WASHINGTON (AP) — Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes.
The government's draft application is now on the Internet.
It runs 15 pages for a three-person family. The online version has 21 steps, some with added questions.
At least three major federal agencies, including the IRS, will scrutinize your application.
That's just the first part of the process, which lets you know if you qualify for financial help.
You'd still have to pick a health plan.
Based on this AP article, it's certain that Affordable should be removed from the bill's title:
Some Americans could see their insurance bills double next year as the health care overhaul law expands coverage to millions of people.
The nation's big health insurers say they expect premiums — or the cost for insurance coverage — to rise from 20 to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the Affordable Care Act roll out in January 2014.
Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna Inc., one of the nation's largest insurers, calls the price hikes "premium rate shock."
"We've done all the math, we've shared it with all the regulators, we've shared it with all the people in Washington that need to see it, and I think it's a big concern," Bertolini said during the company's annual meeting with investors in December.
That's a nasty combination. It's bad enough that the paperwork is indecipherable. It's worse that the Affordable Care Act is wildly expensive to boot. The bad news for consumers and employers is that that's just the tip of the iceberg. This picture shows the first 20,000 pages of HHS health care regulations. Those regulations stand over 7 feet tall!
If that isn't enough to complicate matters enough, those 20,000 pages aren't the comprehensive list. They're just starting with the writing of the regulations.
Remember the good old days when President Obama promised that a) the ACA was deficit-neutral, b) the ACA would drive down health care costs and c) families could keep their doctors if they liked?
The ACA isn't deficit-neutral:
Now: Over the next 75 years, the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—will add an estimated $6.2 trillion to the primary deficit under the most realistic outlook on federal spending, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the nonpartisan fiscal watchdog of Congress. The primary deficit, as noted by the GAO, is the difference between federal revenues and non-interest spending.
The ACA won't drive health care costs down, either. Finally, the best families can hope for is that they might be able to keep their doctors if they like them.
The official name of the bill is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka the PPACA. The biggest question now is who will protect families from incomprhensible insurance subsidy applications and skyrocketting health insurance costs.
At this point, betting that the federal government will protect us from those things is foolish.