Monday, April 13, 2015

ObamaCare Individual Mandate Will Bite Democrats In 2016

Democrats are sometimes accused of backing policies that essentially buy off modest-income voters with government handouts. But a policy that does the opposite — ObamaCare's individual mandate — is ramping up just in time for 2016.
Individual mandate penalties are set to roughly triple from a minimum of $95 per person owed this tax season to a bill of at least $325 that will come due in early 2016. And the stakes will be even greater as voters go to the ballot box: A penalty due in 2017 of at least $695 per adult who goes uninsured and doesn't qualify for one of ObamaCare's hardship exemptions.
Any slight chance that Democrats can avoid millions of working-class and middle-class Americans being hit with mandate penalties in an election year seemed to fade last week, as the Obama administration revealed that its tax-season enrollment extension started with a whimper.
The last-ditch effort was meant to give people who found that they'd have to pay a fine when they filed their income taxes a final chance to avoid paying a much bigger penalty next year. But in the first two weeks of the extra period from March 15 to April 30, just 36,000 new signups followed that script.
Enrollment Low Again
That followed an open-enrollment period in which 11.7 million people signed up for coverage, which was somewhat disappointing for ObamaCare backers. By the time those who don't pay are winnowed out, paid exchange enrollment is likely to slip below 11 million, more than 1 million below Congressional Budget Office projections.
Just how many millions will have to pay a tax penalty, reducing their tax refund, is far from clear — and will be until the IRS discloses the number who paid a penalty this tax season.
In 2014, CBO estimated that 4 million people who were uninsured in 2016 would pay penalties in 2017. That forecast implied that there would be somewhere in excess of 5 million paying penalties in 2016, since the ranks of the uninsured are expected to shrink pretty substantially after 2015 in response to the ramping of the individual mandate tax.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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