So . . . in 2014, just as premiums begin to reflect the changes of Obamacare, and in the year where the uninsured must start paying the government $95 or 1 percent of their income (whichever is higher) . . . Democrats have decided they’ll embrace Obamacare and make it a centerpiece of their reelection message.
It will not surprise you that many of the currently uninsured are quite confused about what Obamacare means to them, and that some are saying they’ll just pay the fine because it’s simpler.
The Congressional Budget Office calculated that in 2014, 44 million Americans will lack insurance. But not all of those people will be paying a fine; some will be
exempted from the penalty tax — for example, because they will have income low enough that they are not required to file an income tax return, because they are members of Indian tribes, or because the premium they would have to pay would exceed a specified share of their income (initially 8 percent in 2014 and indexed over time). CBO and JCT estimate that between 18 million and 19 million uninsured people in 2016 will qualify for one or more of those exemptions.
By 2016, that number of uninsured drops to 31 million . . . when the fees are $695 or 2.5 percent of a person’s income.
The point is, starting in 2014, a lot of people who don’t have insurance and find the process of getting insurance immensely confusing and frustrating will suddenly be told they must pay the government for their failure to get insurance. And at that precise moment, Democrats will ask for their vote as an expression of gratitude.