Obamacare fallout: Here comes the stick

First Posted: 1/19/2015

JANUARY 17, 2015 — If 2014 was supposed to be the “carrot” to get people to sign up for Obamacare, with all its empty promises, then 2015 is shaping up to be the stick: There will be far steeper fines for noncompliance and tax penalties likely for half of those who received subsidies.

Let’s start with fines: The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate requires all citizens to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. Last year’s fine was a paltry $95 (or a 1 percent income tax penalty, whichever is higher), The Daily Signal reports. This year the fine increases to $325 or 2 percent of taxable income. And citizens are now required to report their health insurance status to the IRS.

Oh, there are exemptions. But the feds will be handling the public’s calls after Obamacare’s open enrollment ends on Feb. 15. And people thought signing up for Obamacare was a fiasco? Claiming an exemption portends to be an even bigger headache.

But there’s more. H&R Block estimates that up to half of the approximately 6.8 million taxpayers who pocketed Obamacare subsidies in 2014 might have to pay money back to the government, according to Forbes. Filers in this category could be in for some very unhappy returns.

Some observers expect the latest court challenge to the Affordable Care Act (Halbig v. Burwell) eventually will return this misbegotten mess to Congress. At which point lawmakers should promptly put Obamacare out of the public’s misery.

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