What does $20,000 a Year Mean to You?

In the followup to President Barack Obama’s second, and even more historic inauguration, Americans are being subjected to a ‘Fast and Furious’ bombardment of forthcoming Obama policy disclosures.

To name but a few:  ‘The guns gotta go and the 11 million illegal aliens get to stay’ disclosure.  Then there’s the ‘Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt get to keep 20 American F-16s while American public school lunchrooms can’t keep the snacks in the vending machines’ revelation.

For many, at this point the only solace is the knowledge that President Obama, in the name of ‘fairness,’ is poised to ensure every American the security of affordable healthcare.

In fact, Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, is so focused on equitable affordability  that according to the latest IRS communiqué, starting in 2016 a low-cost plan will be available at a rate of $1,666.66 a month, or $20K a year.

The release of the Obamacare “Notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of public hearing” regulations must be what prompted the IRS to share with Americans that “The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) [will cost] $20,000” annually.

Wait!  Isn’t this Obamacare, and isn’t Obama the guy who went around the country during the extension of the payroll tax debate asking Americans “What does $40 mean to you?” Who would have thought the President’s motive for asking that question was concern over that $40 a week being available to help make the monthly bronze premium payment a more manageable $1,506.66?

As their first order of business, 16,000 newly-hired Internal Revenue agents alerted families barely getting by on the US median annual income of $50K a year that they should prepare to make do with $20,000 dollars a year less.

The IRS also shared that if recalcitrant American families make the hard choice and choose groceries, mortgage payments, and $4-a-gallon gasoline over mandatory ‘minimum essential’ health insurance at $20,000 a year, a “Shared Responsibility Payment for Not Maintaining Minimum Essential Coverage” will be imposed by the IRS.

Forbes reported that by 2016, noncompliance will result in a tax/penalty ranging anywhere from “$695 or 2.5 percent of taxable income up to a maximum of $2,085” which, not for nothin’, is a helluva lot cheaper than paying $20K for substandard, government-style health insurance.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the $20K bargain-basement bronze edition, which is the “lowest tier health insurance,” is not the only one available.  There’s also the Silver, Gold and Platinum editions.

For those who think they’ll escape the pain because their employer pays healthcare as part of an employee benefit package, think again.

In 2018, a reform provision is poised to impose an excise tax on ‘you can keep your healthcare’ employer-provided benefits that exceed $10,200 for an individual, and $27,500 for a family.  That’s right, the taxes Obama swore would never impact the lives of struggling middle-class Americans will arrive in the form of penalties and excise taxes levied against healthcare policies that at one time were considered benefits.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, amongst all the 1% versus the 99% hoopla, who would have thought that “FORWARD” meant the 99% would be subjected to purchasing a bottom-tier health insurance policy costing half a year’s worth of an already dwindling salary?

For a clearer understanding of what the lowest tier, or ‘Barack Bronze,’ could mean, imagine dollar-store-quality, government-provided-and-staffed health insurance.  Think DMV/press #1 for English/“Sorry you’re gushing blood out of your left temple, we’re on break”/Crazy Glue instead of stitches -type insurance.

For $416.66 a week, the bronze group may very well find themselves snacking on stale complimentary crullers while waiting for their prostate exam or mammography at their local combination Dunkin’ Donuts/24-hour walk-in Corner Care Health Clinic. It’s either that, or face a “shared responsibility” penalization for refusing to participate in the federal program whose central goal is to foster fairness on behalf of the slothful, illegal, and impecunious by denying fairness to those who’ve earned it.

And so, ObamAmerica is setting sail on another four-year venture with TIME Magazine’s 2012 Person of the Year. And, at this late date, it’s exciting to find out that Obama’s ‘oh-so-very -fair’ healthcare legislation will force formerly middle-class families to survive just barely above poverty level.


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