Skip to main content

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.

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 have been without health coverage since the 1990s.  (Continued below the fold...)

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the day the SCOTUS mostly upheld it, and this past Election Day (which seemed to seal its prospects against ever being repealed, though at the moment I'm less sure of that).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:

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Alumbrados, paradox, hester, copymark, left of center, irmaly, Natural Anthem, Tod Westlake, MouseThatRoared, liz, Troutfishing, jdld, Pompatus, RFK Lives, hnichols, niemann, Heart of the Rockies, TheMomCat, concernedamerican, Boston Boomer, TracieLynn, BlackSheep1, kalihikane, whenwego, CoolOnion, bluesteel, stevej, mkfarkus, roses, chechecule, CanisMaximus, retLT, Nate Roberts, Iberian, arreay, revsue, Joe Bacon, emmasnacker, Dallasdoc, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, Boppy, gerrilea, HeyMikey, dwahzon, discontent73, Calidrissp, grrr, riverlover, Armand451, weelzup, nailbender, Skennet Boch, joanneleon, Bluesee, Simian, marina, 3goldens, denise b, LakeSuperior, qofdisks, caul, tolerant, offred, ccasas, ChemBob, stagemom, chidmf, owlbear1, Dem Beans, Tool, Ozzie, petestern, WisePiper, Ginny in CO, sodalis, distraught, daddybunny, peacestpete, splashoil, martini, esquimaux, rcbowman, profundo, HoundDog, blueoasis, DarkestHour, triv33, global citizen, twigg, gooderservice, el cid, Unitary Moonbat, doinaheckuvanutjob, fiddlingnero, Dreaming of Better Days, shaharazade, Nulwee, Aaa T Tudeattack, NonnyO, cpresley, BentLiberal, krwheaton, seabos84, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, pfiore8, hawaii2, Dartagnan, puakev, FishOutofWater, Mary Mike, DWG, Swill to Power, HCKAD, pioneer111, leonard145b, Don midwest, JDWolverton, End game, Steve15, poligirl, Arlys, Alexandre, filby, treesrock, monkeybrainpolitics, Lujane, tofumagoo, dewley notid, smartdemmg, pickandshovel, Horsefeathers, LaEscapee, Mike Taylor, ZhenRen, Rick Aucoin, Sarge in Seattle, notrouble, mkor7, UnaSpenser, Keith Pickering, Losty, PhotogHog, sfarkash, schnecke21, Leftcandid, indie17, The Jester, fidellio, biggiefries, angelajean, mookins, pixxer, Lady Libertine, melfunction, Funkygal, Johnny Q, Betty Pinson, swansong50, slice, TAH from SLC, slowbutsure, marleycat, Wolf10, evangeline135, muddy boots, KVoimakas, LSmith, Grandma Susie, jgnyc, corvaire, peregrine kate, PhilJD, disconnect the dots, Hayate Yagami, jolux, kareylou, Lucy2009, annecros, PrometheusUnbound, ArtemisBSG, BlueDragon, IndieGuy, orestes1963, Lonely Texan, FloridaSNMOM, Mr Robert, Canines and Crocodiles, james321, Marjmar, katiec, Australian2, argomd, dear occupant, Alhambra, Mannie, Blazehawkins, Love Me Slender

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site