This sounds about right:
Right now the White House is in carrot mode, trying to sell “young invincibles” on the glories of health insurance. But the carrot doesn’t work on everyone: According to Gallup, more than 30 percent of the uninsured were unaware this past week until they were polled that they’re now required by law to buy insurance. As we get closer to December and the need grows more urgent for a big pool of new revenue to cover those with preexisting conditions, the White House is bound to shift from carrot to stick. I’m curious to see how they play that. They’ll hammer the fact that it’s ILLEGAL not to have insurance if you can afford it and that the TAXMAN will make you pay a FINE if you don’t, but they might not emphasize too much that the fine (for this year at least) is the higher of just 95 bucks or one percent of your income. If a thousand Obama speeches on how awesome ObamaCare is can’t create a groundswell of enrollment, maybe strategically vague warnings implying that the IRS might kick down the door will do it.
Of course, compensating for that will be the cheering thought that it’s downright amazing how quickly a twentysomething’s attention will focus when it comes to their paychecks. I don’t recommend trying to game the withholding system to avoid having to pay the fine. I do recommend that young people ask themselves Am I likely to incur more than six hundred to twelve hundred dollars in health care costs next year? – with the reminder that accidents do, in fact, occur – and go ahead and eat the one to three hundred bucks that they’ll have to pay in Obamacare tax. Or perhaps they should consider it just an Obama tax. It’ll serve as a good, useful reminder of why you should think before you vote.