The Obamacare Penalty could be Bigger than Many People are Expecting

Back in December, I wrote about the upcoming deadline on February 15th to purchase insurance or face the Obamacare penalty doled out by the IRS. It should come as little surprise with all the confusion and misinformation about the ACA that many people still seem to be ignorant of just how much they might have to pay if they refuse or forget to sign up for a plan. As the Washington Times explains:

The Affordable Care Act requires those who didn’t have insurance last year and didn’t qualify for one of the exemptions to pay a tax penalty, which was widely cited as $95 the first year. But the $95 is actually a minimum, and middle- and upper-income families will actually end up paying 1 percent of their household income as their penalty.

TurboTax, an online tax service, estimated that the average penalty for lacking health insurance in 2014 will be $301.

“People would hear the $95, quit listening, and make an assumption that that was what their penalty was going to be,” said Chuck Lovelace, vice president of affordable care for Liberty Tax Service. “I think that a lot of people will be surprised when they get in there and find out that their penalty is [based] on their household income.”

The penalty is designed to prod Americans to buy insurance and the penalty for not having it is scheduled to rise considerably: to a $325 minimum or 2 percent of income in 2015, and to a $695 minimum or 2.5 percent of income in 2016.

So, if you haven’t signed up for a health insurance plan yet, be ready to fork over some cash soon.

Now is as good of a time as any to remind you that repealing Obamacare should be one of Congress’ highest priorities now that Republicans control both houses. Important Republican legislators have made some comments about wanting to repeal it, but it’s up to us to make sure they do. If you need a refresher as to why it’s important we do so, Alyene Senger has a great refresher up at Heritage’s Daily Signal.

Of course, we shouldn’t deceive ourselves, an act repealing Obamacare would require something close to the level of divine intervention for President Obama to actually sign it, but as I explained in my earlier post, it’s important we let America know that we think Obamacare is unacceptable. It’s also important to make sure we force the President to put his name down as opposing it. The American people are still with us on opposing Obamacare, and now, we just need to follow through on our promises.