Happy New Year from the U.S. government. Now, empty your pockets. We have to give your money to someone else.
On Jan. 1, the Affordable Care Act's coverage law went into effect, requiring a slew of new Obamacare taxes, fines, and fees to finance hundreds of billions in costs the government requires to operate the program.
Those who fail to comply will receive a tax on their annual IRS bill, while a greater share of Americans who do comply will experience higher premiums and significant changes to their previous coverage.
Welcome to the Dark Side of the Affordable Care Act, the part where we actually have to pay for all those great benefits we've been hearing about for more than three years.
The new healthcare law has noble intentions, but essentially boils down to a massive redistribution scheme that lines the pockets of insurance companies in part by using the threat of a steep annual fine (or Obamacare tax, if you believe the Supreme Court).
It also drives up premiums, redistributes middle-class wealth to the uninsured, and fails to achieve what should have been the primary goal of healthcare reform: Better, more affordable care for everyone.
In fact, for many Americans, the combination of new Obamacare taxes will make healthcare less affordable this year.
New Obamacare Taxes You Can Expect in 2014
Here are the major new Obamacare taxes, fines, and fees that Americans will get saddled with in the New Year:
- The Big Tax-Kahuna: The most notable fine centers on the individual mandate, the rule that orders every American to purchase health insurance or else pay a fine to the IRS. Those who fail to purchase insurance by April 1 – and don't belong to a union or other entities that have received exemptions from the law – will need to pay a fine. For a law that was passed with "fairness" as a central tenet, this law is anything but fair. The fine for noncompliance in 2014 will be $95, or 1% of household income, whichever is higher. For a person earning $50,000 a year, this fine amounts to $500, which may not be enough to deter many people from buying insurance since rates and premiums have risen substantially across the country.