HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Another snag in Obamacare

Written April 5th, 2013 by
This way to the Obamacare tax emergency...

This way to the Obamacare tax emergency…

A few days ago we learned about another troubling wrinkle of Obamacare. From Washington, the Associated Press reported that people who get federal tax credits to help them buy private medical coverage may face higher tax bills.

It comes about this way: Federal subsidies for buying insurance starting in 2014 will be based on income reported for 2012. If a person’s income rises from 2012 to 2014 — fat chance, given our sluggish economy — the subsidy they will receive for 2014 will be too large. So in 2015 they’ll have to pay back the excess. The whole thing is run through the federal income tax system, so the repayment will take the form of added tax bills.

These subsidies, by the way, will not be just for people struggling to get by. For a family of four, the aid will be available for incomes up to $94,200. No wonder the critics say Obamacare will push the country even further into debt.

The tax angle makes this insurance scheme even more complicated and wrongheaded than it already was. The subsidies go to insurance companies, not to individuals or families. So why should people have to pay income tax on sums of money the government gives to somebody else? (hh)


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