From the September 20th ABC News This Week interview between George Stephanopolous and President Barack Obama:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Probably the most definitive promise you made in the campaign is that no one in the middle class would get a tax increase on your watch.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yet this week, Senator Rockefeller and several other Democrats say that this bill by Senator Baucus is a big middle class tax increase.
Do you agree and does that mean you can’t sign it?
OBAMA: What — what — if I — if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year and you say well, that’s not a tax increase; but, on the other hand, if I say that I don’t want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then…
OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition.
Excise Tax. The consequence for not maintaining insurance would be an excise tax. If a taxpayer’s MAGI is between 100-300 percent of FPL, the excise tax for failing to obtain coverage for an individual in a taxpayer unit (either as a taxpayer or an individual claimed as a dependent) is $750 per year. However, the minimum penalty for the taxpayer unit is $1,500. If a taxpayer’s MAGI is above 300 percent of FPL the penalty for failing to obtain coverage for an individual in a taxpayer unit (either as a taxpayer or as an individual claimed as a dependent) is $950 year. However, the maximum penalty amount a family above 300 percent of FPL would pay is $3,800.
And who would be enforcing what President Obama insists is not a tax? Heritage’s health care team explains:
In order to enforce these provisions, the Baucus bill would require individuals, health insurers, employers, and government health agencies to report detailed health insurance information on all Americans to the IRS, adding significant administrative costs and reducing privacy protections. The IRS would also be required to report personal income data to state exchanges, insurance companies, and employers, because premium credits and out-of-pocket limits would depend on income.
And the individual mandate is not the only middle class tax hike in the bill:
[B]eginning in 2013, the bill would impose a new federal excise tax on high cost health insurance plans. The tax would be applied to health plans valued at $8,000 for single policies and $21,000 for family policies. Because not all workers in such plans are high income, many will likely be on the receiving end of a middle class income tax increase, which contradicts President Obama’s promise that “if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.”