February 20, 2015

ObamaCare: Tax Filing Will Be Rude Awakening for Millions

Americans are going to experience first hand just how much free health care really costs.

Tax season is in full swing, and over the next several weeks millions of Americans are going to experience first-hand just how much “free” health care really costs. This is the year that the IRS begins punishing those who have chosen to go without insurance.

The numbers are still sketchy, but estimates are that between four and six million people could face fines this year for not purchasing health insurance during 2014. H&R Block believes that some 3.4 million people who received subsidies will end up owing the IRS money this year.

The Obama administration is trying to take the public’s mind off this unwelcome news by trumpeting the surge in ObamaCare signups. Officials from the 14 state-run insurance exchanges say the surge is due to fear of facing a 2% penalty for not having insurance. But according to the Urban Institute, “More than 4 in 10 uninsured adults who may be subject to the penalty have heard little or nothing about it.” So, never mind then.

Supposedly, only 11.4 million people have signed up for health care coverage across the country. But that’s a far cry from covering the 30-some-odd million uninsured Barack Obama kept telling us were suffering. And it isn’t clear just how many of those 11.4 million people previously had insurance but lost it thanks to ObamaCare.

Conveniently, enrollment closed on Feb. 15 – a full two months before Income Redistribution Day. But enough of their constituents will suffer that Democrat lawmakers have asked the Obama administration to ease up on penalties and expand open enrollment until April 15 so people can avoid the penalty for 2015. Obama’s HHS is considering it.

> Update: The Hill reports, “The Obama administration will hold a second enrollment period for ObamaCare this year to give people a chance to avoid a new tax penalty for going without insurance. The enrollment period will run from March 15 to April 30, at the height of tax filing season, officials said.”

It’s a bit comical that Democrats like Sander Levin and Jim McDermott are now shedding crocodile tears for constituents who are going to get nailed with unexpected tax bills. Democrats alone passed ObamaCare – without a single Republican vote. They own this law like no other, and they made ObamaCare happen through a relentless campaign of lies.

If the situation wasn’t so serious it would be amusing to watch these politicians wake up to reality. The 2% penalty is not just a slap on the wrist for most. For example, a person making $50,000 a year without insurance faces a $1,000 fine. That is, this taxpayer will have to pay the IRS $1,000 above what he is already forking over in taxes just because he didn’t buy what the government told him to buy.

And let’s not forget the people who for one reason or another were overcompensated with government subsidies to help pay for their insurance. The IRS will be looking to reclaim that money, even though the federal government knew from the beginning that its formula for doling out subsidies (essentially the honor system) was broken.

The organization that arguably stands to benefit most from all of this foolishness is the IRS – the same bureaucracy that helped re-elect Obama in 2012 by targeting his political opponents. While the IRS has been complaining about supposed budget cuts, the agency received a $2 billion budget increase this fiscal year, and it will enjoy an 11% staff increase next year. The additional 9,000 employees will be brought on board to enforce 46 new tax provisions that come directly from ObamaCare. When a law grows the IRS that much, you know there’s trouble.

A larger IRS with a broader mandate to intrude into people’s lives should scare every American to the core. If Obama does nothing else to shore up his signature law before leaving office, he is sure to fund the IRS to the greatest extent possible. He will leave behind an organization that is even bigger than the bloated, out-of-control monstrosity that it is today.

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