Alternate headline: How ObamaCare has made everything that matters to you worse. ObamaCare destroyed the healthcare system, and now it’s focusing on making your life miserable. This piece of trash needs to be destroyed by the next president, plain and simple.
It’s that wonderful time of year again: tax season. Some 150 million American businesses and individuals are expected to file taxes by this month, covering thousands of arcane provisions that determine how much you and your family will pay Uncle Sam and state governments this year.
But this filing season is the second in which Americans may have yet another—and bigger—tax bill to worry about: the one forced on us by the Affordable Care Act. It serves as a stark reminder of all the ways this law continues to harm American families and businesses, six years after it was signed.
While the Affordable Care Act’s tax increases are many, two are front and center this month: the individual and employer mandates. Both were supposed to increase coverage, but in reality they’re limiting career opportunities and taking more out of families’ and individuals’ wallets.
Start with the individual mandate, which is one of the most controversial provisions of the Affordable Care Act—and for good reason.
This mandate requires every American to be covered by a health insurance policy that complies with the law’s labyrinthine coverage requirements and restrictions. In 2015, for example, annual premiums for “low-cost” bronze plans obtained through the law’s exchanges averaged $2,484 for individuals and $12,420 for families with three or more children. If you don’t think this pricier insurance is worth the cost, or simply can’t afford it, you’ll likely face tax penalties upon filing your return.
That’s bad news for millions already living paycheck-to-paycheck. The 2015 penalty—which is being assessed now—is $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, or 2% of household income, whichever is greater. The penalty increases in 2016 to $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, or 2.5% of household income, whichever is greater.
That is money many families just don’t have. According to December 2015 estimates from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average household without compliant coverage faces $661 in tax penalties for 2015, rising to $969 for 2016. The penalties are even higher for those not eligible to receive premium subsidies under the law: $1,177 for 2015, rising to $1,450 this year. While some will be exempt, millions of families and individuals will be penalized for not purchasing health insurance they cannot afford…