I don’t Blame the President but I can no Longer afford Health Insurance :-(

I am 64 and make a decent salary for a solo practice attorney. I am also very healthy. Before Obamacare, I was self insured with an HSA account and my employer put $50 every week into that account. I purchased health insurance for approximately $300 per month, and I had that tax free $50 every week to spend on medical costs.

In 2014, the cheapest health insurance I could find in Texas was going to cost me more that $500 per month, and it was not HSA eligible. So, although I still get the $50 every week, I now pay taxes on it, so it is more like $30 every week. I ended up getting short term insurance in case of a catastrophic event, but because it does not “qualify” I will have to pay a fine for not having proper health insurance.

I know that a lot of the reasons that Obamacare is so stupidly complex and expensive for the middle class is because of all the crap that the Republican legislatures demanded in order to get it to pass, but seriously, this is one more stab at the dwindling middle class. The only way for me to get “qualifying” health insurance that I can afford is to (1) lose my job or (2) win the lottery. Luckily I will be 65 in November, will be eligible for medicare and will be retiring on my social security so I will also be poor enough for qualifying discounts.

I work hard, pay my own way, pay my taxes, have never been in jail, have never been on welfare, have only been on unemployment insurance once if my life, and I even do volunteer work. So, someone tell me why Republicans have so little regard for me and people like me?

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I am with you on all counts: Self-employed, pay-my-own-way, dwindling middle class, with a similar bad deal (except cheapest plan for me in PA is $700/month up from last year’s $ 500) etc.

and I also don’t blame Pres. Obama because I know the benefits accrue to others who really need them – such as those with poverty-level wages or pre-existing conditions- but then I get stuck with unaffordable options.

However, I won’t have to pay the tax penalty because the premiums for the cheapest “marketplace bronze plan” exceed 8.13% of my income.


Well, other than the fact it was a hijacked veteran’s bill… and it was passed with zero republican support… over Christmas… before Kennedy’s spot could be filled by the newly elected republican… I’d say part of this is factually inaccurate… And, the relaxing of the tax on Cadillac plans was because of unions who support progressives…

Republicans have not been successful in overturning any part of the ACA…


Hate to tell you this, but even if you lose your job you still can’t get it or Medicaid in the state of Florida. Unless you’re illegal, a criminal, lazy of dead. Oh wait, strike the dead part! Ha!


I am currently unemployed, qualify for government assistance, but choose NOT to participate in any of it. I have been paying for private health care because I WANT to pay my own way and find a job ASAP, but since Obama care kicked in, my monthly premiums doubled! I just applied for Medicade because I just can’t afford to pay my own way any longer – almost $500 a month for my son and me. Obama care has forced us to take public assistance. Like the question above says, he can only afford health care if he loses his job (and takes public assistance) or wins the lottery. Obama care punishes those of us middle class people who want to, and have been, paying our own way. Apparently, Obama WANTS as many people on public assistance as possible. Because that is what he’s forcing us into.


I get what you are saying… but consider this: Insurance is a group fund paid into by a large number of people and then only a small number benefit when they encounter costs they can’t afford.

Insurance is just by nature a collective thing that provides assistance to those who need it and requires those who do better to pay in more. It’s just the way it is, this is true for private for-profit insurance and the most public Government run insurance.

The only difference between the ACA and not ACA is that under the old way little groups could branch off and push sick people out of the group to lower that groups cost. And as a whole no one wanted sick people in their group, so if sick people were lucky they could find a high risk group where they paid unaffordable rates.

Truly the ACA isn’t seeking to punish the middle class… however those making a little over 400% of the Federal Poverty level and very much those who don’t take the assistance (which is just tax credits claimed on taxes) do have probably the hardest time of it. Of course this is true for all programs not just the ACA. It’s not like this explanation magically washes away problems, but I would not suggest you don’t take assistance due to pride. You pay into the fund (taxes / America) you should take your payouts (assistance programs) when you can. You still will end up paying in more than you take out. If you leave your share on the table someone else is just gonna take it (like say a wasteful Government contract to some .001% company). No real pride in that.


While I see the plus side to the ACA, I think it is always overlooked that one thing the ACA did was supply healthcare to a huge number of people who could not afford it or did not care to have it. I feel it boils down to the absolutely rediculous way the current administration panders to people on wellfare, illegal immigrants and people who have made recieving government aid a career. These people are being awarded free or very cheap healtchcare at the expense of millions of american’s who already had healthcare but are now forced to cover the burden.
My wife and I are a young couple. I purchased my first home at 24 years old and had my son at 25. We live in an area that offers no gainful employment. I make just over $50K/year with a 100 mile round trip commute. We cannot afford childcare or the expense of us both traveling to work everyday, so my wife stays home with my son. The fact is that I make too much to qualify for any of the aid programs, but too little to pay all my bills and we are barley scraping by. We eat as cheap as possible, we don’t go out, we dont drink, smoke or do much else besides sit at home and we are still broke. My medicare expenses are 75% what my mortgage payments are and my second biggest expense by far and it’s making it impossible to live.
How has the ACA helped me?


The Affordable Care Act has proven to me that healthcare is completely affordable if you live in a big city. With this new law I would be charged a penalty for not having health coverage that I clearly cannot afford, but according to government calculations I supposedly make too much to quality for any aid or forgiveness. I live paycheck to paycheck, struggling to pay my rent, student loans, bills, etc. so to pay an extra $300 a month on healthcare coverage would devastate my finances. (And btw the cheapest plan on the marketplace for me was over $300 a month) I can barely afford to put an extra $100 into my savings … how am I supposed to afford this? It’s causing my friends and I a huge headache as we are already burdened with other huge living costs. I don’t think the government realizes the burden they are putting on us. I much rather be taxed extra throughout the year for basic coverage. .. but to pay almost 3.5K in insurance expenses per year is more money than I’ve ever been able to save in my life. I thought Obama said that paying for health insurance was going to be like paying a cell phone bill … My cellphone bill is $40 a month. The cheapest healthcare plan quoted to me was $340 ….


I’m in the same situation. I make a decent wage. However I’m stuck in a situation where I cant afford to pay the monthly premiums. Either I stop paying other bills or keep paying the penalties. My wife lost her job last year. Ironically due to health issues we have been trying to pay off other bills but its a slow process. I thought about cashing in what I have left in my 401k to payoff my debt. But thanks to the stock market crash its not worth as much and I will get penalized. This whole thing is a disaster. While I agree it has helped some people it has hurt just as many if not more.


It’s a smart idea to consider a Silver marketplace plan (even if you don’t qualify for cost assistance). Silver plans allow you to adjust costs mid-year. If you lose income you can shit cost sharing and premium costs down and qualify for more subsidies.

Also for anyone who is having trouble with medical debt there is a hardship exemption for medical debt that should allow you to switch marketplace plans and potentially qualify for an exemption from the fee. Also if medical expenses are over 10% you can write those off to bring down taxable income (but not MAGI).


Sorry to hear that!

You can’t more than $2,500 for 2014 unless you make over 400% of the federal poverty level in household income. When you file your taxes you’ll notice the Premium Tax Credit form has repayment limits.

Owing back all tax credits (not cost sharing reduction subsidies) over a mistake may seem like a low blow… However she wasn’t actually eligible for them, so it does in all fairness make sense to pay them back. Since she doesn’t have to pay back cost sharing reduction subsidies, she may have actually gotten a better value out of the plan then she should have. So there is that on the bright side of things.

It’s important to understand that when someone applies to the Marketplace “household income” is used to determine cost assistance.


Well this horror story I just found out about, I put my wife down for insurance on the marketplace, didn’t put my name on it last year because I.m on VA benefits, now I.m finding out they put her down as single, instead of joint for filing my 1040 and now because our income will be larger I will owe $4000.00 for 2014.


It’s the insurance companies that caused this mess. Republicans like to start wars and perpetuate economic inequity.


Sorry to hear about your experince.

Premiums can be expensive, especially for older Americans in specific regions with no access to cost assistance. Keep in mind you’ll owe the fee if you don’t get a major medical plan, that being said it may be a better value for you to have a short term plan and pay the fee.

You are free to make that choice. The important thing is that you have health coverage.

To the other points, Republicans didn’t vote on the law, but they did influence it greatly. Not only are the ideas in the law a compilation of all sides of the isle spanning decades, but opposition to the law has removed some of the most important provisions in the law (like the requirement for Medicaid Expansion).

Yes, the SS age was raised to 67, but that is (at least in part) a reflection of a healthier society that is living longer.

In both Social Security and HealthCare smart choices have to be made by individuals and as a country to ensure their solvency.


Thank you so much for writing candidly about the Republican’s participation in this mess. I was just being nice when I pointed out that they like to start wars and perpetuate economic disparity, while neglecting to state what you put so eloquently. I actually erased a sentence or two about the Republicans and now I feel vindicated. I have always been a firm believer that Republicans were involved in the messing up of grand and benevolent move to help the American public. I’ve even heard Republicans claim that Obama did this on purpose and argued, “This was supposed to the keystone of his presidency, a sweeping reform that would help the American public and demonstrate the historic worth of his presidency. Why would he do that?”


Seriously! You are blaming republicans. Got news for you the age to get full SS benefits has been raised to 67. There’s another reason you can love this president.


I think you are blaming the wrong people. Zero Republicans voted for the ACA.

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