It’s begun. Some Democrat lawmakers are already seeking relief from Obamacare penalties for their constituents:
Three senior House members told The Associated Press that they plan to strongly urge the administration to grant a special sign-up opportunity for uninsured taxpayers who will be facing fines under the law for the first time this year.
The three are Michigan’s Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, and Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, and Lloyd Doggett of Texas. All worked to help steer Obama’s law through rancorous congressional debates from 2009-2010.
The lawmakers say they are concerned that many of their constituents will find out about the penalties after it’s already too late for them to sign up for coverage, since open enrollment ended Sunday.
Boo hoo? What did these Democrats expect? In order for the Obamacare law to be enforced, it has to be, well, enforced. But apparently millions of Americans might be paying Obamacare penalties after missing out on their chance to enroll Sunday. And the penalties just keep getting higher. They could be over $1,000 for many uninsured Americans by 2016.
So why haven’t some Americans gotten health insurance, if they know they will be paying penalties? Lots of reasons. Some may not know about the Obamacare penalties, for one. But most uninsured Americans probably just can’t afford health insurance. Even with all the subsidies, health insurance costs are still too high for many Americans:
Floyd Cable, a real estate agent from Wichita Falls, Texas, said the escalating fines were part of the motivation for him and his wife to sign up last week. Both are self-employed, and stretching to pay health insurance premiums has been a struggle.
“We have been going without insurance the last couple of years just because the rates are so astronomical,” Cable said.
So, at the end of the day, taxpayers are trying to figure out whether getting insurance or not having it will be more expensive. This is a tragically humorous outcome for a law that purported to make healthcare more “affordable.”