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National Debt

Obamacare – Buy Insurance, or Face the Tax Man

  • September 28, 2012

    One of the most hotly debated portions of Obamacare requires Americans to either purchase government-approved insurance or pay a penalty. This is called the “individual mandate.” The mandate gradually starts in 2014, with the penalties fully go into effect in 2016. The individual mandate in Obamacare will cost 6 million taxpayers a total of $7 billion in 2016, according to updated estimates released this month by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

    The cost is then expected to average around $8 billion from 2017 through 2022. The CBO estimates that 30 million will be uninsured by that year, but most will be exempted from the mandate, because they are unauthorized immigrants, members of Indian tribes, or don’t earn enough income to file taxes, among other reasons. Among those who will have to pay a mandate penalty, 4.7 million will have incomes below 500 percent of the federal poverty line, according to the CBO, which is projected to be $60,000 for individuals and $123,000 for families of four by 2016.

    As a candidate, President Obama promised that his healthcare reform plan would save American families $2,500 a year by the end of his first term and that he would not raise taxes on those who m ake less than $250,000 a year.

    “If you are ready for change, then we can stop talking about the outrage of 47 million people without health insurance and start doing something about it. I’ve put forward a plan that says everybody will have the same health care if they want it that I have as a member of Congress, that you can’t be excluded for pre-existing conditions, we’ll negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available prices. If you’re 25 or younger you can stay on your parents’ health insurance. If you’ve got health insurance, we’re going to work with you to lower your premiums by $2,500 per family per year. And we will not wait 20 years from now to do it or 10 years from now to do it. We will do it by the end of my first term as president of the United States of America.” – Then-Sen. Barack Obama

    In their ruling on Obamacare’s Constitutionality, the Supreme Court found that the mandate was a tax. This would be a direct violation of President Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000. Furthermore, under Obama, the average cost of family healthcare premiums has increased by $3,065. This is up from $12,680 to $15,745, a 24.2 percent increase, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. That same survey found that the average annual premiums in 2012 are $5,615 for single coverage and $15,745 for family coverage. Not exactly the decreased costs that he touted in the reform package considering that the rise in premiums easily outpaced workers’ raises and inflation.

    It turns out that then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famous statement of “we have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it,” is turning out to be truer than expected. After the bill’s passage we have found billions in new taxes, hundreds of new regulations, and an explosion of bureaucratic growth in our government. The bill President Obama and his allies in Congress passed continues to grow as the days go on. CapitolWatch stands with lawmakers who have voted to dismantle and replace this cumbersome legislation which will only explode the government’s debt further and burden American taxpayers with additional taxes.


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