Tax penalty to hit nearly 6M uninsured people

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 6 million Americans — significantly more than first estimated— will face a tax penalty under President Barack Obama's health overhaul for not getting insurance, congressional analysts said Wednesday. Most would be in the middle class.

The new estimate amounts to an inconvenient fact for the administration, a reminder of what critics see as broken promises.

The numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are 50 percent higher than a previous projection by the same office in 2010, shortly after the law passed. The earlier estimate found 4 million people would be affected in 2016, when the penalty is fully in effect.

That's still only a sliver of the population, given that more than 150 million people currently are covered by employer plans. Nonetheless, in his first campaign for the White House, Obama pledged not to raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 a year and couples making less than $250,000.

And the budget office analysis found that nearly 80 percent of those who'll face the penalty would be making up to or less than five times the federal poverty level. Currently that would work out to $55,850 or less for an individual and $115,250 or less for a family of four.

Average penalty: about $1,200 in 2016.

"The bad news and broken promises from Obamacare just keep piling up," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, who wants to repeal the law.

Starting in 2014, virtually every legal resident of the U.S. will be required to carry health insurance or face a tax penalty, with exemptions for financial hardship, religious objections and certain other circumstances. Most people will not have to worry about the requirement since they already have coverage through employers, government programs like Medicare or by buying their own policies.

A spokeswoman for the Obama administration said 98 percent of Americans will not be affected by the tax penalty — and suggested that those who will be should face up to their civic responsibilities.

"This (analysis) doesn't change the basic fact that the individual responsibility policy will only affect people who can afford health care but choose not to buy it," said Erin Shields Britt of the Health and Human Services Department. "We're no longer going to subsidize the care of those who can afford to buy insurance but make a choice not to buy it."

The budget office said most of the increase in its estimate is due to changes in underlying projections about the economy, incorporating the effects of new federal legislation, as well as higher unemployment and lower wages.

The Supreme Court upheld Obama's law as constitutional in a 5-4 decision this summer, finding that the insurance mandate and the tax penalty enforcing it fall within the power of Congress to impose taxes. The penalty will be collected by the IRS, just like taxes.

The budget office said the penalty will raise $6.9 billion in 2016.

The new law will also provide government aid to help middle-class and low-income households afford coverage, the financial carrot that balances out the penalty.

Nonetheless, some people might still decide to remain uninsured because they object to government mandates or because they feel they would come out ahead financially even if they have to pay the penalty. Health insurance is expensive, with employer-provided family coverage averaging nearly $15,800 a year for a family and $4,300 for a single plan. Indeed, insurance industry experts say the federal penalty may be too low.

The Supreme Court also allowed individual states to opt out of a major Medicaid expansion under the law. The Obama administration says it will exempt low-income people in states that opt out from having to comply with the insurance requirement.

Many Republicans still regard the insurance mandate as unconstitutional and rue the day the Supreme Court upheld it.

However, the idea for an individual insurance requirement comes from Republican health care plans in the 1990s.

It's also a central element of the 2006 Massachusetts health care law signed by then-GOP Gov. Mitt Romney, now running against Obama and promising to repeal the federal law.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Wednesday the new report is more evidence that Obama's law is a "costly disaster."

"Even more of the middle-class families who President Obama promised would see no tax increase will in fact see a massive tax increase thanks to Obamacare," she said.

Romney says insurance mandates should be up to each state. The approach seems to have worked well in Massachusetts, with virtually all residents covered and dwindling numbers opting to pay the penalty instead.
http://news.yahoo.com/tax-penalty-hit-nearly-6m-uninsured-people-194442599.html?_esi=1

Wow. Shocking.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#2
Any penalties for all the illegals using the ER's for their regular medical care... oh wait...
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#4
Good. Stop freeloading off of us paying citizens. ER's really need to bar their doors until you can prove your ability to pay for treatment.
 

MagicBob

Registered User
Dec 2, 2010
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#5
so its a tax penalty, or buy insurance?

how it that news? we knew about that when the bill was passed. Hell, we knew about that when Romney signed it into law in Mass.
 
Feb 5, 2003
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so its a tax penalty, or buy insurance?

how it that news? we knew about that when the bill was passed. Hell, we knew about that when Romney signed it into law in Mass.
Don't forget that it will also have the effect of raising insurance premiums for millions of Americans who do have insurance--unless the prices of things are no longer affected by demand.
 

lajikal

Registered User
Aug 6, 2009
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Don't forget that it will also have the effect of raising insurance premiums for millions of Americans who do have insurance--unless the prices of things are no longer affected by demand.
That is bullshit that the rubes buy into. Please explain exactly how that is so and please put thought into it.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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Jan 12, 2010
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#9
Good. Stop freeloading off of us paying citizens. ER's really need to bar their doors until you can prove your ability to pay for treatment.
That's why I really hate this "health reform"... almost everything that was addressed was regarding who pays for what, rather than actually making health care more affordable. This reform is going to end up costing Americans more money for the same health care than they were previously paying (considering indirect costs).

so its a tax penalty, or buy insurance?
Obama first said it absolutely wasn't a tax, but then SCOTUS stated the only way it was constitutional was if it were a tax, so now of course the administration calls it a tax.
 

blazin

Registered User
Dec 9, 2004
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#10
Does paying the fine give you coverage?
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#11
Good. Stop freeloading off of us paying citizens. ER's really need to bar their doors until you can prove your ability to pay for treatment.
They will. As soon soon as the scumbag politicians you elected get rid of the law that's forcing them to keep their doors wide open.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#12
That is bullshit that the rubes buy into. Please explain exactly how that is so and please put thought into it.
You want him to explain the law of supply and demand? Why not just look it up on wikipedia?
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#15
They will. As soon soon as the scumbag politicians you elected get rid of the law that's forcing them to keep their doors wide open.
That'll happen sometime around the year NEVER

Could you hear the political ads now? "Senator Jones voted to require ER's to verify ability to pay for treatment! People will DIE on the steps of the hospital because of a misplaced insurance card!"
 

OccupyWackbag

Registered User
Dec 12, 2011
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#16
This country will collapse in on itself before we ever allow people deal with the consequences of their own actions.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#17
That'll happen sometime around the year NEVER

Could you hear the political ads now? "Senator Jones voted to require ER's to verify ability to pay for treatment! People will DIE on the steps of the hospital because of a misplaced insurance card!"
You're missing the point. Repealing the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act law would result in allowing hospitals to turn away non-paying customers, it wouldn't require them to do anything.
 
Feb 5, 2003
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#18
That is bullshit that the rubes buy into. Please explain exactly how that is so and please put thought into it.
Have you ever taken an economics class or at least noticed that things get more expensive when demand increases? Add in the fact that demand is artificially inflated due to the tax penalty for not purchasing insurance and you remove the incenstive for insurance companies to not raise their prices since people will still need to purchase insurance anyway. How much more thought do you need put into that simple concept?
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#19
You're missing the point. Repealing the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act law would result in allowing hospitals to turn away non-paying customers, it wouldn't require them to do anything.
You're missing the point that most campaign attack ads are hyperbole and not always indicative of the facts.
 

Myhairygrundle

Screw you guys, I'm going home.
Jul 16, 2005
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#21
*Insert montage of Obama saying that those who make less than 250k per year won't see their taxes go up*


At least they are admitting it is a tax. Admission is the first step on the road to recovery.
 

Lord Zero

Viciously Silly
Aug 25, 2008
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#22
How is fining people for not getting insurance supposed to help insure people who can't afford insurance?
 

blazin

Registered User
Dec 9, 2004
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#23
No, you get nothing for paying the fine except less money than you had before.
Really! Wow, Ive been debating with a friend of mine who is an Obama supporter. He thinks the fine is going to get him coverage, lol.

I could have been in this pool of people, but after 10 years of going uninsured, I finally got myself a nice HMO plan last year.
 

MagicBob

Registered User
Dec 2, 2010
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#24
Don't forget that it will also have the effect of raising insurance premiums for millions of Americans who do have insurance--unless the prices of things are no longer affected by demand.
is that what happened in Mass.?