The Pardu

Pants On Fire Facebook Post: Man Fined After Dropping Obamacare!!!

In Affordable Care Act, Politifact, Tampabay Dot Com on October 5, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Tampabay Dot Com’s PolitiFact published on a (flaming) false Facebook post your, friends of relatives may have received. The email message, “a man who was fined $4,000 for dropping his ACA coverage.

We realize the Affordable Care Act generates inertia. 
  • Inertia from people who long to have some form of medical health coverage.  
  • Inertia from uber wealthy anti-government libertarians.
  • Inertia from right-wing media (for obvious reason). 
  • Inertia from people who actually believe the many false messages from each entity named in the previous bullets. 
Anti-Obamacare inertia from the money-backed GOP and its operatives simply must come in the form of lies, deceit and subterfuge. They have no fact-based leg on which to base their politicking. 

Dirty political tricks is nothing new for the GOP. From Richard Nixon through this week, the party constantly barrages the populace with misinformation, disinformation and outright manipulation. Why should the Facebook post be a surprise? Well, for high information people the false posting is not a surprise.

We have for a very long time followed the lobbying money trail behind GOP barriers against ObamaCare. The trail has taken-on a different form; it is less defined. Over the past couple of years, big insurance lobbying contributions are down significantly and earlier this week big health insurance stock performance was up.  In case you are interested, I am reading, and posted about,  big insurance and its acclimation to the Affordable Care Act.
One leg of the anti-Obamacare foundation may be crumbling. Big insurance support in the fight against the ACA was formidable prior to 2010. If big insurance lobbying contribution have slowed what is driving the insane GOP quest to shutdown the federal government? Could the drive emanate from concerns about a drying “political contribution drinking hole” from wealthy libertarian plutocrats or simple desire to wipe-out President Obama’s signature piece of legislation? 

Meanwhile the war of the ACA from the Right continues. The war is not only played out via GOP politicians and righting media  many of use face the fight each day as we visit social media. PoliticFacts has dealt with a popular anti-Obamacare Facebook post and chain email. 

PoliticFact re-blog

The Truth-O-Meter Says:

Facebook posts

Says a man opted out of Obamacare after the marketplace launched on Oct. 1, 2013, and was informed he owed a $4,000 fine.

Facebook posts on Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 in viral posts on the Internet

A closer look at a Facebook post on a man’s struggle with the Obamacare marketplace

Shortly after the the Obamacare insurance marketplace launched on Oct. 1, users of social media experienced a burst of complaints on Twitter and Facebook, ranging from technical glitches to substantive concerns.
But for our readers, one post stood out.
Many readers sent us a Facebook postthat went viral and has since been circulated by chain-email. It was originally posted on the Facebook page ofHealthcare.gov, the federal government’s portal to the new insurance marketplace created under President Barack Obama’s health care law. The marketplace is designed to offer one-stop shopping for health insurance plans for Americans whose employers do not offer coverage.
The Facebook post claims to be from a man named Will Sheehan. (We couldn’t confirm his identity.)  The post says that he tried to sign up for Obamacare and then decided to not go along with it; he then said he received an email detailing fines he would face.  
Here’s the full text of the post:
“I actually made it through this morning at 8:00 A.M. I have a preexisting condition (Type 1 Diabetes) and my income base was 45K-55K annually I chose tier 2 ‘Silver Plan’ and my monthly premiums came out to $597.00 with $13,988 yearly deductible!!! There is NO POSSIBLE way that I can afford this so I ‘opt-out’ and chose to continue along with no insurance. I received an email tonight at 5:00 P.M. informing me that my fine would be $4,037 and could be attached to my yearly income tax return. Then you make it to the ‘REPERCUSSIONS PORTION’ for ‘non-payment’ of yearly fine. First, your drivers license will be suspended until paid, and if you go 24 consecutive months with ‘Non-Payment’ and you happen to be a home owner, you will have a federal tax lien placed on your home. You can agree to give your bank information so that they can easy ‘Automatically withdraw’ your ‘penalties’ weekly, bi-weekly or monthly! This by no means is ‘Free’ or even ‘Affordable’.”
We will check a number of the post’s claims below.
 “There is NO POSSIBLE way that I can afford this so I ‘opt-out’ and chose to continue along with no insurance.”
According to a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that runs the marketplace, this is not how the system works: “There’s no way for people to complete the online application and then affirmatively ‘opt out’ at the end. They would simply close the website or not enroll in a plan.”
 “I received an email tonight at 5:00 P.M. informing me” about the fines I would face.
This is wrong on several levels. First, the system would not send any user an email if they failed to complete an application. Second, any fines would be calculated as part of the user’s overall income tax form 1040 — they wouldn’t be sent as a bill. And third, any taxes would be owed by April 15, 2015 — a year and a half from now. Someone being assessed a tax penalty by the Internal Revenue Service in early October doesn’t even make any sense, since the applicant has many weeks to find another insurance plan and avoid a penalty.
• “My fine would be $4,037.”
This number is way out of line. Under the law, the penalty fee in 2014 is 1 percent of your yearly income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher. The fee increases every year. In 2016 it is 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher.
If we are to take this Facebook user’s claims at face value — that his “income base was 45K-55K annually”– and if he has no dependents, he would not have to pay any more than $550, by 2015. To pay a penalty of $4,037 in 2014, you would need to be making making more than $403,700 a year.
• “Your drivers license will be suspended until paid.”
CMS told PolitiFact that nobody’s driver’s license will be suspended as a noncompliance penalty under the Affordable Care Act. Nothing in the law mentions that as a penalty, and driver’s licenses are administered by state governments.
• “If you go 24 consecutive months with ‘Non-Payment’ and you happen to be a home owner, you will have a federal tax lien placed on your home.”
A Treasury Department spokesperson confirmed that the law specifically bars the IRS from using their normal means of collecting unpaid taxes, including the use of liens and levy.  
According to the law, the government “shall not (i) file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section, or (ii) levy on any such property with respect to such failure.’’
Instead, the only thing the IRS can do to collect fines is to subtract it from any tax refund you qualify for. If you aren’t due a refund, all the IRS can do is send you a letter.
Another section of the health care law protects citizens from any other form of punishment.  “In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty (…) such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty,” it says.
• “You can agree to give your bank information so that they can easy ‘Automatically withdraw’ your ‘penalties’ weekly, bi-weekly or monthly!”
Don’t take online banking advice from a Facebook post. The Treasury Department warns citizens not to hand out bank information online.
Our ruling
The Facebook post tells the story of a man who says he opted out of Obamacare soon after the marketplace was launched on Oct. 1, 2013, and was informed that he owed a fine of more than $4,000.
The post includes many elements that make no sense or are flat-out wrong — and can be easily debunked by reading the law or reliable summaries of it. We rate it Pants on Fire.

If people recognize both sides of the Obamacare issue has a position we can make intelligent decisions.  On the contrary, if we follow Facebook posts, chain email, Fox News, some CNN host, and the GOP, we can (and will) make very bad decisions.

If you would like to follow the epiphany of a Rand Paul support as his healthcare world took a turn, follow this link to Think Progress  How a Rand Paul Republican From Alabama Learned to Love Obamacare ” Linked

If that article did not work for you, try this on one for size: Meet Butch Matthews, A Republican Who Came To Love Obamacare After Realizing It Will Save Him $13,000 Linked


High information people take a bit more time in feeding their brains.  They also make better decisions. 
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