Go Back   SZONE.US Forums > Current Events > News > The Heritage Foundation

The Heritage Foundation Since its founding in 1973, The Heritage Foundation has served as a research and educational institute -- a think tank -- whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense

The Heritage Foundation

Senate Should Repeal Regressive Tax on the Uninsured

Views:99
Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread
  #1  
Unread 11.30.17, 11:36 AM
@Heritage @Heritage is offline
RSS Bot
 
Join Date: 06.09
Posts: 37,098
Senate Should Repeal Regressive Tax on the Uninsured

On 11.30.17 11:06 AM posted by Doug Badger

Senate Democrats who fret over the distributional effects of tax cuts should thank their GOP colleagues for giving them the chance this week to vote on repealing one of the most regressive taxes: the Obamacare tax on the uninsured.

This tax disproportionately falls on those with incomes less than $50,000, while exempting many households earning six-figure salaries. Many who qualify for subsidies will have to choose between paying the tax and buying policies that offer shabby coverage with onerous deductibles that could stick them with big medical bills.

This wasnít the way the so-called individual mandate was supposed to work. Obamacareís architects theorized that threatening young and healthy uninsured people with a tax penalty would induce them to buy a product they didnít want. They expected a big influx of younger people to pay premiums and file few claims, creating a stable market with affordable premiums.

Millennials spoiled this dream. Their enrollment rates disappointed expectations, roiling insurance markets and driving premiums higher.

That, coupled with President Donald Trumpís decision to discontinue unappropriated cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers that a federal judge ruled were unconstitutional, drove insurers to hike their 2018 premiums even higher.

Most of these increases fell on silver plans, creating a dilemma for many people eligible for premium subsidies. The perverse result is that many subsidy-eligible people end up being subject to the mandate, while many with much higher incomes are not.

Consider a 31-year-old who earns $32,000. She would qualify for an average subsidy of nearly $2,500, according to the Kaiser Family Foundationís premium calculator.

She would have several choices. She could buy a silver plan at an average annual premium net of subsidies for a little more than $2,700.

Alternatively, she could pay less (an average annual premium of around $1,200, net of subsidies) for a bronze plan. But deductibles in bronze policies average nearly $5,900, requiring her to shell out more than $7,000 (22 percent of her income) for premiums and deductibles before her coverage fully kicks in.

Her third option is to remain uninsured and owe a tax penalty of $695.

Now consider a 31-year-old couple with an income of $80,000, too much to be eligible for a subsidy. A silver plan would cost them an average of nearly $10,500. A bronze plan would be more affordable (average premium of around $7,400).

But since the bronze plan premium exceeds 8 percent of their income, Obamacare exempts them from the tax penalty, unlike the 31-year-old single woman who earns far less.

This 8 percent threshold shields even households with six-figure incomes from the Obamacare tax penalty. A 45-year-old couple with income of $115,000 can forego coverage without tax consequences. A 55-year-old couple earning a combined $177,000 also would be exempt from the penalty.

Itís little wonder that an analysis by the office of Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., of IRS data found that 4 out of 5 people who paid the penalty for the 2015 tax year had incomes below $50,000.

For millions in that income category, Obamacare premium subsidies are a mixed blessing. Because those subsidies hold premiums below the 8 percent threshold, they are subject to the penalty if they donít enroll. Households with much higher incomes, meanwhile, are exempt.

The individual mandate is a failed and regressive policy. It has neither stabilized markets nor kept premiums affordable, and it falls most heavily on households in the bottom two income quintiles.

Those looking for regressive taxes to repeal need look no further.

The post Senate Should Repeal Regressive Tax on the Uninsured appeared first on The Daily Signal.



http://dailysignal.com/2017/11/30/se...tax-uninsured/
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2007 - 20017 SZONE.US All rights reserved