As the Obamacare sign up season ended, some Democrats are concerned that there might be a kerfuffle at tax time when taxpayers who opted not to have health insurance coverage last year learn they have to pay a penalty-tax-fee. The penalty is officially called the “shared responsibility payment”.
Three Democrat officials have appealed to the Obama Administration to offer a special enrollment period at tax filing time.
This is the first year the penalty is levied. The penalty for the 2014 tax year is relatively cheap in order to transition Obamacare into American life. However, next year and in subsequent years, the penalty goes up swiftly. This is why some lawmakers are concerned, because the open enrollment period has ended, and those who still don’t have insurance will face steeper fines.
For not having health insurance last year, the fine is $95 per person or 1 percent of household income above the threshold for filing taxes, whichever is greater. But the fine increase to $325 per person or 2 percent of household income to be collected next year, for those who opted not to enroll in Obamacare or have health insurance at all.
This of course would be one of many tweaks to the law since it was passed in 2010. What Democrats are particularly worried about is the fallout of a massive tax penalty in 2016 — when the Presidential election campaigns are in full swing. The backlash is certain to be harsher next year, and even more so beyond, and the health law will be harder to defend and justify. According to government estimates, the average fine will be about $1,100.”
The White House remains uncommitted as to whether it will enact a small filing season around April 15th or consider having open enrollment next year be shifted or extended to include some or all of the tax season. Of course they’ll do whatever it takes to mask the consequences of Obamacare’s policies, again and again and again. If it was such a great piece of legislation, it should be able to stand on its own merit. But it wasn’t — and more and more people finally realize it.