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Section A: General News


Health-care expert discusses reform




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December 26, 2012 | 1,103 views | Post a comment

WACO -- Health-care reform in the months ahead will change how Americans think about health care and deal with this critical aspect of their lives.

That, according to Brian Connelly, director of product development and strategy for Gilsbar Health and Benefit Management, as he discussed health-care reform with Texas farmers and ranchers Dec. 1, during the 79th Texas Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Waco.

According to a Dec. 1 Texas Farm Bureau news release, the deadline for health-care reform is January 2014, but Connelly said there still are “significant disagreements in Washington.”

Under the current plan, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, every individual must obtain health insurance through their employer, an individual policy, a state-based exchange, or a government program like Medicare or Medicaid. If a person cannot pay for health insurance, they will be taxed at the end of the year.

“Can you tax people for not having coverage? It’s still being discussed,” Connelly said.

Insureds could pay a percentage of their taxable income. The rate will increase each year. The Internal Revenue Service has been tasked with collecting those charges, according to Connelly.

“They have no clue how much revenue they are going to collect, but it could be a fairly flawed process,” Connelly said.

Health-care reform continues to be challenged in courtrooms across America. Connelly said there are at least 50 lawsuits pending. He said when it comes to health- care reform, it’s unclear when everything could be settled.

“This will go on forever,” Connelly said.
 

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