Obamacare & Tax Hikes: Do the Math Before You Freak Out
Ever since the Supreme Court ruled on the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, one word has been coming up over and over again: TAXES. The way I'm hearing some people tell it, you'd think the new law was going to tax families tens of thousands of dollars just to pay for a bunch of lazy bums' health care. But reports of insane new taxes for middle-class families have been greatly exaggerated. (If not downright fabricated.)
Let's come back down to Earth and do the math. I know! Math is hard, right? It's so much easier to spew whatever bullshit the pundits are making up. That's why the Kaiser foundation has created a health reform subsidy calculator that lets you cut through the hot air and just figure out exactly how this is going to affect your family's bottom line.
Middle class families not covered through an employer will get a tax subsidy, not a tax increase. The Christian Science Monitor used Kaiser's calculator to figure that a family of four with a household income of $60,000 a year would gain a $9,308 tax subsidy. (FYI, that's the opposite of paying a tax.) That would go toward paying for health insurance, which would otherwise cost them an estimated $14,000. So with the tax subsidy, they're paying around $5,000 a year for health insurance, making it much more affordable.
In 2009 it was estimated that health care costs top $8,000 per person, per year. And of course that amount rises every year.
If you cannot afford to buy health insurance. The new law deems you exempt if your insurance premiums would exceed 8 percent of your income after tax subsidies and employer contributions. You may qualify for Medicaid since the bill provides funds for states to expand their programs to cover more people. Then again, your state may opt out of the expansion. If you're concerned, you should let your governor and state legislator know how you feel about this.
Who's gonna pay more taxes? People who do not qualify for Medicaid and who refuse to get health insurance will be fined a tax penalty: Around $695 per person or 2 percent of your income in 2016. In Massachusetts, under Romney's health care mandate, only 1 percent of people choose not to carry health insurance.
Also, high-income individuals will pay a 3.8 percent tax on investment income. P.S. You are not high income.
Have you calculated how the new law will affect your family?