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ACA Agonistes
ACA Fans Should Brace for a Tax Attack

The ACA is poised to take a big PR hit in the upcoming tax season—similar to the anger over cancelled plans in 2013. For one thing, many people are likely to be hit with a bill to repay part of the subsidy they received under the law. Kaiser Health News reports:

H&R Block released a report Tuesday saying that 52 percent of customers who received health coverage through the insurance marketplaces last year underestimated their income and now owe the government. They estimate that the average subsidy repayment amount is $530.

At the same time, about a third of those enrolled in marketplace coverage overestimated their income and are receiving money back – about $365 on average, the report said.

$530 is not an earth-shattering amount, but 52 percent is pretty high—and even moderate annoyance for that many people is likely to cause some noise. Then there’s the fact that people will for the first time have to pay the fee for being uninsured. The Obama administration has given people more time to buy insurance in order to avoid the 2015 fee, but those uninsured will still have to pay the 2014 one. Unlike the reimbursement readjustments, this fee is a part of the ACA as such. And then there is the sheer complexity that the ACA will add to the tax process for many people.

Taken together, all this will make for a lot of Americans disgruntled about the ACA this tax season. That’s unlikely to give the GOP the support they’d want for full ACA repeal, but it will certainly keep the Democrats busy putting out political fires.

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  • lord acton

    Cue friendly goat singing the praises of the ACA in 3, 2, 1……

    • Suzyqpie

      FG never showed up. I came here just to experience the Awesomeness of FG. I was hoping to again witness his thrill with the Catholic on the SCOTUS. He loves those guys.

      • FriendlyGoat

        You’re really better off visiting pages I’m not on. There are others who can entertain you better than I can.

        • Suzyqpie

          No Way, you grossly under estimate the value and impact of your entertainment factor. Gin up on the Catholics, no one does it better. FG please go to national review dot com comment boards, you’ll have a blast there.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Hey, did you know that the six Catholics of the Supreme Court (five conservative men and Justice Sotomayor) just did EXACTLY what they should do? The just finished a decision on North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v.FTC and they managed to split their votes 3-3. How cool. Every time they split half-half, people win.

    • FriendlyGoat

      You just said it “worked out great” for your family. You’re singing the praises, but I wish we had more detail about your old plan and your new one.

      • lord acton

        Apples and oranges my dear goat. The old plan was pretty thin gruel, mostly water actually. The new Obama certified plan, albeit much more expensive, covers not only unicorns, but also rainbows! Can you believe it?

        • FriendlyGoat

          I’ll take your second sentence at face value, no? Some corporation evidently thought they could make money on it at the lower price, after all. So presumably they didn’t plan to pay a lot of claims.

  • lord acton

    ACA worked out great for my family. Our family was paying $460/month with a 10K deductible. That was cancelled (no longer offered as it was not ACA worthy). The least expensive plan that we could find was $740/month with a 13.3K deductible. So thats $8800 a year for insurance that won’t kick in until we have spent 13K out of pocket. Just want to thank Misters Obama, Reid and Gruber as well as Mrs. Pelosi for making our care so affordable.

  • Andrew Allison

    Given the immediate benefit of doing so, I’m astonished that only 52% of those who signed up for ACA understated their income. Now we can anticipate, as in the case of the Individual Mandate, the frenzied squeals of anguish and claims that they didn’t know what the consequences would be. That said, given that according to some reports 87% of those signed up are receiving subsidies (more bad news for ACA), and are thus low income, $530 may actually be pretty earth-shattering. People for whom the subsidized cost based on fictitious income was marginal may well decide to bail.

  • J K Brown

    The greatest trick the Devil ever played was convincing people he didn’t exist.

    The greatest trick government ever played was Withholding. Obamacare is likely to cause more people to see the trick rather than the distraction.

    • rheddles

      A gift of Milton Friedman to the American people.

    • FriendlyGoat

      If you’re going to tax wages at all, withholding is the way to go. People need help budgeting their taxes and withholding does the trick you mentioned. Lots of people have too much withheld on purpose and use their refunds as a sort of savings account to pay off the Christmas bills or whatever.

  • Boritz

    “Taken together, all this will make for a lot of Americans disgruntled about the ACA this tax season. That’s unlikely to give the GOP the support they’d want for full ACA repeal”

    I’ve stopped trying to understand this. It’s more useful to focus on another mystery: Why doesn’t Merriam-Webster have an entry for “sheeple”?

  • Suzyqpie

    The Dept of Treasury “transferred” $2.997B to HHS for “cost-sharing subsidies” in the ACA without House Ways & Means approval. And DoT Sect Jack Lew rebuffed Rep Paul Ryans request for info. So if the DoT can transfer funds from the treasure to HHS without authority I guess they can transfer funds to their personal acct as well.

    • FriendlyGoat

      You “guess”. Of course you do.

      • Suzyqpie

        What the heII else can we do but “guess.” Your man 0bama, de facto, concealed the whole transaction. Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of American, disbursed taxpayer money sans the House of Representatives approval. The people that We The (increasingly beleaguered) People sent to represent us now have no power in financing 0bama’s debris field?

        • FriendlyGoat

          I was just going on your last seven words above. We can usually get your tone at the beginning or end of a comment.
          No need to get bogged down, you know?

  • brianoconnor

    Meh . . . nobody will collect on it. To do so would be catastrophic to the progressive’s cause.

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