The Obamacare Tax Bomb Has a Bigger Blast Radius Than We Thought

When Congress debated the Obamacare bill, plenty of us responsible government types said that it was stuffed full of tax hikes that would hit middle class America every bit as hard as it would hit the much-derided “millionaires and billionaires”. Most of our complaints fell on deaf ears. Obamacare wouldn’t really raise taxes, we were told, and if it did, the middle and lower class wouldn’t have to worry. And even if we did, the hit would be small, more than offset by the massive savings we’d see in actual health care costs.

So far, it appears we are going to take a pretty big hit. And by “we” I really do mean everyone. And by “hit”, I mean at least $1,600 a year.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Wednesday said nearly 6 million Americans, 2 million more than the office’s initial 2010 estimate, will face a “tax penalty” in 2014 for not having insurance once Obamacare is implemented.

President Barack Obama promised not to raise taxes on the middle class, but after the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare was constitutional because it was a tax, the CBO discovered that most of the 6 million Americans that will potentially pay the Obamacare tax are in the middle class.

I never had a big problem with the recent Supreme Court ruling. The Obama administration sold the individual mandate as a tax when it pleased them to do so and the first drafts of the bill called the mandate a tax and not a penalty. In truth, Obamacare in its eventual form as a single-payer health care that encompasses everyone whether they want it or not only works if the mandate is a tax.

The tax hikes are coming, unless Congress repeals Obamacare before it takes effect in 2014. Two years ago, those hikes were supposed to hit “only” 4 million of us. This year, the estimate is 6 million. How many will it really hit if we don’t stop it?

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