7/25/2012

Is the individual mandate tax in Obamacare unenforceable?

Could Obamacare actually increase the number of uninsured people? Suppose that you believe Obama's claims about ending free-riding by people on health care. Well, it turns out that Obamacare might really make them pay anything. John Merline has this at IBD:
But the uninsured problem under ObamaCare could be much worse than the CBO projects.

What the report doesn't cover is the fact that the other legs of the ObamaCare stool designed to expand insurance coverage — the individual mandate, the employer mandate and the state insurance exchanges — are also buckling.

As a result, ObamaCare will likely cover far fewer uninsured than advertised. There's even a chance that, if all goes wrong, it could actually make the uninsured problem worse.

The individual mandate, for example, is a cornerstone of ObamaCare's effort to expand coverage. But tax experts who've studied how the IRS will enforce the mandate conclude that it's likely to be ineffective, because the law makes it virtually impossible for the IRS to collect the tax penalty from those who don't pay it.

Under normal circumstances, the IRS has broad powers to collect taxes from those who don't pay what they owe. It can charge civil and criminal penalties, impose liens, and seize assets and bank accounts.

But ObamaCare specifically blocks the IRS from using these enforcement tools when it comes to collecting any unpaid ObamaCare tax penalties. . . .

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