Wall Street Journal Reports On Quiet 2-Yr. Repeal Of 'Obamacare' Individual Mandate

Follow up on "Opt Out Of 'Individual Mandate'? "Now Anybody Can Get An ObamaCare Exemption", Says 'Health Freedom' Group" 1-31-14 "In many cases, a regulator would say someone needs to prove that he or she is experiencing a hardship to be exempt – but Brase says that's not the case with the 14th exemption. "It says, Please submit documentation if possible"
ObamaCare's Secret Mandate Exemption  WSJ
HHS quietly repeals the individual purchase rule for two more years

[Excerpted] ObamaCare's implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act—the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty.

This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the Health and Human Services Department didn't think the details were worth discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet. Instead, the mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to preserve some health plans that don't comply with ObamaCare benefit and redistribution mandates. Our sources only noticed the change this week.

That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be extended for two more years, until 2016. Lo and behold, it turns out this second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether.

...last week the agency created a new category: Now all you need to do is fill out a form attesting that your plan was cancelled and that you "believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy" or "you consider other available policies unaffordable."

This lax standard—no formula or hard test beyond a person's belief—at least ostensibly requires proof such as an insurer termination notice. But people can also qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that "you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance," which only requires "documentation if possible." [see 'follow up' above]. And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one.

Keeping its mandate waiver secret for now is an attempt get past November and in the meantime sign up as many people as possible for government-subsidized health care. Our sources in the insurance industry are worried the regulatory loophole sets a mandate non-enforcement precedent, and they're probably right. The longer it is not enforced, the less likely any President will enforce it.

According to this article, published 3-12-14 by the Wall Street Journal, and although this information is at this juncture still something of a secret, as pointed out in the article, opting out of "Obamacare" is now as easy as saying...'can't afford it'. As stated, this is one step further than the exemption reported on six weeks ago requiring the filing of a hardship claim even if there is no documentation.  - fyi

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