Skip to comments.Will IRS bully people to sign up for Obamacare?
Posted on 01/14/2014 2:23:49 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
The individual mandate, Obamacare's requirement that all Americans have health insurance that includes "minimum essential coverage," has been in effect for two weeks now. No one has noticed because nothing has happened. But it will.
The mandate is the heart of Obamacare; without it, supporters believe, the system won't work. So the Obama administration hopes millions of Americans will voluntarily comply with the mandate and purchase government-approved coverage. If they don't do it voluntarily, they'll be punished.
Starting next year, the government will collect a penalty the administration calls it a "shared responsibility payment" from Americans who don't go along with the Obamacare edict. The penalty starts small just $95 per adult and $47.50 per child this year but could conceivably reach thousands of dollars per family per year once the fee scale is fully in effect.
The threat of coercion lies behind the entire Obamacare scheme. The question for the coming year is, how coercive will the government be?
The Democrats who wrote the Affordable Care Act in 2009 gave the Internal Revenue Service power to collect Obamacare penalties. Many Americans are quite familiar with how coercive the IRS can be. Fearing public opposition to IRS threats, the law's authors forbade the IRS from bringing criminal charges or seizing houses and property from those who don't buy government-defined "minimum essential coverage." But Democrats still gave the IRS significant authority.
"Although the Act provides that the IRS may not use criminal prosecutions, notices of federal tax liens, or levies on property to collect an unpaid penalty, the IRS may employ offsets against federal tax refunds," the Obama administration wrote in its 2012 Supreme Court brief in defense of the mandate. "The IRS also may seek payment through correspondence or phone calls from IRS employees."
The main leverage the IRS will have is the refund "offset." That simply means if a taxpayer is due a refund, but has also incurred an Obamacare penalty, the penalty will be subtracted from the refund. So a taxpayer who has a $500 refund coming but incurs a $695 Obamacare penalty will receive no refund.
In addition, that taxpayer might face a letter and a phone call or a series of them from the IRS telling him to pay the rest. Anyone who has received a letter or phone call from the IRS knows the experience can be quite intimidating. Or, in the words of the administration's Supreme Court brief: "Offsets, correspondence, and phone calls are consistently some of the most productive tools in the federal tax collection process."
Will the government really do that? The answer is not clear, or at least not publicly clear. (In response to inquiries, IRS officials sent boilerplate, non-enlightening clips from IRS publications.) But the administration's level of aggressiveness will likely be determined by how many Americans voluntarily comply with the law.
Obamacare needs a lot of them to survive. In the last few months, discussion often focused on the prediction that the system needed to enroll seven million people by the time open enrollment is over at the end of March. But even if Obamacare reaches that goal and it's doubtful right now that is just the start. To work, Obamacare must keep growing. A lot.
"I think we're going to ultimately need about 20 million people for a sustainable pool," health care analyst Robert Laszewski told the Washington Post recently. "So when I hear people talk about the goal being seven million, I think, 'time out.' This needs to be 20 million people within three years."
How does it get there? Well, if Obamacare is a great deal that millions of Americans love, it will reach the goal with no problem. If, on the other hand, it presents Americans with policies that don't fit their needs, are too expensive, have cripplingly high deductibles, and narrow choices of doctors well, many Americans will balk at buying such a product.
It's not that they will reject health coverage; it's that they'll reject health coverage that's a bad deal.
And if that happens, the question of 2015 will be how far the Obama administration will go to force Americans to buy policies they don't want. "The government will be hard-pressed to collect a fine on something lots of people don't believe has value," says Laszewski. "This is when it will become a huge political albatross."
Such a scenario could create enormous political pressure to scrap the individual mandate. And at that point, the future of Obamacare would be very much in doubt.
Hahahahahaha this must be a joke question. Bully... Hahahahaha. If you consider 4am no knock raids SOP then no.
“Regardless, unless they change the rules, the IRS can only get your refunds. “
The president has made many changes in the law with no more right to do so than I have. They’ll change by directive any damn thing they please.
BUMP to study later.
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
‘Seeking’ payment through phone calls and correspondence doesn’t sound like it has the meat of a real law behind it. It sounds like intimidation and threats that aren’t backed by law.
I understand. They change and do things how they want. I’m just commenting on things as they are now - which will change when they can’t get their payments.
I will say this, though. There are an awful lot of EITC’ers out there that are going to be miffed when Obama takes the penalty out of their ‘refund’.
(a) Whoever, in any matter involving a health care benefit program, knowingly and willfully
1.falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; or
2. makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any materially false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, in connection with the delivery of or payment for health care benefits, items, or services,
--- shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
(b) As used in this section, the term health care benefit program has the meaning given such term in section 24 (b) of this title.
As far back as 2008, at the presidential debate in Nashville, Democrat candidate Obama advanced his signature plan that was ultimately enacted (by an historic straight Democrat party-line vote) into the "Affordable Care Act :
OBAMA: "No. 1, let me just repeat, if youve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it. All Im going to do is help you to lower the premiums on it. Youll still have choice of doctor.
Repeated over and over ---- with the promise that every American family would be saving $2500.00 on healthcare costs.
LOCK-STEPPING PARTY LOYALTY NOT SEEN SINCE 1940's ERA EUROPE Obama And The Dumbos marching in lockstep. The persistent Dumbocrat drumbeat ---- in obeisance to Obama ---- kept ringing reassuringly in our ears: "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan."
SEN. HARRY REID (D-Nev.): In fact, one of our core principles is that if you like the health care you have, you can keep it. (Sen. Reid, Congressional Record, S.8642, 8/3/09)
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN: We believe and we stand by this if you like your current health insurance plan, you will be able to keep it, plain and simple, straightforward. (Sen. Durbin, Congressional Record, S.6401, 6/10/09)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): If you like your insurance, you keep it. (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Bill Mark-Up, 9/29/09)
SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-Wash.): Again, if you like what you have, you will be able to keep it. Let me say this again: If you like what you have, when our legislation is passed and signed by the President, you will be able to keep it. (Sen. Murray, Congressional Record, S.6400, 6/10/09)
SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-Mont.): That is why one of the central promises of health care reform has been and is: If you like what you have, you can keep it. That is critically important. If a person has a plan, and he or she likes it, he or she can keep it. (Sen. Baucus, Congressional Record, S.7676, 9/29/10)
SEN. TOM HARKIN (D-Iowa): One of the things we put in the health care bill when we designed it was the protection for consumers to keep the plan they have if they like it; thus, the term grandfathered plans. If you have a plan you like existing policies you can keep them. we said, if you like a plan, you get to keep it, and you can grandfather it in. (Sen. Harkin, Congressional Record, S.7675-6, 9/29/10)
THEN-REP. TAMMY BALDWIN (D-Wis.): Under the bill, if you like the insurance you have now, you may keep it and it will improve. (Rep. Baldwin, Press Release, 3/18/10)
SEN. MARK BEGICH (D-Alaska): If you got a doctor now, you got a medical professional you want, you get to keep that. If you have an insurance program or a health care policy you want of ideas, make sure you keep it. That you can keep who you want. (Sen. Begich, Townhall Event, 7/27/09)
SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-Colo.): We should begin with a basic principle: if you have coverage and you like it, you can keep it. If you have your doctor, and you like him or her, you should be able to keep them as well. We will not take that choice away from you. (Sen. Bennet, Press Release, 6/11/09)
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-Calif.): So we Democrats want people to be able to keep the health care they have. And the answer to that is choice of plans. And in the exchange, were going to have lots of different plans, and people will be able to keep the health care coverage they need and they want. (Sen. Boxer, Press Release, 2/8/11)
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-Ohio): Our Democrat bill says if you have health insurance and you like it, you can keep it (Sen. Brown, Congressional Record, S.12612, 12/7/09)
SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-Md.): For the people of Maryland, this bill will provide a rational way in which they can maintain their existing coverage (Sen. Cardin, Congressional Record, S.13798, 12/23/09)
SEN. BOB CASEY (D-Pa.): I also believe this Democrat legislation and the bill we are going to send to President Obama this fall will also have secure choices. If you like what you have, you like the plan you have, you can keep it. It is not going to change. (Sen. Casey, Congressional Record, S.8070, 7/24/09)
SEN. KAY HAGAN (D-N.C.): People who have insurance theyre happy with can keep it We need to support the private insurance industry so that people who have insurance theyre happy with can keep it while also providing a backstop option for people without access to affordable coverage. (Republicans Vent As Other Compromise Plans Get Aired, National Journals Congress Daily, 6/18/09)
SEN. MARY LANDRIEU (D-La.): If you like the insurance that you have, youll be able to keep it. (MSNBCs Hardball, 12/16/09)
SEN. PAT LEAHY (D-Vt.): [I]f you like the insurance you now have, keep the insurance you have. (CNNs Newsroom, 10/22/09)
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D-N.J.): If you like what you have, you get to keep it Menendez is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which is expected to release a bill later this week. He stressed that consumers who are satisfied with their plans wont have to change. If you like what you have, you get to keep it, he said. (Health Care Plan Would Help N.J., Menendez Says, The Record, 6/19/09)
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-Oreg.): [E]nsuring that those who like their insurance get to keep it The HELP Committee bill sets forward a historic Democrat plan that will, for the first time in American history, give every American access to affordable health coverage, reduce costs, and increase choice, while ensuring that those who like their insurance get to keep it. (Sen. Merkley, Press Release, 7/15/09)
SEN. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D-Md.): It means that if you like the insurance you have now, you can keep it. (Sen. Mikulski, Press Release, 12/24/09)
SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER (D-W.Va.): I want people to know, the Presidents promise that if you like the coverage you have today you can keep it is a pledge we intend to keep. (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Hearing, 9/23/09)
SEN. JACK REED (D-R.I.): If you like the insurance you have, you can choose to keep it. (Sen. Reed, Town Hall Event, 6/25/09)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.): If you have coverage you like, you can keep it, says Sen. Sanders. (Sick And Wrong, Rolling Stone, 4/5/10)
SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-N.H.): if you have health coverage that you like, you get to keep it My understanding is that if you have health coverage that you like you can keep it. As I said, you may have missed my remarks at the beginning of the call, but one of the things I that I said as a requirement that I have for supporting a Democrat bill is that if you have health coverage that you like you should be able to keep that. under every scenario that Ive seen, if you have health coverage that you like, you get to keep it. (Sen. Shaheen, Health Care Questions From Across New Hampshire, Accessed 11/13/13)
SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D-Mich.): As someone who has a large number of large employers in my state, one of the things I appreciate about the Democrat chairmans remark is is the grandfathering provisions, the fact that the people in my state, 60 percent of whom have insurance, are going to be able to keep it. And Mr. Chairman, I appreciate that. Thats a strong commitment. Its clear in the bill I appreciate the strong commitment on your part and the president to make sure that if you have your insurance you can keep it. Thats the bottom line for me. (U.S. Senate, Finance Committee, Bill Mark-Up, 9/24/09)
SEN. JON TESTER (D-Mont.): If you like your coverage, youll be able to keep it, Tester said, adding that if Medicare changes, it will only become stronger. (Tester In Baker To Discuss Health Care, The Fallon County Times, 11/20/09)
SEN. TOM UDALL (D-N.Mex.): Some worried reform would alter their current coverage. It wont. If you like your current plan, you can keep it. (What I Learned: About Health Care Reform This Summer, By Your Lawmakers In Congress, Albuquerque Journal, 9/8/09)
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-R.I.): ..it honors President Obamas programs and the promise of all of the Presidential candidates that if you like the plan you have, you get to keep it. You are not forced out of anything. (Sen. Whitehouse, Congressional Record, S.8668, 8/3/09)
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) the 60th vote on Obamacare: "people who are happy with their current plan, wouldn't need to change it."
FRANKEN YOUTUBE SOUND BITE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCZmAYYNz8Ihttp://www.youtube.com/watch?
It wouldn't seem likely that the IRS would harass sheeple that are eligible for exchange subsidys. That would only expedite overturning the law. However, rebellious higher 6 figure incomes would make a juicy target. The maximum tax penalty is the average price of a bronze plan in the US..
That is true. However, it is also likely that those high income people have plans from work that qualify. You’re then left with small businesses and other self-employeds.
I think the real SHTF stuff is coming next year (which they will delay until after 2016) are the enormous taxes that are coming to businesses that supply plans the government considers “Cadillac” and they will be heavily taxed. Expect to see plans devolve down to Obamacare levels with unneeded things like abortions and BC pills, or expect the employee contribution skyrocket. Either way, it ain’t gonna be purty.
But what happens when you are fined Falsely? Then how will you get your money back?
You’re misreading that. Note the “issuer” wording.
The Cadillac provision doesn’t go into effect until 2018. Up until ACA went into effect, the trend was for larger companies to self insure. These guys are all pondering whether to stay self insured or ditch the plans altogether...
How exactly will the IRS know whether you have a grandfathered private insurance policy? Will we be required to submit some sort of proof? Will the IRS erroneously fine people who do have coverage and steal their refunds? The corruption and incompetence has only begun.
Yes, but let's not pretend that that is a small thing.
They have some BIG harassment guns.
Is the Pope Catholic?
I expect those with private insurance will have a mark somewhere on their W-2 that shows that they have a “gold-plated” plan, and that there will be an appropriate column on your federal income tax form to tax you for such “riches.”
State partially controlled Medical Insurance is Socialism, where competition is allowed.
State totally controlled Medical Insurance is Communism, where competition is not allowed.
Socialist Medical Insurance constitutes a partial violation of US Anti-Trust Laws.
Communist Medical Insurance constitutes a full violation of US Anti-Trust Laws.
Senator Harry Reid supports a single payor Medical Insurance system, totally controlled by the US Federal Government.
I'll go out on a limb and predict that things are going to get tight (tighter??) before the end of the year. Hopefully, not as bad as 2008-2009, but we will see. The silver lining is that it might spell the end of Obamacare, if no one has money to participate in it.
Mrs WBill teaches part-time for a local college. She's done it for years (15? 20? I can't remember. For about ever, I think....)
Anyhoo, she told me last night that her class size this semester is more than double what it usually is. Two classes, 40 students. Usually she'd have between 15 and 20.
Anytime her class size goes up like this, the economy tanks. The last time was 2008-09, time before that was 2000-01. Her class size increasing is usually a semester (sometimes two) ahead of the problems.
I've already gotten my retirement portfolio aligned more conservatively....did that awhile back. However, I'm going to check it over again this weekend.