A new report by the Congressional Budget Office shows that nearly 6 million Americans will face an average tax penalty of $1,200 under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, far more than originally estimated. Most of those hit by the tax are middle-income citizens, individuals earning $55,850 or less and families with income of $115,250 or less.
That’s a black eye for the president, who promised not to raise taxes on any individual earning less than $200,000. What’s even more notable is the administration’s nonsensical response to the report.
Erin Shields Britt of the Health and Human Services Department told The Associated Press the tax penalty applies only to those who refuse to buy health insurance but who can afford it. “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,” Britt said.
That’s nonsense. Obamacare doesn’t end the subsidizing of health care; it expands it, which is why the program’s cost is so significant. When Obamacare passed, it was estimated that nearly half of the newly insured would be covered through an expansion of Medicaid. Those added to that state-federal program will be subsidized with taxes.