Is the individual mandate in ObamaCare a tax? No, said Nancy Pelosi. No, said DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, even if the IRS is the only agency that can enforce it. No, said Jay Carney, or at least, “it is not a broad-based tax.”
“By the way, if you’ve got health insurance, you’re not getting hit by a tax,” President Obama said. “The only thing that’s happening to you is that you now have more security because insurance companies can’t drop you when you get sick.”
That sounds so sweet, you’d never guess that the CBO estimates that the government will raise $54 billion in revenue from this tax in its eight years after the mandate takes effect, almost all of it from the middle class. (Remember, that’s exactly what the CBO projected we would save through federal tort reform in malpractice cases over a decade, which Democrats rejected as too extreme.) Revenues increase rather than decrease during that eight-year run, too. Why? Many employers will stop offering health-care coverage, throwing employees into the individual policy market. Businesses will pay less in fines than they do in insurance premiums, which means that many middle-class earners will face the same choice of paying for expensive individual plans or paying a
fine tax instead.
So not only will some middle-class families get dropped by insurance companies, thanks to an opt-out by employers, they’ll be paying a tax on top of it, thanks to ObamaCare. Glad to see President Obama has made that clear.