As has been the case throughout the Affordable Health Care Act fiasco, it’s still hard to nail down a straight answer from the government about how much this exercise in socialist medicine will really cost, but the IRS has begun the process of implementing the largest tax increase in history into the annual tax burden.
Current estimates for the tax (which the IRS calls a “penalty”) that will be owed by people who don’t buy health insurance range from $ 695 for a single taxpayer to more than $ 2,000 for a middle class family of five by 2016.
According to the IRS, the cheapest plan under Obamacare for that family of five will cost around $ 20,000 per year.
In an argument for being careful what you wish for, unions that were among the strongest backers of Obamacare when it was being rammed through Congress are now complaining because the cost of their health plans will go up under the new rules.
According to the Wall Street Journal, eliminating caps on benefits and drugs, along with keeping children on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, are among the regulations that leaders fear will make union workers less competitive for jobs.
Some of the nation’s largest unions are now asking for government subsidies for their lowest-paid members, a notion that had been rejected by the Obama Administration previously.
The particular plans at issue affect some 20 million union workers.
“We are going back to the administration to say that this is not acceptable,” said Ken Hall, Teamsters general secretary-treasurer.
That’s what you get when legislation for creating a major bureaucracy is negotiated behind closed doors, “deemed” into existence when there aren’t enough votes and then passed before the bill is even written, much less read by members of Congress.
And the hits will just keep on coming. The Obamacare law punishes companies with 50 full-time employees who don’t offer health insurance, so many businesses have already laid off people and cut back hours to avoid the additional taxes.
Supporters still insist that Obamacare will somehow result in 30 million more people being insured, but other estimates predict an increase in the uninsured as people choose to pay the cheaper taxes rather than purchase an overpriced plan under the law.
Businesses also may opt out of offering health care plans as the Obamacare regulations are expected to add up to more than $ 2,000 annually to each employees’ compensation package.
Union reps fear it all adds up to making unions less attractive as members are forced by costs to move to government subsidies just to compete with non-union workers.
Randy Beall of Sheet Metal Workers Local 85 said, “If we’re not offering our members insurance and pension, why would you want to be union?”
To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, unions helped pass Obamacare, now they’re going to find out what’s in it.
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