On Wedesday, Katheleen Sebelius appeared before Congress and said that there would be no more delays with the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. But there’s a hitch with that. A delay may not be a delay.
Okay, when is a delay not a delay? When it’s a “hardship,” that’s when. Just about everybody has experienced a hardship or two of one type or another at some point in their lives. I mean, nobody’s life is perfect, right?. Surely, everybody gets into a little trouble every now and again. Well, almost everybody. I guess maybe there are few saints left, but I haven’t met any of them.
For the rest of the world it’s like, where’s your homework? The dog ate it. Your payment is late. I got robbed. Or your significant other finds out you were with someone else. It wasn’t me. All sorts of things can happen.
It turns out that the Obama Administration understands this all too well and is willing to forgive us our trespasses as we would forgive those who trespass against us. Obama is hoping that we will especially forgive him and the Democrats before the upcoming election later this year where a whole slew of Senate seats are up in play.
Released unceremoniously earlier this month by Health and Human Services (HHS) was the Application for Exemption from the Shared Responsibility Payment for Individuals who Experience Hardships. The application form gives the obligatory Obamacare rundown such as explaining that in 2014 everybody is supposed to have health coverage or make a payment on their federal income tax return and what not. Then goes on to say that some people are exempt. It further says that you can the use this application to “apply for an exemption from the shared responsibility payment.” For those of you not familiar with the new governmentspeak, a shared responsibility payment is a tax. It’s your tax. You know, your fair share.
Please note: From the glorious laborings of the progressive and liberal mind (the enlightened ones), never use three letters when describing something when you can use three words. Multisyllable words are preferred.
The application then goes on to list hardship categories and documentation that’s required and says that “You may qualify for a hardship exemption if you experienced one of the following” and goes on to list: you were homeless, or you were evicted in the last six months or were facing eviction or foreclosure, or got a shutoff notice from a utility company, or you experienced domestic violence, bankruptcy, medical bills in the last 24 months, increased expenses due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member, or your current health plan is being cancelled and you can’t afford another plan (even though Obamacare was signed into law as the “Affordable Care Act”).
All but two or three hardships require documentation be submitted with your exemption application. If you are homeless or have experienced domestic violence, then no documentation is required.
And if none of the above fits your hardship classification, they’ve got a category for that too, it’s kind of a catch-all, if you know what I mean. If you’ve experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance (wink wink, nudge nudge), well that’s covered. They would like for you to submit documentation for that, if possible (wink wink, nudge nudge). No documentation? No problem. That sounds alarmingly familiar, doesn’t it? Just like our immigration policy, right?
With so many delays so far (there’s been almost 40 changes total to Obamacare), it’s a wonder that there’s anything left for the Democrats to crow about to their dwindling body politic. “We want healthcare! When do we want it? Eh, whenever.“