LOL or Cry About The Drafted Health Care Application: Summary of a Doozey

By , Contributing Author For

The drafts (yes, plural) of the ACA (a.k.a. Affordable Care Act), has been  released and boy is the longest one a doozey! It’s sixty draft pages (the “short” form is 21 pages) long, is sprinkled with bad grammar (“Based on  your best guess, do you expect your total household income be less than”) and  one of the first things you see on the application is this:

 ”This document (the “questionnaire”) represents each possible item that  may need to be asked for successful eligibility  determinations.”

and a few paragraphs later:

“Most applicants will need to complete less than one-third of these  items.”

 Well, that’s good news! Now let’s take a look at what kinds  of “one-third” we’ll be forced to answer.

 Note: On the draft form, your Social Security number in the  first section is listed as “(optional)”. Have you ever seen that on a federal  form administered by the IRS? And, of course, that “optional” goes away in  Section VII, where it becomes mandatory if you’re applying for health insurance.  If you’re not applying for health insurance, then you don’t have to provide your  Social Security number; but why include the person at all if they’re not  applying?

 Under section IV A, is this question:

 ”2. Do you want to find out if [you/your family] can get help  paying for health insurance?”

 And its explanation:

 ”The next two questions are only asked if the person checks  that they don’t want to apply for financial assistance in the item above. The  idea is to capture a couple of items to assess whether it may be worth their  time to apply anyway. These items serve the purpose of trying to promote the use  of the financial aid application for people who initially may not think they  qualify. These questions aren’t an actual determination of  eligibility.”

 So they don’t just ask if you’re eligible or want it, they  just push financial aid.

 They also ask about the state of your marriage, as  in:

“Does [Household contact] live with this spouse?”

They get very specific about what sort of household make-up you have. I’m not talking about Revlon here, I’m talking who is living in your house with you. There are a total of twenty-eight possibilities, from spouse to “collateral dependent” (What in the world is that?). That is information they want for everyone in the house: they want specifics, darn it! Oh, and if you have children who don’t live with you, you will have to know about the filing status of the people your child does live with. So if your ex remarried, or is living with someone else and the two of you don’t talk, you will now! (Ah… the federal government bringing families back together!)

 Note on the application that they ask questions about the  future. “Does [the applicant] plan to…” is asked for several items. Section XX  is “Review and Sign” in which we’re told that the information is used for the  next five years in determining eligibility and we find the following:

 ”I’m signing this application under penalty of perjury. This  means I’ve provided true answers to all the questions on this form to the best  of my knowledge. I know that if I’m not truthful, there may be a  penalty.”

 The problem with that “do you plan” question is that Title 18  of the US Code, Section 1001 makes it a federal crime to lie to the  government:

even if you:

· made the false statement without the obligations of an  oath,

· didn’t receive warning of the law or its  consequences,

· were not trying to cheat the government out of money,

· or lied about something that was not materially influential to  government matters.”

So if you say that no, you didn’t plan to and then later changed your mind,  or your circumstances changed and with them your plans, would that be considered  a lie in their eyes? Could they cancel your healthcare insurance plan because  your plans changed? Even if they don’t cancel your insurance plan, what else  could they do? It’s something to think about, n’est-ce past.

Read More about this ridiculous application

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