Excise Tax: The Forgotten Obamacare Penalty

 

***NEWS RELEASE***

For Immediate Release
July 2, 2015

CONTACT:
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com 

 

Excise Tax: The Forgotten Obamacare Penalty

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: $100 Per Employee

Per Day Tax Started Yesterday for Some Businesses

 

ST. PAUL, Minn.—After last week’s Supreme Court King v. Burwell ruling, many Obamacare supporters might think the fight has been won, while many opponents to the flawed government health care system may be downcast or looking for the next best strategy to win repeal.

But Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a Minnesota-based national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights, says repeal is still possible, especially as lawmakers and Americans will soon witness the rapidly rising costs of Obamacare over the coming months.

One of those costs that will be realized immediately is the excise tax—the forgotten penalty of Obamacare.

As of yesterday, all businesses, small and large, will begin paying the excise tax of $100 per employee per day if they offer health insurance plans that do not comply with the many rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“The administration is targeting businesses that help their employees with health care costs,” Brase said. “This regulation is yet another way the Obama administration destroys private choices and private arrangements—by essentially threatening employers to comply or say goodbye. Many employees may be forced into the exchanges and onto government subsidies. In its drive to make all citizens dependent on government for coverage and care, the administration is using this rule to deprive Americans of their self-sufficiency, creativity and dignity.”

According to Politico, the tax stems from an IRS rule prohibiting employers from pursuing arrangements in which they do not establish a group health plan but instead try to reimburse workers directly for individual policy premiums, which the IRS says, violates the Affordable Care Act’s market reform rules written by administration regulators after the law passed. With penalties up to $36,500 per year per employee, businesses will either end the reimbursements or face extinction.

And according to an alert by the Hinkle Law Firm, the excise tax of $100 per affected individual, per day, will be imposed on any employer—regardless of the size of its workforce—that offers a group health plan that fails to comply with a laundry list of coverage requirements and restrictions (e.g., maximum waiting period, maximum out-of-pocket expense limits for covered participants, mandatory and free provision of contraceptive devices, etc.). “For most employers, this excise tax is a huge (and most unwelcome) surprise,” continued the alert.

Brase says the excise tax is just one example of why many will soon change their tune on the longevity of the national Obamacare system. But after the King v. Burwell ruling, the President is claiming that the ACA is “here to stay.”

“Borrowing a phrase from Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent, that’s pure applesauce,” Brase said. “First of all, the President, frankly, does not have the power to make it so. Furthermore, he knows Obamacare remains deeply unpopular, that things are only going to get worse, and that Congress and an agreeable President can jettison his ‘legacy’ lickety-split.”

Besides today’s new excise tax, Brase points to a few more high-cost realities that may lead to swift repeal in 2017:

  • Consolidation: The pending mergers of the nation’s five largest health plans into a cabal of just three insurers means less competition and higher costs.
  • Subsidies ending: Two ACA taxpayer-funded subsidy programs for health plans to encourage them to keep their premiums low disappear next year, leading to still higher premiums.
  • Low enrollment: Many of the uninsured, whose dollars are needed to finance the exchange infrastructure, are not interested in coverage because it’s unaffordable.
  • Failing infrastructure: State ACA exchanges are collapsing due to high operating costs and low enrollment.
  • Fraud: The IRS has no idea how many people with subsidies are eligible or how many should be kicked out due to ineligibility, potentially cutting current exchange enrollment.

 

“The public should ignore the President’s pretentious claims and focus on the facts,” Brase added. “Obamacare is not here to stay. There’s nothing but trouble ahead for Obamacare. Plus patient lives, medical ethics, freedom, privacy, personal choice, individualized patient care, access to doctors and the excellence of American medical care are all at stake. The law will be repealed.”

For more information about CCHF, visit its web site at www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cchfreedom or its Twitter feed, @CCHFreedom.

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn., that exists to protect health care choices and patient privacy.​​ CCHF sponsors the daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on approximately 350 stations nationwide, including 200 on the American Family Radio Network and 100 on the Bott Radio Network. Listeners can learn more about the agenda behind health care initiatives and​ steps they can take to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. 

CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase, R.N., has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.” A public health nurse, Brase has been interviewed by CNN, Fox News, Minnesota Public Radio, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, New York Public Radio, the Associated Press, Modern Healthcare, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Washington Times, among others. She is at the forefront of informing the public of crucial health issues, such as intrusive wellness and prevention initiatives in Obamacare, patient privacy, informed consent, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine” and the implications of state and federal health care reform.

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For more information or to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104,Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

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