A project of the Galen Institute

Issue: "Taxes"

Robert Pear: White House Seeks to Limit Health Law's Troubles

The New York Times
Sat, 2015-01-31
WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act say they worry that the tax-filing season will generate new anger as uninsured consumers learn that they must pay tax penalties and as many people struggle with complex forms needed to justify tax credits they received in 2014 to pay for health insurance. The White House has already granted some exemptions and is considering more to avoid a political firestorm. Mark J. Mazur, the assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, said up to six million taxpayers would have to “pay a fee this year because they made a choice not to obtain health care coverage that they could have afforded.” But Christine Speidel, a tax lawyer at Vermont Legal Aid, said: “A lot of people do not feel that health insurance plans in the marketplace were affordable to them, even with subsidies.

Tami Luhby: Millions to owe Obamacare tax penalty

CNN
Thu, 2015-01-29
Some 3 million to 6 million Americans will have to pay an Obamacare tax penalty for not having health insurance last year, Treasury officials said Wednesday. It's the first time they have given estimates for how many people will be subject to a fine. The penalty is $95, or 1% of income above a certain threshold (roughly $20,000 for a couple). So you could end up owing the IRS a lot of money. Take a married couple with $100,000 in income - their bill comes to $797, according to the Tax Policy Center ACA penalty calculator. The penalty for remaining uninsured rises to the larger of $325 or 2% of income in 2015. Related: Obamacare 2.0 sign ups hit 9.5 million As millions of Americans sit down in coming weeks to compile their tax returns, they'll have to contend with Obamacare's health insurance mandate for the first time.

Melissa Quinn: 5 Takeaways from the CBO’s Report on Obamacare

The Daily Signal
Wed, 2015-01-28
A nonpartisan entity of the federal government has found that the Affordable Care Act will cost the government less than expected. However, the reduction in the law’s price tag comes among findings that millions of Americans could lose their employer-provided health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office came out with a report yesterday revising the costs and budgetary effects of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Though the agency found that the health care law is projected to cost the government less than originally thought, the CBO projected enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will continue to increase. The CBO attributed the drop in Obamacare costs to lower-than-expected enrollments and subsidies given to those who are eligible. The number of consumers receiving subsidies could decrease even further following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the court case King v. Burwell.

Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance, says bombshell budget report

Daily Mail
Tue, 2015-01-27
Stunning figure comes from Congressional Budget Office report that revised cost estimates for the next 10 years Government will spend $1.993 TRILLION over a decade and take in $643 BILLION in new taxes, penalties and fees related to Obamacare The $1.35 trillion net cost will result in 'between 24 million and 27 million' fewer Americans being uninsured – a $50,000 price tag per person at best The law will still leave 'between 29 million and 31 million' nonelderly Americans without medical insurance Numbers assume Obamacare insurance exchange enrollment will double between now and 2025 It will cost the federal government – taxpayers, that is – $50,000 for every person who gets health insurance under the Obamacare law, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Monday. The number comes from figures buried in a 15-page section of the nonpartisan organization's new ten-year budget outlook.

Justin Haskins: Endlessly Slapped By ObamaCare

NY Post
Mon, 2015-01-26
“I’m sorry sir,” the polite Healthcare.gov customer-service agent said. “There’s nothing I can do. You’re either going to have to enroll in Medicaid or you’re going to have to pay the full health-insurance rate.” “The rate you quoted earlier?” I asked. “That’s nearly 30 percent higher than my current insurance bill, I just can’t afford it.” “You’ll have to pay the full rate, yes,” the agent replied. “I don’t understand,” I explained. “I have plenty of money to pay you a reasonable rate, but I can’t afford to pay the same rate a millionaire would be asked to pay. Why can’t I just receive a partial subsidy? I’m willing to pay more than what Medicaid offers.” “Sir, that’s just not how the system works.” Right.

Richard Pollock: BOMBSHELL: IRS Has Active Contract For MILLIONS With Company HHS FIRED Over Botched Healthcare.gov

The Daily Caller
Thu, 2015-01-22
Seven months after federal officials fired CGI Federal for its botched work on Obamacare website Healthcare.gov, the IRS awarded the same company a $4.5 million IT contract for its new Obamacare tax program. CGI is a $10.5 billion Montreal-based company that has forever been etched into the public’s mind as the company behind the bungled Obamacare main website. After facing a year of embarrassing failures, federal officials finally pulled the plug on the company and terminated CGI’s contract in January 2014. Yet on Aug. 11, seven months later, IRS officials signed a new contract with CGI to provide “critical functions” and “management support” for its Obamacare tax program, according to the Federal Procurement Data System, a federal government procurement database. The IRS contract is worth $4.46 million, according to the FPDS data. The contract expires Aug.

H&R Block: ‘No One Can Understand’ New Obamacare Tax Code

The Daily Caller
Wed, 2015-01-21
Posted By Richard Pollock H&R Block, the nation’s largest retail tax preparation company warns that the newly released Obamacare tax code, officially called the Affordable Care Act, is likely to confuse millions of taxpayers who try to tackle their tax returns for 2014. “Now that the Affordable Care Act has made health care a tax issue, no one can understand it,” H&R Block flatly tells taxpayers in a video that resides on its dedicated Obamacare web site. A former IRS Commissioner agrees, and cautions that the new tax requirements will be a “shock to the system,” especially afflicting low-income earners who have never itemized on their tax return. The tax preparation giant — with 24 million tax clients worldwide — reports that the Obamacare tax rules now constitute “the biggest tax code change in the last 20 years.” The company is so concerned, it has launched a high profile national television advertising campaign directed solely at Obamacare enrollees.

Reforming Obamacare: Start With the Young

Real Clear Politics
Wed, 2015-01-21
After the lofty promises that led to passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, young people are waking up to how much the law targets them with higher costs. Yes, those lucky enough to be covered on their parents' health plans can postpone the consequences until they are 26. But for the rest, the situation is grim: Young people face disproportionately high costs to pay for coverage and a crushing burden of taxes that could impede their future prosperity. Young people 20-35 constitute about 20 percent of America's population, but they represent 46 percent of the uninsured -- and, according to an analysis by Manhattan Institute scholar Avik Roy and colleagues, a 25-year-old male living in California and earning just $29,000 a year pays more than $1,140 more per year for health insurance due to the ACA.

Need help filing out your tax return? Don't call the IRS

Yahoo
Thu, 2015-01-15
WASHINGTON (AP) — Filing a federal tax return is about to get more complicated for millions of families because of President Barack Obama's health law. But they shouldn't expect much help from the Internal Revenue Service. Got a question for the IRS? Good luck reaching someone by phone. The tax agency says only half of the 100 million people expected to call this year will be able to reach a person. Callers who do get through may have to wait on hold for 30 minutes or more to talk to someone who will answer only the simplest questions. "Taxpayers who need help are not getting it, and tax compliance is likely to suffer over the longer term if these problems are not quickly and decisively addressed," said a report Wednesday by agency watchdog Nina E. Olson. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says budget cuts are forcing the agency to reduce taxpayer services and other functions.

Obamacare Problems? Now in Hands of IRS

Town Hall
Wed, 2015-01-14
Bruce Bialosky Deluged with catastrophes, court challenges and criticism, Obamacare (ACA) has had a controversial life to date. Yet it is ready to enter a completely new phase where the implementation gets shifted to the Internal Revenue Service – America’s favorite three words. If you liked the health care plan up to now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. 2010 was actually the first year that the IRS was involved in Obamacare enforcement. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit went into effect with this filing year. You may remember I wrote that there was mass resistance to this credit by the tax-preparer community. We could not figure out how to get the credit for our clients while at the same time keeping the cost of preparing the paperwork lower than the actual credit being received by our clients.

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