I've been on DKos since 2003, but I haven't had many recommended diaries. One that did make the rec list, though, was this anguished rant from 2013, lamenting the fact that Obamacare would not, as I had been expecting, take me off the rolls of the uninsured, thanks to the "family glitch" (though I am exempt from the penalty--small consolation).
More recently, I learned that the situation threatens to get worse: in September my kids will lose their CHIP coverage if Congress doesn't act (not holding my breath, for obvious reasons) and fall into the "glitch" themselves. Al Franken and Hillary Clinton want to change this, but Al is in the Senate minority, and Hillary can't do anything until January 2017 at the earliest. All signs indicate that President Obama could fix it himself, now, without the help of Congress (or the Supreme Court), with just the stroke of a pen. So why won't he?!?
From the article linked above the fold:
While the Obama administration could undo the family glitch without legislation, that hasn’t happened, for reasons that remain unclear.
"Reasons that remain unclear"?!? Seriously, what the FUCK? We've had to run a gauntlet with the Supreme Court, twice
, in terms of other parts of the law. But in an area where it's totally in his power, he just doesn't see fit to cover us? And, I mean: the pretzel logic behind this fixable "glitch" makes the recent SCOTUS case look completely rational by comparison. Coverage is affordable for my wife (a special ed teacher) to cover just herself, therefore it's affordable for the whole family, even though it's not. Yeah, okay.
I mentioned that Al Franken is on the case. Also from that article:
The President’s inaction has prompted some in Congress to propose a legislative patch. Enter Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and 22 mostly Democratic co-sponsors of a bill called the Family Coverage Act.
Franken’s office explains how it would tackle the problem:
The legislation does this by defining affordable job-based health coverage by what is affordable for a family, not just an individual employee. Unlike the current interpretation of the law, this definition is in line with what was intended by Congress, and would allow families that currently do not have access to affordable health coverage through an employer to access tax credits to buy their coverage.
Sounds reasonable, right? GovTrack.us gives the bill, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance, a zero percent chance of being enacted.
Zero percent. :( But this should be irrelevant, because the president should just do it himself.
The light at the end of the tunnel is that Hillary seems to be on board:
Hillary Clinton says she will propose fixes for ObamaCare over the course of her presidential campaign, while strongly defending the law as a whole.
In an interview with The Des Moines Register published on Sunday, she cited the “family glitch,” which prevents some low-income families from qualifying for subsidies under the law as one example of something she should seek to fix.
Some low-income families don't qualify for subsidies because the definition of “affordable” employer-based coverage only takes into account the cost of individual plans and not family plans.
For that matter, I see no reason why Bernie Sanders would not do the same if he pulls off a dark horse victory. He is ultimately for single payer, but he voted for the ACA and I have no doubt he would seek to make it cover more Americans if it were in his power to do so.
But either way, that still leaves at least a year and a half of unnecessary waiting, and worrying. Why, why, why won't the president do the right thing?!? I seriously do not get this, and it really sucks because I have been such an admirer of Obama otherwise. But it's hard to feel very good about him when he is just casually leaving me, and soon my kids, without health coverage "for reasons that remain unclear".