Friday, June 29, 2012

Let's be clear about ACA and taxes

It's clear that the Republicans are going to try to cash in on Chief Justice Robert's ruling that the mandate is constitutional because of Congress' taxing authority. The big line they're using is "See...we told you President Obama would raise your taxes!"

To those of us who know about what is in the health care reform bill, this is ridiculous. But just in case you run into people who don't have that information, here are some facts that might be helpful.

If you're part of the 85% of Americans who currently have health insurance...YOUR TAXES WILL NOT GO UP.

Of the remaining 15%, 26 million people (or 8% of the population) will be required to either buy insurance or pay a tax penalty (the rest will be exempt due to income, lack of affordable coverage availability, or because they are undocumented immigrants).

Of those 26 million, most will not have to pay for insurance themselves. Here's how it breaks down:
– 8.1 million will be eligible for free/close-to-free insurance through expansion of Medicaid under the law.

– 10.9 million will have to purchase coverage but receive subsidies to help with premiums

– 7.3 million (2 percent of population) will not be eligible for any assistance and will simply have to buy a plan or pay the penalty.
The 2% who will not be eligible for subsidies will be those with incomes over 4 times the poverty level (or $92,200 and above for a family of 4).

So all this screaming about tax increases comes down to the potential that 2% of the population might decide to pay a 2.5% tax on their income to avoid having to buy health insurance.



  1. Excellent post. Just a question: Did the Supreme Court limit the expansion of medicaid, or is it the issue of it being voluntary? That the states can opt out of increasing medicaid coverage?

    1. The ACA said that if states didn't participate in the Medicaid expansion, they would not only forgo federal funds for the expansion, they would loose existing Medicaid funds. SCOTUS said that they couldn't loose existing funds if they opted out of expansion.

      States can always opt out of these kinds of federal programs. That was never in question.

  2. Do you think facts will get in the way of republican ranting?!? Not in out lifetimes.

  3. I may start betting $100 per person that their taxes will not increase with the ACA. As many people that I've run into that are so convinced this is the going to be the result, I can stand to increase my income. Talk about free money.