The Individual Mandate Is Not A Big Middle Class Tax Hike As Claimed
First, the Supreme Court is not imposing a tax, it is asserting the federal government’s taxing authority. And it is not a big tax increase as conservatives want you to believe, as Joan McCarter notes:
It’s a penalty paid by people who choose not to purchase insurance. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will hit about 4 million Americans, about 1 percent of the population. Now, it’s refreshing that Republicans care about a different 1 percent for a change, but that still doesn’t make this a tax hike.
And what’s (way, way) more, most of the federal spending for the ACA is in tax credits for middle class people to help them afford insurance. Which is actually more like a tax cut.
Facts aside, since you know Republicans won’t be swayed by them, here’s the other part that Republicans, particularly Romney, have to tread carefully around. It’s exactly how Mitt Romney expanded health insurance coverage in Massachusetts. If you don’t buy health insurance in Massachusetts, guess what? You pay a tax, as Mr. Romney explains at ][this] link. You pay a tax and take personal responsibility. (Remember that phrase, Mr. Romney? It’s a real favorite in your set. Or was.)
The individual mandate isn’t the route most of us on the left would have taken toward universal health coverage. But it’s the route settled on by pragmatic, moderate political leaders like Barack Obama. And Mitt Romney.