HR3200 – Reading The Bill: Tax On Individuals Without Acceptable Coverage
I’m really getting sick of supporters of ObamaCare admonishing those who oppose it to read the bill. So, I’m working on a series in which I do just that, framing my opposition to the bill by referencing the actual wording of the proposed legislation.
Up next: HR3200’s tax on individuals without acceptable healthcare coverage, and debunking President Obama's lie that ObamaCare does not impose such a tax.
As part of his Sunday ObamaCare Blitzkreig, Obama told George Stephanopoulos that ObamaCare does not tax individuals who fail to pay for ObamaCare-approved health coverage:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?
OBAMA: Well, hold on a second, George. Here -- here's what's happening. You and I are both paying $900, on average -- our families -- in higher premiums because of uncompensated care. Now what I've said is that if you can't afford health insurance, you certainly shouldn't be punished for that. That's just piling on. If, on the other hand, we're giving tax credits, we've set up an exchange, you are now part of a big pool, we've driven down the costs, we've done everything we can and you actually can afford health insurance, but you've just decided, you know what, I want to take my chances. And then you get hit by a bus and you and I have to pay for the emergency room care, that's...
STEPHANOPOULOS: That may be, but it's still a tax increase.
OBAMA: No. That's not true, George. The -- for us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it's saying is, is that we're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I'm not covering all the costs.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it may be fair, it may be good public policy...
OBAMA: No, but -- but, George, you -- you can't just make up that language and decide that that's called a tax increase.
OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I'm taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we're going to have an individual mandate or not, but...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?
OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.
Jim Hoft and Bob Leibowitz go on to discuss Stephanopoulos reading Obama the dictionary definition of a tax, and Obama claiming that he was "stretching" the meaning of a tax by quoting the dictionary.
Theirs is certainly valid criticism, but I want to look at the wording of the bill itself, which likewise proves Obama to be telling yet another bald-faced lie.
Refer to pp. 167-168, Title IV — Amendments to Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Subtitle A—Shared Responsibility, Part 1 — Individual Responsibility, Sec. 401. Tax On Individuals Without Acceptable Health Care Coverage [emphasis added]:
IN GENERAL. — Subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new part:
‘‘PART VIII—HEALTH CARE RELATED TAXES
‘‘SUBPART A. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.
‘‘SEC. 59B. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.
‘‘TAX IMPOSED.—In the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of—
‘‘the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer.
This section is fairly straight-forward, and its intent is clear: if you do not pay for ObamaCare-approved health coverage, the IRS will impose a tax on you. The bill amends the IRS tax code, to define a new tax: a tax for failure to maintain acceptable health coverage.
So: a given individual is not paying a certain tax now, but under ObamaCare, that same individual will be paying that tax. That outcome is, by definition, a tax increase.
Oh, and by the way, it's in the Baucus Senate bill, too.)
President Obama: You Lie!
For reference and context, below are the above-referenced excerpts from HR 3200:
167 • HR 3200 IH
TITLE IV—AMENDMENTS TO INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986
8 Subtitle A—Shared Responsibility
9 PART 1—INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY
10 SEC. 401. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE
11 HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.
12 (a) IN GENERAL.—Subchapter A of chapter 1 of the
13 Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at
14 the end the following new part:
15 ‘‘PART VIII—HEALTH CARE RELATED TAXES
16 ‘‘Subpart A—Tax on Individuals Without Acceptable
17 Health Care Coverage
18 ‘‘SEC. 59B. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE
19 HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.
20 ‘‘(a) TAX IMPOSED.—In the case of any individual
21 who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at
22 any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed
23 a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of—
168 • HR 3200 IH
1 ‘‘(1) the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross in
2 come for the taxable year, over
3 ‘‘(2) the amount of gross income specified in
4 section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer.