Even The New York Times is starting to figure it out.
Many employers had thought they could shift health costs to the government by sending their employees to a health insurance exchange with a tax-free contribution of cash to help pay premiums, but the Obama administration has squelched the idea in a new ruling. Such arrangements do not satisfy the health care law, the administration said, and employers may be subject to a tax penalty of $100 a day—or $36,500 a year—for each employee who goes into the individual marketplace.
The ruling…by the Internal Revenue Service…blocks any wholesale move by employers to dump employees into the exchanges.
Many employers—some that now offer coverage and some that do not—had concluded that it would be cheaper to provide each employee with a lump sum of money to buy insurance on an exchange, instead of providing coverage directly.
When employers provide coverage, their contributions, averaging more than $5,000 a year per employee, are not counted as taxable income to workers. But the Internal Revenue Service said employers could not meet their obligations under the health care law by simply reimbursing employees for some or all of their premium costs.
Of course, in a sane world, such reimbursement would be equivalent to providing coverage, just letting the individual
Never mind that such reimbursements are exactly that coverage—especially since the reimbursements are paid only when there’s been a health plan bought: sort of contained in the meaning of “reimbursement.” But then Big Government would have to accept that individuals are fully capable of exercising their own choice—their own judgment—in the matter, rather than needing Momma IRS’ judgment.
There’s more in the NYT‘s piece….