A recent analysis of IRS tax data reveals what many of us anticipated years ago: that Obamacare not only raised insurance costs and limited choices, but its penalty regime is slamming the Americans whom leftists ceaselessly coddle in their class envy speeches.
Indeed, the amorphous yet politically useful “working class” is getting nailed.
As Jed Graham writes for Investor’s:
Preliminary data from the 2017 tax season are in, and they're shocking. Not only does it look like the working class bore the brunt of ObamaCare individual mandate penalties this year, but people with relatively modest incomes apparently paid a lot more than the Congressional Budget Office anticipated.
It's true. Of the more than $2.8 billion in Obamacare fines received by the IRS in 2017 from people who opted to pay it instead of buying insurance plans, the average individual fine payment was $708.00, just slightly over the minimum payment of $695.00 for the lowest income citizens. Graham notes:
Since people were required to pay the greater of $695 or 2.5% of taxable income above the filing threshold ($10,350 in 2017), one takeaway is that most of the $2.8 billion in fines paid through April appear to have come from people with modest to moderate incomes.
That’s not surprising. In fact, because the Trump administration indicated earlier this year that taxpayers no longer had to declare whether they had insurance when they filed their taxes, the number of low-income people who would have paid the fine would likely have been much higher.
It’s a simple fact that when Obamacare was formulated as a step toward single-payer medicine run by the federal government, the plan was to foist on insurers steep costs through “guaranteed issue” mandates, which forced them to accept customers with preexisting conditions. These are conditions that spur great emotion in the populace, and inspire them to overlook the basic facts that people with preexisting conditions will likely make more claims and cost the company more in payouts, and the fact that politicians have no moral prerogative to tell others how to run their businesses.
When “guaranteed issue” mandates were imposed in many states during the 1990s and early 2000s, the promise that folks could get “insurance” after they became ill spurred many younger people to wait to get their insurance until after they got sick. (Thus, making it something other than “insurance.”) They would pay school or car loans instead. As a result, the “clean money” premium payments from younger, relatively healthier patients that the insurance companies would normally have received decreased relative to their pool of insureds, increased their costs, and jacked up the price of premiums.
This happened in state after state, where premiums typically doubled in two years, and the number of people under 35 who held policies usually dropped by 40 percent or more.
Democrats in D.C. made sure the fine for not buying insurance was about 10 times lower than the cost of insurance – thus inspiring younger, healthier people to wait to get insurance, and thus driving the costs of policies up across the nation.
So when looking at the astronomical billions of bucks paid in fines, and how it these payments mostly are made by the “working class,” we need to keep in mind that this does not reflect the total number of people who are not getting insurance at all, even as rates skyrocket due to “guaranteed issue” mandates and sicker people holding policies.
Take 30-year-olds earning $32,500 a year, about 275% of the poverty level. Their choice is paying a $695 penalty or paying about $2,150 for a bronze plan (nearly double what a 60-year-old at the same income level would pay for the same plan), according to the Kaiser Family Foundation health subsidy calculator. Essentially, such young adults can tuck away nearly $1,500 a year by paying a fine — unless they ring up medical bills of more than $6,000.
Correct. Every indication is that the mandates and threats of Obamacare have driven up and will continue to increase costs, and we shouldn’t distinguish between higher costs for “the working class” or any other so-called “class.” The demands of D.C. politicians on insurance business people and consumers are the definition of unethical, not to mention unconstitutional. Focusing on “class,” while exposing how Obamacare has backfired, merely reinforces a myth that the U.S. somehow has “classes,” which, technically, are vestiges of the old European feudal system and royal connections.
If there is an elite in this nation, it is the political “class,” which can, if it has 51 percent of the vote in D.C. or a state legislature, command others how to behave, how much to work for them, and whether the next generation will be born as tax slaves. These are indisputable facts, and it doesn’t matter if the rulers try to split us up or hand out favors to one coddled group or another. We are at their mercy, even as they tell us they are doing it for “our own good.”