O-Care Lets IRS Tax Refunds, Monitor Daily Life
Last week Byron York highlighted two important Nanny-state features of Obamacare when it gets fully implemented in 2014:
Administration officials and Democrats in Congress have stressed that Obamacare does not permit the IRS to garnish wages or seize cash and assets from taxpayers.
What they mention less frequently is that the IRS has another way to get the money. About three-quarters of U.S. taxpayers receive refunds after filing their returns each year, with the average refund nearly $3,000. After 2014, those people will discover the IRS can take the penalty out of their refunds.
The IRS will also determine who is eligible for taxpayer-financed subsidies to purchase health care on the exchanges that will be set up in every state. Anytime anyone’s situation changes — a raise, a new job, a move to another state — that person will be required to report it to the IRS for the purpose of recalculating their eligibility.
This is not a small group. Obamacare will give tax credits for the purchase of health coverage to people who make up to four times the poverty level — at the moment, that’s $44,100 a year for an individual and $88,200 for a family of four. Those millions of Americans had better keep the IRS informed of their status every step of the way.
So, failure to buy a product that the feds approve of can get your tax refund wiped out, while failure to update your status with the IRS like it was Facebook can get you fined?
These are the kinds of details that need to be hammered home in the upcoming debates by Romney and Ryan so that voters can know what a vote for Obama – and Obamacare – really means.