"The government may be paying incorrect subsidies to more than 1 million Americans for their health plans in the new federal insurance marketplace and has been unable so far to fix the errors,"
"potentially hundreds of thousands of people are receiving bigger subsidies than they deserve."
[they were] "Americans who listed incomes on their insurance applications that differ significantly — either too low or too high — from those on file with the Internal Revenue Service, documents show."
[they have been] "asked to upload or mail in pay stubs or other proof of their income. Only a fraction have done so,"
"behind the scenes, important aspects of the Web site remain defective — or simply unfinished."
"the Obama ... promised ... last year that a thorough income-verification system would be in place."
"flaws in HealthCare.gov blocked many naturalized citizens or permanent legal residents, requiring them to submit immigration documents that are, like the income information, caught in a backlog."
"difficulty in straightening out discrepancies affects an especially large number of consumers. Of the roughly 8 million Americans who signed up for coverage this year under the health-care law, about 5.5 million are in the federal insurance exchange. And according to the internal documents, more than half of them — about 3 million people — have an application containing at least one kind of inconsistency."
"But because of the trouble verifying incomes, the government has not lowered or raised anyone’s subsidies."
"people out there who have made unintentional errors, and in a few years will be subject to massive tax bills,"
To combat this, minwage supporters are trying a new argument: raising the federal minimum wage, they say, will boost the economy.
Harold Meyerson, for one, floats this idea in his latest Washington Post column:
By putting more money into the pockets of the working poor—a group that necessarily spends nearly all its income on such locally provided basics as rent, food, transport and child care—an adequate minimum wage increases a community’s level of sales and thereby creates more jobs.This idea raises the question, did previous federal minimum wage increases boost the economy? Below is a list of all federal increases since the modern Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage law was adopted in 1977, along with notes on what subsequently happened to the economy:
Legislation date Phase-in dates Economy 1977 Amendments 1/1/1978 Economy enters recession, 1/1980 1/1/1979 1/1/1980 1989 Amendments 4/1/1990 Economy enters recession, 7/1990 4/1/1991 1996 Amendments 10/1/1996 U.S. Real GDP grows 4.5% in 1997, 4.4% in 1998, and 4.8% in 1999 9/1/1997 2007 Amendments 7/24/2007 Economy enters recession, 12/2007 7/24/2008 7/24/2009
Going back further, the economy also entered recessions during the phase-ins of the two previous minimum wage increases, under the 1966 and 1974 FLSA Amendments. So, during five of the last six federal minimum wage increases, the nation fell into recession.
Now, perhaps the minwage increases did stimulate the economy in each of those years, but the stimulus was not enough to overcome the problems that brought on the recessions. Heck, perhaps the ‘96–’97 increase was the chief cause of the economic boom of the late 1990s.
But probably not.
It seems far more likely that mandating a small wage increase for a small group of workers who work a small number of hours will not have much stimulatory effect on the economy. It may not even be enough to counterbalance the negative economic effects of would-be workers who can’t find—or lose—their jobs because of the mandated increase."