Monday, December 23, 2013

EXTRA: Obama gives U.S. extension

President Barack Obama behaved Monday like the one-time college instructor that he once was – he gave the nation a day-long extension to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act to avoid Internal Revenue Service penalties.

Originally as crafted, the health care reform measure that is meant to give Obama his political legacy had a deadline of Monday.

ANYBODY WHO DIDN’T have a health insurance policy in place by now would face financial penalties when they file their tax returns come April 15. Not that they can’t still sign up for health insurance.

The deadline for that is the end of March. It’s just a matter of how much the IRS will ding them, and how quickly the new health insurance policy will actually take effect.

But Obama on Monday said he’s extending the deadline a day. People now have until the end of Christmas Eve in order to get themselves signed up AND make the initial payment. It makes me wonder how lenient he was with deadlines for students back when he was a University of Chicago Law School instructor.

Such leniency is still to be needed, even though federal officials say some 1 million people have used the health care reform provisions to get themselves some form of medical coverage for future incidents when they become ill.

THAT OUGHT TO be the focus of this particular issue – since those people who get hit with medical conditions that require even a short hospital stay can get a double-whammy of an unpayable bill that can drag them down financially.

And that winds up placing even more hits on an economy that may technically be improving, but for which there are still many people who haven’t yet felt a boost.


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