The Obamacare challenge has begun to possibly pave the way for a Republican victory. Officially known as the Affordable Care Act, what it’s been doing is taking the added costs of insurance companies and reimbursing those companies with government funding.
Sadly, part of that funding comes from taxpayers who chose not to sign up for the healthcare system because they are among the lucky ones who never really need to see a doctor. The Affordable Care Act hasn’t been repealed yet, as much of a headache as it is for the very low-income U.S. citizens it was meant to help, but it’s one step closer.
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Since the Obamacare challenge is still in its early stages, you can still reduce your tax penalty for next year if you haven’t signed up yet. The fee in 2017 will be over $600, which, if you’re single and living alone, is probably more than you’ll pay for coverage for the same year. In 2015, the fee was less than a hundred, so it actually cost less at the time to ignore the new law. This year, if you weren’t aware due to actually having coverage, the fee was $325, over triple what it was the previous year.
Judge Rosemary Collyer, a federal judge appointed by George W. Bush, said that the money being used to reimburse insurance companies was never appropriated by Congress and is actually a violation of the Constitution the way it was set up.
“No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.”
The Treasury is where you send the money you owe in taxes, a reservoir of funds maintained by the Internal Revenue Service. Collyer stated that it’s actually against federal laws to use that money to reimburse insurance companies due to Congress having not approved.
The Obama administration responded by saying that said appropriation was obvious because of the way it was worded as a whole. The judge rejected this, calling it a “convoluted argument.”
An appeal is expected to be made, as the government has been having this same fight for the past six years. The Obamacare challenge hasn’t been signed yet, but Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer says it violates the Constitution the way the law is funded.
It’s unknown if whoever succeeds President Barack Obama will fight to repeal the Affordable Care Act along with Collyer, and a few have said they will. Of course, at this point, a potential candidate for the 2016 elections will likely say anything to gain the approval of voters.
One said candidate, Donald Trump, has stated that he will repeal every word of the Affordable Care Act, which will undoubtedly help move the Obamacare challenge along.
“I would end Obamacare and replace it with something terrific, for far less money for the country and for the people.”
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 12, 2016
It’s unknown if this will eliminate the tax penalty for uninsured citizens, but it may be a positive change for those dreading the automatic addition of over $600 to their 2017 taxes just because they couldn’t afford the premium.
Many have stated that the Affordable Care Act is ironically named, actually costing more than what had existed previously. For those being affected the most, the Obamacare challenge will likely be a welcome direction in healthcare reform.
[Image via Mike Flippo/Shutterstock.com]