Whatifpost.com is a healthcare blog that does a nice job of breaking down the Exchanges, especially for the people who don’t get a consistent salary:
5. For those living in states that don’t expand Medicaid: If you overestimate your income, you don’t have to repay anything
True to the stereotype of the starving artist, many of the ones I’ve talked to have incomes hovering right around the federal poverty line (FPL- $11,490 for an individual). If you live in a state that doesn’t expand Medicaid and your income is below that line, you’re especially screwed– you’re not eligible for subsidies to buy private coverage, and unless you were eligible for Medicaid under the old rules, you can’t get that either.
But say you estimate that your income will be over the FPL and thus qualify a subsidy to pay for private insurance– if your actual income at the end of the year is lower than FPL, you don’t have to pay anything back. And in many cases the federal subsidy will be enough to cover the entire cost of private insurance on the marketplace.
Healthcare Renewal on Pfizer being labeled a RICO organization:
Pfizer, amazingly, has the malodorous distinction of having been convicted by a US jury as a RICO – a racketeering influenced corrupt organization in 2010 (look here). Pfizer executives, of course, kept their office of counsel busy by appealing the conviction, all the way up to the US Supreme Court.
As discussed on the 1BoringOldMan blog, the court has now turned down the appeal and let the conviction, which had been affirmed by lower federal court, stand. So Pfizer is now officially a racketeering influenced corrupt organization.
Yet although the description of the RICO statute that 1BoringOldMan quoted notes the law can be used to go after the leaders of organized crime, no individual at Pfizer who authorized, directed, or implemented the relevant misbehavior, which was in this case the promotion of Neurontin for off-label uses, for which its benefits were at best unproven, at worse nonexistent, even if its harms are well-documented. Thus even this RICO conviction has not affected the impunity of top health care corporate leaders.
Meanwhile, many of the insurance companies are on record as saying that they’re willing to accept payments up through January 10th for coverage retroactive to January 1st under the circumstances, so that’s still not an issue right now. Admittedly, this isn’t true in every state, but most of them are allowing it.
So, in short, your best response is along the lines of this:
“The limited data available so far indicates that almost half of the 1.8 million have already paid. For those who haven’t, most payments aren’t due for another 2 weeks anyway, and seeing how most people don’t pay their utility/credit card bills until shortly before they’re due, WTF is your point?”
And Cats in Boxes: