Matt Drudge Issues Weird Obamacare Tweet, Claims To Pay ‘Liberty Tax’

Matt Drudge, one of the internet’s first news “aggregators” who has become a leading spokesperson for conservative causes, is against the Affordable Care And Patient Protection Act, better known as Obamacare. That is not surprising. Most conservatives oppose the plan to make health care more accessible.

But Drudge took his opposition to an odd new level Friday when he tweeted that he had already paid a penalty for refusing to sign up for health insurance.

Here is what Matt Drudge tweeted, that has people who understand the basics of Obamacare scratching their heads.

‘Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered’… I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!” Drudge declared.

Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered’… I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX!

— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) March 21, 2014

While it is true that uninsured people who do not sign up for an insurance plan either through one of the online health care exchanges or elsewhere will be assessed a financial penalty, that fee is not due until tax returns are due — not this year, but next year.

In other words, if Drudge is choosing to remain uninsured, he has until April 15, 2015 to pay the penalty. But he claims to have paid it already.

The penalty, which Drudge refers to as a “liberty tax,” or as he put it, “LIBERTY TAX!” is the higher sum of $95 or one percent of an individual’s taxable income over $10,150. The penalty is capped at $3,600.

While that total is not all that much money, especially compared to the cost of getting badly sick or injured with no health insurance which can run well into the tens of thousands or more, it is nonetheless very real cash.

But in an earlier puzzling tweet, Drudge referred to the non-insurance penalty as “Monopoly money.”

I’ve opted out of Obamacare for life. Not interested. Pay the tax. Monopoly money anyway…

— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) January 7, 2014

Maybe it is “Monopoly money” to Matt Drudge with his estimated net worth of $90 million. But for most people, the cost is very real.

The Internal Revenue Service, which is responsible for collecting the penalty payments, does not currently have any system in place for accepting the payments — they are not part of federal income tax, but will be collected through a separate system.

So if Matt Drudge sent in his supposed payment already, it is a mystery who might have received it.

When the liberal news site Talking Points Memo contacted Matt Drudge to ask him to explain his “liberty tax” tweet, he did not respond directly, but instead posted another inscrutable message on Twitter.

Obama media teams know they will not get audited for avoiding taxes. I don’t have this luxury. So they mock, ridicule

— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) March 21, 2014

By, as he said, “opting out of Obamacare for life,” Matt Drudge is saying in effect that he refuses to buy a health insurance policy, since there is not requirement to buy insurance through the “Obamacare” system, only to be insured.

For Matt Drudge, who is 47 years old, to remain uninsured seems an odd and risky choice — one made even more difficult to understand by his vast personal wealth, meaning Matt Drudge could easily afford an insurance plan either through the Obamacare system or through any other method.