This article originally appeared on Freedom Partners’ blog
Under Obamacare, Americans must either carry health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Now, new data from the IRS shows that for the 2016 tax year, over 4 million Americans have paid more than $2.8 billion in penalties rather than purchase coverage through the law.
In other words, for over 4 million people, it makes more sense financially to give the federal government an extra $708 of their hard-earned money than buy what Obamacare has to offer.
Speaking to nationally syndicated SiriusXM radio host Tim Farley this morning, David Barnes, Director of Policy Engagement at Generation Opportunity, said that Americans are choosing to pay the penalties due to how unaffordable Obamacare’s plans are.
“You’re paying $300, $400 or $500 a month for a plan with a $6,000 deductible,” said Barnes, referring to Obamacare’s rising premiums and astronomical out-of pocket costs. “Of course, people don’t think that’s worth it. So, they are declining to get coverage.”
The reality is, Obamacare continues to be a bad deal for millions of Americans. Yet, after failing to repeal the law earlier this year, some in Congress now want to continue propping it up by funneling billions more in tax dollars to large insurance companies.
For years now, taxpayer subsidies such as Cost-Sharing Reduction payments have flowed to insurers, designed to paper over the exploding cost-hikes caused by Obamacare’s expensive regulations and mandates. But as the new IRS report shows, despite the billions in handouts to date, the law is still failing to produce affordable coverage that people find attractive.
Instead of doubling down by asking taxpayers to continue subsidizing Obamacare’s never-ending rescue mission, lawmakers should work on providing Americans with relief from the collapsing law and access to the type of coverage that best meets their needs.
Right now, there are several steps Congress and the administration can take to reduce costs and create more choices for Americans suffering under Obamacare – none of which involve throwing more money at insurers on the backs of hardworking taxpayers. To learn more about this, click here.