June 28, 2012. Washington. President Obama got his way, both of them. To the American people, he continually insisted Obamacare wasn’t a tax and wouldn’t cost the taxpayers a cent. His legal team arguing before the Supreme Court however, told the truth, and the Court agreed. Obamacare isn’t just a government mandate forcing all Americans to buy insurance. It is one giant, massive tax on the poorest of the poor.
Court rules Obamacare fines on the poor are a tax, and perfecly legal.
This is the second time, at least, that President Obama has violated his pledge not to raise taxes on anyone earning under $200,000 per year. The first time was when Obama was only days in office. February 2009 saw the President out-and-out lie to the American people and raise federal taxes on not just the middle class, but the working poor and every other income bracket. It was a Republican-style flat tax and like all flat taxes - the poorer you are, the higher your tax rate is.
Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act
Sounds like a fine government program – helping poor, uninsured children. Contrary to what President Obama promised, the law raised the federal cigarette tax on all smokers from $0.30 per pack to $1.01 per pack. That’s a tax increase of over 300 percent on anyone who smokes, including the poorest of the poor.
On a side note, for those arguing that if they’re poor, they shouldn’t be smoking in the first place – the smokers would tell you they can’t stop because cigarette companies add 100-plus secret chemicals to cigarettes to make them addictive. What if we found out that all this time, McDonalds was secretly putting 100 addictive chemicals into their food to make customers come back again and again? Would you feel victimized? Would you stop going? Could you? Remember, Coke is called Coke because it originally contained cocaine. That’s the boat smokers are in. But that’s a topic for another article.
The Individual Mandate
White House lawyers and the Supreme Court called the ‘individual mandate’ portion of Obamacare a tax. That is its legal classification, no matter how much President Obama publicly says otherwise. In fact, it’s a tax on the poorest of the poor – those who can’t afford to buy the government-forced health insurance policy in the first place.
For those who have $0, any fee is too much. And for the homeless and indigent, Obamacare is a luxury they can’t afford. And to make sure that the multinational insurance companies facilitating America’s just-nationalized healthcare system can profit from the endeavor, the President made it mandatory that all Americans buy it – the individual mandate.
Supreme Court Ruling – Read the full text of the Supreme Court’s ruling here.
The penalty for not purchasing Obamacare insurance is a monetary fine. Beginning in 2014, Americans who can’t or won’t purchase health insurance will be charge a fine, or a tax according to the Supreme Court today. In 2014, the tax is only a couple hundred dollars per person. But by 2016, the poor tax jumps to $695 according to Associated Press and as much as $2,085 as reported by CNN. Either way, if people are too poor to pay the fees, they’re too poor to pay the tax.
For those with income and still refusing to buy health insurance, the fine is 2.5 percent of your entire family’s income, with a maximum of $12,500 per year. It’s not clear if that is the tax for each person in the family refusing to buy insurance, or the entire family’s tax. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that only 4 million Americans will refuse to buy health insurance. Where they came up with that number is anyone’s guess.
While crafting the bill, the President was forced to take most of the teeth out of the penalty phase for those too poor to pay the insurance premiums or the government-imposed fines. The Law requires that no one be put in prison for violating the mandate. The millions living in small tent towns, roaming homeless and those who call bus stations and the underside of bridges and viaducts home, those completely off the grid, won’t have to worry about federal agents storming their cardboard boxes to take them to jail.
The Employer Mandate
A press release distributed by the National Retail Federation immediately after the Supreme Court’s ruling also took issue with the Obamacare tax increases that medium and large businesses will be saddled with. “As the voice of retailers of all types and sizes, we’re disappointed by today’s ruling,” the NRF announced, “This law will have a dramatic, negative impact on every employer and employee in the United States and further constrain job creation and economic growth.”
An account by Reuters today seems to back-up the NRF’s fears. They explain that beginning in 2014, all employers with 50 or more full time employees are required to offer some kind of healthcare insurance to all their employees. It isn’t clear if they would be required to offer coverage to part time employees as well. As a penalty for any business that refuses to offer health insurance, the company would be forced to pay $2,000 per employee for the first 30 employees. That’s a $60,000 per year business tax according to the Supreme Court. The report quotes one analyst saying that with skyrocketing insurance costs, that may actually be cheaper for some employers than offering insurance.
Those employees earning more than $200,000 per year will be taxed twice - first for their mandatory health insurance premiums and second in a Medicare tax withholding increase for anyone earning more than that amount. Many businesses are also complaining about the additional reporting requirements they’re being forced to comply with. Those employers must now keep detailed records of the healthcare expenditures and report it on their yearly W-2 forms.
While President Obama insists his Affordable Care Act is not a tax and the Supreme Court and his own legal team argue otherwise, readers should remember one detail. The Obamacare law is 2,700 pages long and probably none of us has ever read it. Many of the Congressmen who voted for and against it have agreed that they’ve never read it. And just about every media personality arguing one way or another on TV has never read it. One wonders if the US Supreme Court actually read it.
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