From the I told you so section of the news comes a report that the Obama administration is having trouble convincing people to buy insurance, or pay a fine – despite the fact that they’ve extended the window to buy coverage. Why? Well…
This is the first year fines are being collected from uninsured people the government deems able to afford coverage. Tax preparation company H&R Block says the penalty averages about $170 among its affected customers. It usually is deducted from a person’s tax refund.
Those penalized are mainly the kind of people the law was intended to help: low- and middle-income workers who do not have coverage on the job or are self-employed. Roughly 4 million people are expected to pay fines, according to congressional estimates.
Basically, in June of 2014 CNN reported that the average monthly Bronze Obamacare payment after subsidies was $82, or $984/year. That is significantly more than the 2014 penalty. That’s also significantly more than the $325/year minimum penalty for this year. Turns out that the administration miscalculated just how much of a deterrent the fine fine was; which is pretty much par for the course for this administration, huh?
And, hey: I told you so.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Note, by the way, that as per that CNN article the administration is paying out over $3,100/year for subsidized plans. If that subsidy shrivels up for state exchanges – because of, say, a looming court case – then pretty much the individual mandate is toast anyway. Moral of the story? Read the law that you’re trying to pass first. If you can’t, then maybe you shouldn’t pass it.
*So why can’t the government just raise the penalty? …Funny thing about that: the individual mandate is actually a tax. There was a Supreme Court decision, and everything. And while the administration may be deluding itself that it can muck about with changing tax rates for businesses without Congressional approval, doing the same for individuals is a bridge too far for even the most egregious egotist.