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.