Obamacare Penalizes Low-Income Earners



For Immediate Release
December 8, 2014

Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com 


Obamacare Penalizes Low-Income Earners


Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: Poorer Citizens Pay a Greater Percentage of Their Income for the Obamacare Penalty Tax


ST. PAUL, Minn.—Obamacare, or the “Affordable” Care Act, was supposed to help the uninsured get health care coverage, supposedly taking less money out of hard-working Americans’ pockets.

But for the country’s poorest, the penalty tax paid in 2016 will take a bigger chunk of their income if they go uninsured than it will for the uninsured with higher incomes. Those going without health care coverage will be required to pay a penalty tax, or “fee” as Obamacare administrators are now calling it. In 2015, the tax increases to 2.0 percent of net income or $325 per adult, whichever is greater.

But, says one patient advocate, low wage earners could pay double what high income earners pay as a percent of their income.

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 the Obamacare tax or “fee” can be a bigger penalty on those who earn less.

Lower income people could be penalized the worst,” Brase said. “The claim of helping the uninsured, perhaps those at a lower income level, may have sounded good, but the Obamacare tax actually takes a larger piece of the pie from America’s poorer citizens. While it was made to look like a large penalty for the rich, it’s actually a greater penalty for the poor.”

Take, for example, Couple A, who makes a $28,000 per year net household income. In 2016, their penalty would be either $650 ($325 per adult) or 2.0 percent of their income above the tax filing threshold (approx. $20,000 per couple), which is $160. But they will pay $650, or 2.3 percent of their income, because it is the greater of the two. Couple B, who makes $55,000—nearly double of Couple A—will pay just $700 (2.0 percent of their income above the tax filing fee because it is greater than $650 ($325 per adult). So Couple A, who makes less money, pays a greater percentage of their income than Couple B.

When children are added to the mix, the scenario is even worse. If Couple A with an income of $28,000 had two children, they would pay $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, up to a total of $975 per household, or 2.0 percent of their household income ($160)—whichever is greater. They will pay $975, or almost 3.5% of their income. But Couple B with an income of $55,000 and their two children will also pay $975, because the combination of individualized penalties ($975) is greater than 2.0 percent of their income above the tax filing threshold ($700), But Couple B’s penalty tax is a much lower percentage of their income—about 1.8 percent.

 “Those who make less are penalized at a greater percentage of their income,” Brase said. “And the most ironic part is that in both of our examples, couples are still without health care coverage.”

Celebrating its 20th year, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn. CCHF exists to protect health care choices and patient privacy.​ CCHF sponsors the daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on more than 150 stations nationwide on the American Family Radio Network and 90-plus stations on the Bott Radio Network. Listeners can learn more about the agenda behind proposed 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.” Brase, a public health nurse, 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.


For more information or to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com.

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