STUMP » Articles » Obamacare Tax Watch: Run Away! Run Away! » 24 February 2015, 22:35

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Obamacare Tax Watch: Run Away! Run Away!  


24 February 2015, 22:35

Byron York notes that Congressional Dems have discovered the giant Obamacare tax mess headed their way:

The Democrats who wrote and passed the Affordable Care Act were sure of two things: The law had to include a mandate requiring every American to purchase health insurance, and it had to have an enforcement mechanism to make the mandate work. Enforcement has always been at the heart of Obamacare.

Now, though, enforcement time has come, and some Democrats are shying away from the coercive measures they themselves wrote into law.

The Internal Revenue Service is the enforcement arm of Obamacare, and with tax forms due April 15, Americans who did not purchase coverage and who have not received one of the many exemptions already offered by the administration are discovering they will have to pay a substantial fine. For a household with, say, no kids and two earners making $35,000 a piece, the fine will be $500, paid at tax time.

That’s already a fact. What is particularly worrisome to Democrats now is that, as those taxpayers discover the penalty they owe, they will already be racking up a new, higher penalty for 2015. This year, the fine for not obeying Obamacare’s edict is $325 per adult, or two percent of income above the filing threshold, whichever is higher. So that couple making $35,000 a year each will have to pay $1,000.

By the way, Democrats don’t like to call the Obamacare penalty a penalty; its official name is the Shared Responsibility Payment. But the fact is, the lawmakers’ intent in levying the fines was to make it so painful for the average American to ignore Obamacare that he or she will ultimately knuckle under and do as instructed.

Except that it’s easier to inflict theoretical pain than actual pain. Tax filing season is enlightening many Americans for the first time about the “mechanics involved” in Obamacare’s fee structure, Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on December 29. “Many taxpayers will see the financial consequences of their decision not to enroll in health insurance for the first time when they make the Shared Responsibility Payment.”

That is why Doggett, who has since been joined by fellow Democratic Reps. Sander Levin and Jim McDermott, asked the administration to create a new signup period for anyone who claims ignorance of the penalty. On Friday, the administration complied, creating a “special enrollment period” from March 15 to April 30.

I don’t think the special enrollment period is going to be picking up a huge number of new enrollees, by the way.

Or rather, people may enroll…. and then never pay premiums when they realize that they’re going to have to pay every month, and unlike with federal taxes where you can beg with the IRS and try to come up with a payment plan, insurers aren’t very flexible with billing. Every month. Premiums gotta get paid.

They’ll look at that penalty, look at how much they’d have to pay in premiums (even with subsidies) AND deductibles and just say “Fuck it. I’m screwed.” It will, indeed, be much cheaper for many people to go with the tax/penalty that Democrats call some stupid thing to hide that it’s a tax/penalty.

But back to those brave, brave Dems:

But Brave Sir Robin is less cowardly than Congressional Democrats – after all, he didn’t create the dangers he ran away from.

They created new problems for all sorts of people, and they’d rather not have to face pissed-off taxpayers and voters.


This is your fault, Dems:

More than 4.5 MILLION Americans with Obamacare subsidies will have to pay back an average of $530 – and they’re all poor or middle-class taxpayers

Americans who bought Obamacare insurance in 2013 and 2014 based their subsidy calculations on their 2012 income levels

More than half of those earned more than they estimated, meaning they qualified for a smaller subsidy than what they got

Those affected are all lower-income and middle-class people who earn too much to qualify for Medicare but still qualify for subsidies

‘This is what happens when you write 3,000 page laws in the basement with lobbyists and egghead theorists
managing the chaos,’ a noted anti-tax advocate said [Grover Norquist]

Again, this is just the analysis, and we’re not hearing from the angry taxpayers yet… probably because they’re still waiting for correct tax forms on their subsidies.

But we’ve still got time.

Time for lots more angry taxpayers.

It is really touching to me that even after two big waves (2010 and 2014) that swept out a lot of the Obamacare boosters, and hollowed out any upcoming bench for Dems, there are still some who realize the only reason they’re still around is because their constituents are so inattentive that they’ll not do anything until they directly notice the $$ hit.

And I thought the Dems had hit bottom on their numbers, but I guess not. Not if they’re worried about Obamacare realizations happening 5 years after the law was passed.

UPDATE: H&R Block profiting from the Obamacare tax confusion

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