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ObamaCare Forces Social Security Disability Recipients to Pay Back Health Insurance Subsidies


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, April 13, 2016


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA—A misguided government rule is unfairly hurting some recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in Maine by requiring them to repay health insurance subsidies received through the Affordable Care Act.

   In order to prove their eligibility for federal disability benefits, SSDI applicants often have to go through a long and protracted determination process, which in some cases can take several years. When the Social Security Administration validates that need and approves an application, the agency subsequently allocates the benefits in the form of a retroactive lump sum payment that dates back to the time of the initial request.

   According to a press release from Senator Angus King’s office, when it comes to accounting for the payment, current IRS policy treats the one-time lump sum as income exclusively for the year in which it was awarded, rather than for the multiple years it covers. “For SSDI beneficiaries, many of whom are low-income and rely on subsidies provided through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to obtain health insurance, the IRS’s insistence to consider the lump sum payment as income for one year, rather than several, often bumps them above the ACA’s income threshold limit, which can reduce or entirely eliminate their subsidy, requiring them to then repay the health insurance subsidies they received throughout the year.”

   Maine Senator, Angus King sent a letter, directed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), after hearing the concerns of several constituents who were negatively impacted by the policy.

   “Simply put, this rule defies all common sense. Mainers with disabilities shouldn’t be forced to repay health care subsidies because of the failure of a backward government accounting rule,” Senator King wrote. “The good news is that the Treasury Department has the power to fix it, and I think they ought to as soon as possible before more people have to experience this hardship unduly created by the government.”

   In his letter, Senator King called on the Treasury Department to revise the flawed rules and allow for the IRS to consider the payment as income across multiple years, as it already does for these same payments in calculating an individual’s income tax liability.

   While being touted as making health insurance “more affordable,” ObamaCare has actually made it more expensive for most Americans across all sectors of society.  The so-called “Affordable Care Act” was written by  companies within the health insurance industry in order to use the coercive, unlawful collection tactics of the rogue collection agency for the private, for profit Federal Reserve Bank called the “Internal Revenue Service” to violently confiscate the wealth of all Americans and transfer it to the private bank accounts of those health insurance companies so that they, and their associated banks, can continue to gamble in the casino gulag that is the derivatives market—all at the expense of their unwitting customers.