law passed, the day the SCOTUS mostly upheld it, and this past Election Day (which seemed to seal its prospects against ever being repealed, though at the moment I'm less sure of that).
My wife works as a primary school special ed teacher. Her job provides decent insurance for her with no premium. To add me and our kids to the policy, though, would cost $577 a month out of a paycheck that right now is only $2400 a month, take home, and does not stretch super far as it is. This is just plain unaffordable for us. Yet the news is, we are shit out of luck.
Almost insulting are the paltry breadcrumbs found in the "silver lining":
Under the law, people who go without insurance will generally be subject to tax penalties. In a separate proposed regulation issued on Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service said that the uninsured children and spouse of an employee would be exempt from the penalties if the cost of coverage for the entire family under an employer’s plan was more than 8 percent of household income.As someone pithily put it on the SDMB thread I coincidentally started the day before this news came out (because I was trying to figure out where we stood vis-a-vis the law):
So rather than helping me get my family covered, you just won't punish us because we can't afford it? Thank you Obama.This will be comforting to Tea Party paranoiacs, I suppose. To me? Not so much.
The same commenter wrote:
Democrats had better be careful. It looks like the Pubs might be right on what a clusterfuck this will be.Indeed. I am beyond livid here...despairing, really. How can this be happening?!?
4:11 PM PT: Our total gross income is $46,000, about 200 percent of the FPL so no dice on the Medicaid expansion. The truly perverse part is that if my wife's job had no health insurance at all, we could all get on the exchange for just over $200 a month total.
I may actually have to consider divorcing her as my own income is less than the threshold to get the Medicaid expansion (if my reddish state joins that) or at least get a cheap policy from the federal exchange. Not exactly a pro-marriage policy though!
Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:38 AM PT: Anyone who might doubt me when I say, essentially, that if they are losing ME of all people, they are really screwing the pooch, just take a quick peek at this diary I wrote a year and a half ago: