Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Health law mandate isn’t ‘largest tax,’ despite GOP claims (jail time still optional)
The Hill ^ | 7/08/12 | Russell Berman

Posted on 07/08/2012 4:50:45 PM PDT by Libloather

Health law mandate isn’t ‘largest tax,’ despite GOP claims
By Russell Berman - 07/08/12 03:00 PM ET

To hear Republicans tell it, the individual mandate to buy health insurance that the Supreme Court has now declared to be a tax is the “largest tax in America’s history.”

Yet even when considered as a revenue-raising tax, the mandate at the center of President Obama's signature legislation is not even the largest tax increase in the 2010 healthcare law, much less in the history of the republic.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that the penalty, or tax, for not buying health insurance will bring in just about $4 billion a year and a total of $17 billion by the end of the decade.

Taken either as a whole or as a percentage of the overall economy, that pales in comparison to many tax increases in recent decades.

And according to findings by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, there are nine different revenue increases that are larger within the healthcare law itself. They include payroll and investment tax increases on high-income Americans that will bring in $317 billion over 10 years, and taxes on health insurance providers and high-cost “Cadillac” healthcare plans that will each bring in more than $100 billion. Republicans have identified a total of 21 tax hikes in the law, which also include an excise tax on medical devices and a 10 percent levy on tanning services.

The GOP has long decried the healthcare law as the “largest tax increase in U.S. history” because of its more than $500 billion in revenue-raising measures, but in the days after the landmark Supreme Court ruling, they have suggested that the mandate - with its penalty newly defined as legally a tax - is the mother of all tax hikes.

“The court ruled today that in fact, the Affordable Care Act is a tax. It is the largest tax in America’s history,” the vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (Wash.), said as she led the leadership’s response to the decision last week.

In interviews, House Republicans cited the new definition of the mandate as a key reason why the party should take a repeat vote next week to repeal the entire healthcare law. And the party has used the ruling to argue that President Obama and Democratic leaders misled the public when they claimed that the mandate was not a tax and that the law would not raise taxes on middle-income Americans.

“With the Supreme Court’s decision clearly articulating that this is a tax, it's one of the largest tax increases ever on the American people,” freshman Rep. Tom Reed (N.Y.) said.

Nick Kasprak, an analyst with the non-partisan Tax Foundation, said estimates of the revenue increases generated by the healthcare law in total range from $600 billion to $800 billion.

“That is actually not particularly huge. It’s certainly big,” Kasprak said. The revenue increase of allowing the George W. Bush-era tax rates to expire would be considerably larger, he said. The healthcare tax measures are “kind of on par with other major pieces of legislation,” Kasprak said.

The tax penalty associated with the mandate would be much smaller.

“If you’re talking about just the mandate itself, that’s almost negligible in the context of the broader law,” Kasprak said.

The penalty for not having insurance in the healthcare law is assessed through the IRS as either a flat dollar amount or a percentage of household income. After beginning at less than $100 in 2014, the minimum flat amount rises to $695 in 2016 and is indexed to inflation in subsequent years. As a percentage of household income, it is capped at 2.5 percent in 2016 and after.

According to a 2010 analysis by CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation, about 4 million people will be subject to the penalty in 2016. The total number of nonelderly uninsured Americans will be about 21 million in that year, the analysis found, but a majority would be exempted from having to pay the penalty because of their immigration status, their religious beliefs, their income level or other reasons. The IRS is also restricted in the way it can enforce payment of the penalty; it can’t, for example, prosecute people as it can when individuals don’t pay other required taxes.

In a blog post for the Tax Policy Center on Tuesday, the Urban Institute’s Howard Gleckman wrote that “in reality, the tax (nee penalty) is a mouse.”

“The tax itself is modest, at least to start,” Gleckman wrote. “It will affect relatively few people. And it will be almost impossible for the IRS to make anybody pay it.”

For some critics of the law, the size of the healthcare tax is not important. Republican economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who advised Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, said he hadn’t run the numbers and couldn’t say whether the entire law represented the largest tax increase in American history. But, he said, “what I know is it’s the worst tax policy I’ve ever seen.”


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: commiecare; health; mandate; taxes
And even if it is a tax, it isn't a TAX tax. Because, as we all know, it's a right.
1 posted on 07/08/2012 4:50:53 PM PDT by Libloather
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Libloather
We didn't say the mandate tax was the largest tax, we said Obamacare was the largest tax increase in history. AND IT IS!
2 posted on 07/08/2012 4:57:47 PM PDT by originalbuckeye
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: originalbuckeye

Exactly right. Little Russ doesn’t seem to understand what people are saying. The boy is in over his head here.


3 posted on 07/08/2012 5:09:13 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Help reduce voter fraud in America! If you see something, say something!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

someone may have misspoken somewhere, but I don’t recall anyone consistently calling the mandate itself the largest tax increase in history. many people have referred to the ACA as the largest tax increase in history.


4 posted on 07/08/2012 5:17:07 PM PDT by JohnBrowdie (http://forum.stink-eye.net)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FlingWingFlyer

Oh, this puke knows exactly what he’s doing: using a classic straw man fallacy to defend his god obastard...


5 posted on 07/08/2012 5:44:45 PM PDT by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

Regardless of whether or not it’s the largest tax increase, it does require the forfeiture of individual funds for the benefit of others at the risk of penalty by the Federal government. They can play with the semantics all they want. Bottom line - forcing citizens to cede personal property for the “public good” is taxation, regardless if the monies end up in the public coffers or an insurance fund.


6 posted on 07/08/2012 5:59:40 PM PDT by hotshu (Redistribution of wealth by the government is nothing but theft under the color of law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

It is absolutely the largest piece of tax legislation increasing taxes, en masse, with 20+ taxes from the 10% tanning tax to a whopping 3.8% increase on investments and a healthy 3% tax on wages. Hell, don’t forget the new level for exemptions ensuring only the sickest among us will be using that deduction; it goes from 7% of income to a new level of 10%!

Our guys need to enumerate those so people can see what real effect t is and that doesn’t include the expiration of the Bush Tax cuts.

Believe me, people are going to feel these taxes. they will become very real and tangible .


7 posted on 07/08/2012 6:20:57 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live thnrough it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

It is absolutely the largest piece of tax legislation increasing taxes, en masse, with 20+ taxes from the 10% tanning tax to a whopping 3.8% increase on investments and a healthy 3% tax on wages. Hell, don’t forget the new level for exemptions ensuring only the sickest among us will be using that deduction; it goes from 7% of income to a new level of 10%!

Our guys need to enumerate those so people can see what real effect t is and that doesn’t include the expiration of the Bush Tax cuts.

Believe me, people are going to feel these taxes. they will become very real and tangible .


8 posted on 07/08/2012 6:21:33 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live thnrough it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Libloather

The largest tax increase ever was George Herbert Bush for which poured him out of office like a full spittoon. He was the sorriest liar before Clinton denied sex with Lewinssky before a federal judge and got disbarred and impeached. But Bush and his side kick John Sanunu lied and said “ read my lips == no new taxes “ followed by the largest tax increase in history— much larger than communist medical care.Look it up. They think we are so stupid we forgot.


9 posted on 07/08/2012 7:24:33 PM PDT by marygonzo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson