If You Like Your Exemption, Keep It: 90% Of Uninsured Won't Pay Obamacare Penalties

Tyler Durden's picture

No insurance, no penalty appears to be Obamacare's new meme as The Wall Street Journal reports almost 90% of the nation's 30 million uninsured won't pay a penalty in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement. In the interests of socialism, the Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine (on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects). The list of exemptions runs deep but one exemption for people who "experienced another hardship obtaining health insurance" (requiring documentation if possible but not requiring it) has been notably criticized as too broad. The exemptions are worrying insurers, as they could make it easier for younger, healthier people to forgo coverage, leaving the pools overly filled with old people or those with health problems. That, in turn, could cause premiums to rise.



As The Wall Street Journal reports,

Almost 90% of the nation's 30 million uninsured won't pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement.




The Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine based on hardships, including suffering domestic violence, experiencing substantial property damage from a fire or flood, and having a canceled insurance plan.


Those come on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects.


Critics have assailed one exemption for people who "experienced another hardship obtaining health insurance" as too broad. That exemption asks for documentation if possible but doesn't require it.




Factoring in the new exemptions, the congressional report in June lowered the number of people it expects to pay the fine in 2016 to four million, from its previous projection of six million.

The exemptions are worrying insurers.

The penalties were intended as a cudgel to increase the number of people signing up, thereby maximizing the pool of insured. Insurers are concerned that the exemptions could make it easier for younger, healthier people to forgo coverage, leaving the pools overly filled with old people or those with health problems. That, in turn, could cause premiums to rise.


Patrick Getzen, vice president and chief actuary at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, said he saw more "older and sicker people" enrolled in 2014 than projected. He attributed some of that to the weakened mandate.


"With a stronger penalty and less broad exemptions, that would be better for the risk pool."

The White House response to all this...

"The Affordable Care Act requires people who can afford insurance to buy it, so that their medical bills are not passed onto the rest of us, which drives up health care costs for everyone."

*  *  *
So, shut up and pay...

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SemperFudge's picture

MOAR health care!!!!

After all, why rob my EBT benefits to pay my Obamacare penalty?

Pladizow's picture

Adverse Selection - Bitches!

Kinda like the way Obummer got elected?

zaphod's picture

This just proves that obamacare was always about freebies for votes, all their arguments fall away if you take away the mandate.

pods's picture

I was gonna pay the fine but my hard drive crashed, Bitchez!


NoDebt's picture

I've been railing about this disaster coming down the tracks since I got to ZH.  Obamacare is working exactly as designed.  To ruin the middle class.

If I had the choice between removing Obama from office today or nullifying all of Obamacare, I would jettison Obamacare.  Believe me, I'd be doing you a bigger favor, by far.


notquantumdum's picture

Ironically, you shouldn't have to.

If there are certain groups of people who are exempted from the individual mandate for things which cannot be changed -- such as being a member of a Native American tribe -- and others cannot join these groups of people through their own actions, how does that comply with the equal protection clause of the Constitution?  Doesn't this clearly penalize some people more than others for reasons which are not at all based on their behavior or income?  Doesn't this also mean that this legislation is effectively a "bill of attainder" [also prohibited by the Constitution] for all the rest of us who are not a member of one of these tribes, as we are being singled out for penalties without any due process; whereas, the protected groups are not?

That would seem to be yet another reason why the Patient Destruction and Unaffordable Care Act cannot be Constitutional [no matter how many times the Supreme Court says otherwise].

Of course, the main reason would appear to be that the Federal Government -- due to the 10th Amendment and the rest of the Constitution -- does not have the "delegated" authority to mandate what forms of health care insurance are legal, or not, unless they first permit interstate commerce of health care insurance, so that it falls under the interstate commerce regulation which they are delegated to have.  And also, of course, the Supreme Court doesn't even appear to have considered this aspect of this "law's" constitutionality, or the above-mentioned one regarding equal protection.

There seem to be a lot of parts of the US Constitution and its Amendments which just are not followed anymore.

Can I just join the Amish?

p00k1e's picture


Summary: H.R.4009 — 113th Congress (2013-2014) Introduced in House (02/06/2014)

Protect Academic Freedom Act - Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to prohibit institutions of higher education (IHEs) from being eligible to receive any form of financial assistance under such Act if the Secretary of Education determines that they are participating in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions or scholars.



ebworthen's picture

Where is the list of 14 exemptions?

I'm going to need one 'cause I ain't payin' for that shit.

I'm on ZH so I may as well convert to Islam, they get a pass, right? (hi NSA)

I'd file an exemption as a Christian based on birth control/abortion, but they're even making the Nuns pay so that won't work.

Does mental illness work? 

I was visited by the Grays once, and they implanted a monitoring device in my forehead after gathering sperm.  I'm pretty sure they traveled back in time and used it to inseminate Neanderthal Females.  I'm probably all of y'all's seminal ancestor.  They're probably broadcasting my daily life on some alien channel; did I mention I turn off street lights at night when I drive under them?

I'd have to be crazy to pay $400/month with a $10,000 deductible and a 30% co-pay for something called "insurance", wouldn't I?

Oh wait...

lordylord's picture

We now know whats in it. Conservatives and libertarians were right all along.  Libtards/socialists were wrong.  Sadly, I won't be expecting an apology or reimbursement for the wasted tax money.  Even sadder, i'll be expecting single payer to be rammed down our throats once the libtards/socialists figure out that they need to steal more money and take away more freedom to finally make healthcare "free". 

NoDebt's picture

Pelosi was right- we did have to pass it to see what was in it.  Pass it, spend 3 years implementing it, launching it, watching it sink, watching it be re-floated and then then telling everyone to get on board where they are held captive and robbed at gunpoint.

p00k1e's picture

Republicans should sue Obama using taxpayer funded legal firms operated by Republicans, of course. 

The constituents will feel good. 

Lost My Shorts's picture

You cons and tarians were full of crap all along, in bed with the rapacious health care industry and determined that the USA should remain the only developed country where medical costs routinely bankrupt the middle class.  Maybe not you personally, but all the contards who matter.  Let me get my violin and play you some libtard blues.

Libtards wanted above all the public option, which would have allowe a non-profit government program designed like Medicare to compete with private insurance, but you contards fought it with all your might and won.  Obamacare is your bastard child, yes.  Yes, Obamacare was designed to fail, and the sooner the better, so all is well.  Hopefully the next step will be a public option, after the profitized Obamacare scheme implodes due to adverse selection.

N.B. medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy among the middle class, including those who had private "insurance".  The rich can afford everything.  The poor get it free.  Privileged segments like government employees, unions, and corproate knowledge workers have gold plated insurance and don't care.  Frog the rest, you say.  Thanks.

Dingleberry's picture

If libtards wanted a public option....they went the PRECISE WRONG DIRECTION with Obammycare.

Obammycare was nothing but a gift to the insurance companies that would make a repub (who took massive campaign cash from them) blush.

So next time, you libtards (you seem to want a public option, hence you are a libtard) maybe should think before demanding to destroy yourselves.

Healthcare is expensive BECAUSE you libtards wanted to give everything to everyone, and everyone acted like it was a free buffet. This is why people go BK. Healthcare would be reasonable except that the gov decided to "help" and then you know what happened to prices.  People were seperated from the consequences of their actions, and acted accordingly. Now the chickens have come home....to collect.

I bet you think there is a way in this country (with very diverse morals and agendas) for everyone to be covered for everything. And no one goes broke doing it.

Pass the bong. I want some.


zerozulu's picture

Taxes and penalties means nothing when you can Ctrl-P

Uncle Sugar's picture

If only I could Ctrl-P. I have to pony up 'real' Bernie bucks.

takeaction's picture

I pay for my own Insurance....and I have been canceled twice......each time I have had to "RE UP" the payment is the same, but they have gamed the numbers.  I liked my old policy...but that is now gone...FUCK YOU OBAMA...Lying sack of shit.  So the way it played out...I paid $376 (I am 48 year old single male) a month for AWESOME coverage.  $1000 deductable...$20 office visit co pay, and most things...physicals, perscriptions, x-rays, etc were pretty much covered until something horrific happens (Which it has not and I pray it doesn't)  After the $1000 deductable they cover 80% and I cover 20% with a max out of pocket of $12,000 then 100% coverage kicks in with a $2 million cap.

 So the NEW updated Policy that I am now forced into from Obama care is this... Same payment $376 a month....No cap, but the deductable went up to $5000, the copays went to $35.  and now I have to pay 30% after the deductable, and they cover 70% up to a Max Out of pocket of $20,000. Then 100% coverage kicks in.

So...there you go...In my opinion, Health Insurance is going the same way food is.  Charge the same price, just take the content down.

And becuase I work...I have to pay and pay and pay...

Why is it that we are the only nation that rewards freeloaders, and punishes those that work hard.  ANd the harder you work, the more you are punished...REALLY???

jackstraw001's picture

Just proves the saying from HL Mencken that "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."  If you don't pay income tax or property tax, you shouldn't get a fucking vote, in my opinion...that would've saved us from this Obamacare bullshit.

Not Too Important's picture

You're assuming voting matters . . .

Not for a very long time - if ever.

doctor10's picture

Well their ya go-I'm a "native american" now

SilverRhino's picture

All these exemptions basically mean that the Free Shit Army doesn't have to pay the penalities ...

Seriously, fuck this place.  Bring on the ebola.

Not Too Important's picture

And go to a shitty hospital rife with disease and non-curable infections. Soon to be major transit hubs for Ebola.

seek's picture

"causing premiums to rise..." all part of the plan to make the industry implode so they can foist a government plan on us.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct.  It has been designed to fail and make way for a single payer plan, like the E.Z.  And honestly, when one group of people has to follow a law, while another group is "exempt", this is, by definition tyranny/fascism and that is a dangerous state ot exist in for too long.  History is pretty clear on that.

SilverRoofer's picture

obama care is a bunch of @#$%

LawsofPhysics's picture

The thing about "laws" and "taxes" is, they only work if everyone actually follows/pays them...


tick tock motherfuckers...

gdiamond22's picture

No way in America could the government force anyone to buy something they may not need and penalize them if they didn't.

No way possible


SpanishGoop's picture

In the Netherlands they can and do.

And if you can not pay your monthly insurance bill you get a fine and must pay a higher premium.

There even even put debt collectors on it.


XitSam's picture

So everyone in the Netherlands is a slave to the government.

buzzsaw99's picture

owebomba and hitlery hate young people

Bastiat's picture

I wonder if the rank and file democrats sometimes ask themselves:  "was there something we were trying to accomplish?"  The leadership doesn't ask because they know it's about power, period. They obey and implement and get off on being somewhere near what they see as the top of the actual power structure.


lordylord's picture

Ask a random democrat on the street what they think about Obamacare.  They love it.  They don't know why, but they love it.  It's rather amusing.

XitSam's picture

Amusing only if you think Oceania is amusing.

rosiescenario's picture

Here comes the cover story for premium increases by the insurance industry, just another special interest group benefitting from D.C.'s mandates.

dirty belly's picture

"...[t]he Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine (on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects)."

dirty belly is now exempt.  whew...  What would a doctor do anyway?

Beowulf55's picture

what the hell are the 14 ways...........maybe I apply.

therevolutionwas's picture

Obummercare and the acceptance thereof by the elected leaders and judicial system is blatant proof that the nuts are running the nut house. 

El Vaquero's picture

And that they're yearning to jam their nuts against your chin.

Arnold's picture

Thanks, but you are way too charitable in your praise.


What the heck,NSA had my location and opinions anyway. The soviet theft of billions and billions of email and password pathways are a bonus.

I'm thinking that I should just post my street address shortly so the chinese can have it as well.ald

SheepDog-One's picture

In other words, yet another completely worthless gubmint program that will only end up costing billions for no reason and not 1 bit of good at all. OK got it.

pods's picture

And what is even worse is that I would STILL rather go to the DMV than the doctor.

"Oh sure, I would love to fill out a whole fucking stack of papers, thanks a million!"

You would figure for the price of going there the desk girl would at least give me a quick hand job while I filled in the forms.


LFMayor's picture

That "sicker" part... yeah, Ebola is going to provide a new and quite temporary meaning to that term here real soon.  Might even drain a few of those other pools they're worrying about, too.

kchrisc's picture

"If You Like Your Exemption, Keep It: 90% Of Uninsured Won't Pay Obamacare Penalties"

And that is bad how?


"A dollar not taken by the criminals of government, is a dollar not used against the people."

Meat Hammer's picture

Hmmm...I had never planned to obey anyway.

Winston Churchill's picture

Thats two of us.

Love the way everyone bitches around here, then meekly caves in, and spreads them.

Civil disobediance would bring this whole shitshow down. Everything, including the FedRes.

Bah bah, is all I hear.

kchrisc's picture

Me three.

As for civil disobedience:

The most powerful weapon the American people have to use against the DC US tyrants is Rejection.

The system of fraud and theft that has been built up upon the backs of the American people is dependent upon our backs. Withdrew our backs, and the whole thing collapses. This is our greatest weapon.

Quit Paying--put it into food, steel and lead, and precious metals, etc. They stole what ever "debt money" they loaned you in the first place via fraudulent-reserve banking and soon you won't be able to pay them anyways, so just stop now.

Quit Obeying--If they are in violation of the Constitution then they are criminals and not legitimate.

Quit Playing--Quit being a tool for them to use.

The Four Rs
Rejection: Quit paying, quit obeying, quit playing
Revolution: It is inevitable, so prepare, as they are.
Retribution: The guilty must answer for their crimes against the American people and the Constitution.
Restoration: Restore the American people, country and Constitutional republic.

Meat Hammer's picture

Bravo!  Mrs. Meat and I are currently working on drafting a letter to the IRS explaining why we will no longer allow them to steal from us, but before we send it we have to make sure we no longer own anything that they would want.  

If you own nothing they can't take anything away from you.  

On a side note, wouldn't it be cool if you could be in one of those hunting pictures where you're posing with your trophy animal, except the trophy is an IRS agent?

Winston Churchill's picture

More difficult than I ever thougt it would be to rearrange so you have nothing that

they can take. But it gives you


caste off your shackles slaves.


Plus I'm convinced they are going to try to steal it all anyways.Its just  self defence.

kchrisc's picture

With respect, but debt was explicitly mentioned and taxes were not.

The most important thing is to think about what you can do now for yourself and ways that you can undermine their system of theft. If nothing, fine, so long as you are thinking about and know what your situation is.

As for taxes, the time for that will come and may not be now for many.

As for debt, someone struggling to pay their mortgage may want to stop and put the savings in gold and silver, steel and lead and some in cash encase they are evicted. Foreclosure takes 6 months to a year and more in some states. Better to have some cash to use to move when eviction comes, if it ever does in some states, than be put out on the street destitute.

Anyone, and all, with student debt should also stop paying. Use deferments, etc. and string them along. It will take years before they will come after you and the DC US will be gone by then anyways.

One should look at their credit card debt, etc. and see what they can stop paying on now or planning on stopping on in the future.

Things that go bump's picture

Four here. I have been civilly disobedient for years.