Obamacare is under some more scrutiny. As reported by the New York Times, 800,000 people who joined insurance policies through healthcare.gov received inaccurate tax information.
What this means is that those affected by the error are strongly suggested to wait until the corrections are made before filing tax returns.
Growing up in my household, tax returns were an important chunk of money during some years. One year, we bought a new couch after the old one was worn down to the point that it was impossible to sit on. Another instance tax returns greatly helped for the year was when we lived in a house that was heated by oil, which was a great burden on our expenses. Neither of the aforementioned situations were particularly dire, but with 800,000 people, there are bound to be countless stories, like my own, in which delaying tax returns by weeks would majorly inconvenience and possibly devastate some families who are depending on the incoming money.
Furthermore, while the mistake is wrong and should not have happened, there is no particular knock against the logistics of the health care plan itself because of a website error. However, those already opposed to the universal health care plan can use this as leverage to enforce their already existent distaste. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch R-UT, stated, “Whether it’s providing taxpayers with incorrect subsidy information or having to create special enrollment periods so that taxpayers can avoid costly penalties, Obamacare continues to frustrate and confuse Americans.”
The special enrollment period Hatch is referring to, according to the New York Times, will be from March 15 to April 30 to allow those who haven’t signed up for health care, to do so without receiving a penalty.
While I think Hatch is wrong in not distinguishing a transitional error from the plan itself, he is using his platform and capitalizing on a mistake to discredit the legitimacy of Obamacare, only adding fuel to a polarized fire.
Tara Siegel Bernard of The New York Times brought up another consideration. Since this is the first year where one must file whether he or she has health insurance, complicating an already confusing process, there will be even more added disdain from those opposed to it.
Obamacare will be a tipping point for those on the fence about it. When the first year of a requirement does not go smoothly, it sets a bad precedent for public perception of the matter.
I absolutely support universal health care and for the most part, support Obama’s universal health care plan. Unfortunately, an avoidable website error is going to hurt the public opinion on the plan, despite the mishap having nothing to do with the plan itself.