San Francisco Newspaper Obamacare Advice: Work Less

People are finally realizing that health insurance under the “Affordable Care Act” (aka Obamacare) is anything but affordable. The premiums are high, and so are the deductibles. Low income Americans will get a break on premiums through subsidies, but those who make even $1 over the income limit will lose all subsidies and end up spending a huge portion of their earnings on health insurance. Much more than they did before this debacle began. So the San Francisco Chronicle is advising people to just work a little bit less.

For older people, getting below the 400 percent poverty limit could save many thousands of dollars per year.

Take, for example, Jacqueline Proctor of San Francisco. She and her husband are in their early 60s. They have been paying $7,200 a year for a bare-bones Kaiser Permanente health plan with a $5,000 per person annual deductible. “Kaiser told us the plan does not comply with Obamacare and the substitute will cost more than twice as much,” about $15,000 per year, she says.

This new plan, Kaiser’s cheapest offering for 2014, would consume about 25 percent of their after-tax income. …

… To determine eligibility for a subsidy, the government uses modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI. To get this figure, start with the line labeled adjusted gross income on your tax return (it’s the last line on the first page of Form 1040). Then add in non-taxable Social Security benefits, tax-exempt interest and foreign earned income, and housing expenses for Americans living abroad. (For a synopsis, see www.tinyurl.com/k8jwk4h.)

There are several ways to reduce MAGI. …

You might be able to take advantage of other deductions that appear above the AGI line on your tax return, such as student loan interest and tuition and fees.

You can also consider reducing your 2014 income by working just a bit less.

NewsBusters noted that the article above was missing some important information.

Pender completely avoided an important point. MAGI can be very difficult to determine, and especially difficult to monitor. Doing so is of necessity going to become an obsession for people at the 400 percent of poverty level break point — and they still might end up going over the threshold. She also didn’t mention that income reporting under Obamacare this year (at least) is on the “honor system,” which will lead to many accidental and deliberate errors.

Be sure to read the whole thing, an error cold be quite costly, like in the $10,000 range. That’s a big hit to take when you aren’t expecting it.

So, where will all of this lead? To this:

What Obamacare does, as demonstrated by this eye-opening article, is bring the same economic disincentive to the middle class: It is now a rational economic decision for the average American to earn less money. And to earn less you must work less, and when you work less, you contribute less to the common good.

With people intentionally contributing less to the common good, there will be less federal money available to finance the subsidies (which are fiscally unaffordable even without this problem), leading to an unavoidable downward economic spiral for the entire nation. (Read More)

And people think things are bad now. Just wait.