If you don’t buy insurance, will you really pay the tax?

Article Highlights

  • Will the IRS be able to collect the #Obamacare tax?

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  • To get young people to buy health insurance when it’s more expensive than it already is, there must be real consequences.

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  • Though the #ACA imposes a tax, the law explicitly neuters the IRS’s ability to collect it.

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Generally speaking, if you owe money to the IRS, they will get it from you-with the possible exception of the ObamaCare tax.

Now that the Supreme Court has decided that ObamaCare's mandate to buy health insurance is a tax, will the IRS be able to collect it?

Generally speaking, if you owe money to the IRS, they will get it from you-with the possible exception of the ObamaCare tax. Though ObamaCare's individual mandate imposes a tax on people who do not purchase government-approved health insurance, the law explicitly neuters the IRS's ability to collect the tax.

Bizarre? Yes. And it matters. If policymakers expect uninsured young people to buy health insurance when it is even more expensive than it is today, the threat of serious consequences for not doing so must be real. Yes, the threat that the IRS might come after you if you do not do what you are told looks real at first glance. But Democratic politicians, fearing public backlash for making the mandate too intrusive, pulled its teeth.

Read the full article at the American.

Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Healthcare and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute, where Michael R. Strain is a research fellow.

 

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About the Author

 

Joseph
Antos
  • Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where his research focuses on the economics of health policy — including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, the uninsured, and the overall reform of the health care system and its financing. He also studies the impact of health care expenditures on federal budget policy.

    Before joining AEI, Antos was assistant director for health and human resources at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). He has also held senior positions in the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He recently completed a seven-year term as health adviser to CBO, and two terms as a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission. In 2013, he was also named adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University.

    Antos has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in mathematics from Cornell University.



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Michael R.
Strain
  • Michael R. Strain is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies labor economics, public finance, and applied microeconomics. His research has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and in the policy journals Tax Notes and National Affairs. Dr. Strain also writes frequently for popular audiences on topics including labor market policy, jobs, minimum wages, federal tax and budget policy, and the Affordable Care Act, among others.  His essays and op-eds have been published by National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, Forbes, Bloomberg View, and a variety of other outlets. He is frequently interviewed by major media outlets, and speaks often on college campuses. Before joining AEI he worked on the research team of the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program and was the manager of the New York Census Research Data Center, both at the U.S. Census Bureau.  Dr. Strain began his career in the macroeconomics research group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  He is a graduate of Marquette University, and holds an M.A. from New York University and a Ph.D. from Cornell.


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  • Phone: 202-862-4884
    Email: michael.strain@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Regan Kuchan
    Phone: 202-862-5903
    Email: regan.kuchan@aei.org

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