There are plenty of things about the Affordable Care Act that Americans don’t like, but the most unpopular aspect of the law is also the one upon which the whole system hinges: the individual mandate. This is the clause in the law that allows the IRS to apply a tax penalty to anyone who is uninsured, and that penalty is about to get a lot stiffer. Fines are going from $95 per person/1 percent income tax to a whopping $325 per person/2 percent income tax in 2015.
“We could be looking at a real train wreck after Feb. 15,” said Stan Dorn of the nonpartisan Urban Institute. In an interview with Fox News, Dorn mused on the unfortunate situation likely to unfold. “People will file their tax returns and learn they are subject to a much larger penalty for 2015, and they can do absolutely nothing to avoid that.”
February 15th is the last day for open enrollment. After that, the majority of Americans will have no further opportunities this year to sign up through Obamacare exchanges. That means they’ll be subject to the higher fines when tax time rolls around, and they may not be prepared to pay those hefty penalties.
Take That, Poor People
It’s worth remembering that the president’s deceitfully-promoted healthcare law was supposedly designed to help the poorest Americans. But the individual mandate has a dark side that no one in the administration is willing to address: those tax penalties hit lower-income Americans harder than anyone else. A study performed by the Citizen’s Council for Health Freedom found that low-income couples who decline to buy health insurance will be taxed on a higher percentage of their income than people who make twice as much.
But no, we’re not supposed to talk about that. Obama is a champion for the middle class. He is a socialist savior, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. His healthcare plan has been a godsend for America; it’s only those greedy Republicans causing a stink over nothing.
Well, the feathers have come off this golden goose. And when the low-information crowd realizes how much they have to pay in fines this year, they may come to the sobering conclusion that they’ve been had. Maybe that will inspire them to take a closer look at the lies this administration has fed them. Maybe they’ll see the dangers of imposing federal authority over the private sector. Maybe they’ll understand that this healthcare law amounts to little more than a regressive tax on the Americans who can least afford to pay.
Probably not, but here’s to hoping.