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Author Topic: CBO Estimates That Only 1.2 Percent of Americans Will Pay Obamacare Penalty  (Read 743 times)
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« on: July 04, 2012, 01:32:33 am »
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The CBO study estimated that about 4 million, or just 1.2 percent of the population, will actually pay the penalty in 2016.  The other 98.8 percent already have coverage, would get coverage under the Affordable Care Act (which would make coverage affordable to many for the first time), would be exempt from the mandate, or would owe the penalty but try to evade it. (You can find the CBO figures on pages 71-73 of this report.)

And, as our previous post explained, the benefits of the individual mandate will be widespread.  To quote the Urban Institute study again:

By encouraging the currently insured healthier individuals to stay in [the individual and small group insurance] markets and attracting newly insured healthy individuals into them as well, the individual [mandate] leads to lower premiums and more stable insurance markets than would be the case without it.
http://www.offthechartsblog.org/cbo-estimates-that-only-1-2-percent-of-americans-will-pay-penalty-for-not-getting-health-coverage/

Thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 10:43:45 am »
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Well of course. The subsidies will make buying insurance cheaper than paying the penalty for most anyway.

I wonder how many teabagger types with insurance now will drop it even though it'll be cheaper (with the subsidies) after it kicks into effect just to make a point?
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 11:48:10 am »
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"Largest middle class tax hike in the history of the U.S." never passed the smell test.
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2012, 12:13:19 pm »
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"Largest middle class tax hike in the history of the U.S." never passed the smell test.

Yes, the claim was and is ludicrous (why do politicians insult our intelligence this way?), but you can see why Obamacare is destined to collapse fiscally, for this and a host of other reasons.
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2012, 12:16:01 pm »
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"Largest middle class tax hike in the history of the U.S." never passed the smell test.

Yes, the claim was and is ludicrous (why do politicians insult our intelligence this way?), but you can see why Obamacare is destined to collapse fiscally, for this and a host of other reasons.

No, I don't. Tell me more.
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 12:23:21 pm »
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"Largest middle class tax hike in the history of the U.S." never passed the smell test.

Yes, the claim was and is ludicrous (why do politicians insult our intelligence this way?), but you can see why Obamacare is destined to collapse fiscally, for this and a host of other reasons.

No, I don't. Tell me more.

Because it pencils better to pick up insurance when you get sick, so the insurance companies are not going to get the screw the youngs financial bonanza that is predicted, which is supposed to finance insurance companies having to insure those with pre-existing conditions. There also are not any real cost containment mechanisms that are going to work very well, with limited price policing by individuals, and no restructuring of the health care delivery system towards HMO's, and no provisions for US consumers to stop subsidizing drug research for the planet. It's basically a fail - just like our current system is.

I doubt any of this will be tested however, because Obamacare is destined to be modified before it kicks in, as premiums continue their ramp up at a more rapid rate, in part due to Obamacare and its regulations.
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 11:32:07 pm »
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I'm fascinated about the subsidy implications, and wonder just what a huge potential fiscal time bomb they will or won't be.  I for one may actually be one of those who ends up dropping my existing bare bones catastrophic coverage and get the bronze level coverage package, with much of the cost getting subsidized.  And yes, I may very well alter my working hours to keep within the sweet spot where my taxes aren't very high at all, and my subsidized mandatory health insurance is still subsidized at a high level.
     For me there may very well be a gigantic disincentive to work past a certain amount of money (around the low 40 k a year or so perhaps) in that at that point federal/state taxes begin to kick in at stronger levels combined with a decline in the subsidy.  Its a double whammy encouraging me personally to work less.  (I work as a delivery driver at the restaurant that I own a small part of and can easily adjust my hours to hit that financial sweet spot).
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 12:20:25 am »
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The important number isn't how many people will pay the penalty, but how many people would be subject to the penalty if they did not buy health insurance. I heard on NPR today that number estimated at about 40%.
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 01:43:53 am »

Thoughts?

My thoughts:

Quote
In 2010, 44,000 Massachusetts tax filers were assessed the penalty under the "individual mandate." That's a drop from the 67,000 people required to pay the penalty in 2007, the first year it was assessed.

Via: http://www.azcentral.com/business/20120704health-care-massachusetts-state-law-may-bode-well-federal-law.html#ixzz1zjBotN8w

67,000 filers x 2.6 members in the average household / 6,500,000 = 2.7%.
44,000 filers x 2.6 members in the average household / 6,500,000 = 1.7%.
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 01:44:41 am »
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I'm fascinated about the subsidy implications, and wonder just what a huge potential fiscal time bomb they will or won't be.  I for one may actually be one of those who ends up dropping my existing bare bones catastrophic coverage and get the bronze level coverage package, with much of the cost getting subsidized.  And yes, I may very well alter my working hours to keep within the sweet spot where my taxes aren't very high at all, and my subsidized mandatory health insurance is still subsidized at a high level.
     For me there may very well be a gigantic disincentive to work past a certain amount of money (around the low 40 k a year or so perhaps) in that at that point federal/state taxes begin to kick in at stronger levels combined with a decline in the subsidy.  Its a double whammy encouraging me personally to work less.  (I work as a delivery driver at the restaurant that I own a small part of and can easily adjust my hours to hit that financial sweet spot).
But working more is the problem in this society, there is a shortage of work available.
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2012, 03:09:35 am »
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The important number isn't how many people will pay the penalty, but how many people would be subject to the penalty if they did not buy health insurance. I heard on NPR today that number estimated at about 40%.

Why is that number important? 100% of people are subject to speeding tickets if they drive over the speed limit. Doesn't mean we need to eliminate speed limits.
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 07:54:46 am »
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The important number isn't how many people will pay the penalty, but how many people would be subject to the penalty if they did not buy health insurance. I heard on NPR today that number estimated at about 40%.

40% of what? The number of people without insurance is far, far less than 40%.
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 01:10:20 pm »
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The important number isn't how many people will pay the penalty, but how many people would be subject to the penalty if they did not buy health insurance. I heard on NPR today that number estimated at about 40%.

Why is that number important? 100% of people are subject to speeding tickets if they drive over the speed limit. Doesn't mean we need to eliminate speed limits.

A mandate is a mandate whether you comply or not. Either way it is an imposition. The mandate penalty was never meant to raise revenue - It's meant to change behavior. 

The important number isn't how many people will pay the penalty, but how many people would be subject to the penalty if they did not buy health insurance. I heard on NPR today that number estimated at about 40%.

40% of what? The number of people without insurance is far, far less than 40%.
I think they meant that 40% of people would be subject to it if they don't have health insurance. The other 60% either don't make enough income or have some other circumstance that makes them exempt.
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 11:15:55 pm »
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Republicans are just used to defending a 1%, even though this is generally a different 1% from the 1%.
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2012, 03:27:19 pm »
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I think they meant that 40% of people would be subject to it if they don't have health insurance. The other 60% either don't make enough income or have some other circumstance that makes them exempt.

Yes but that is 40% of the currently uninsured are subject to it, which means it is like 10% overall. So apparently the CBO is estimating 9 out of 10 of them will buy insurance and the rest will pay the penalty.

Bottom line is that all the people screaming about this "tax" are likely already covered and therefore not subject to the mandate or the penalty. The new myth that is being perpetuated is that everyone is going to have to pay some new tax in 2014.
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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2012, 06:19:26 pm »
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I think they meant that 40% of people would be subject to it if they don't have health insurance. The other 60% either don't make enough income or have some other circumstance that makes them exempt.

Yes but that is 40% of the currently uninsured are subject to it, which means it is like 10% overall. So apparently the CBO is estimating 9 out of 10 of them will buy insurance and the rest will pay the penalty.

Bottom line is that all the people screaming about this "tax" are likely already covered and therefore not subject to the mandate or the penalty. The new myth that is being perpetuated is that everyone is going to have to pay some new tax in 2014.
I hadn't heard that myth, but maybe I don't watch enough Fox News.

Anyway, at this point it's far from clear that there are even going to be more people with health insurance after this is implemented, let alone that many more. It will be more available for people who need it on a chronic basis, but for those who are currently healthy it's going to be both more expensive and less necessary. The penalty makes a difference, but maybe not enough to outweigh that.
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2012, 06:39:21 pm »
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I think they meant that 40% of people would be subject to it if they don't have health insurance. The other 60% either don't make enough income or have some other circumstance that makes them exempt.

Yes but that is 40% of the currently uninsured are subject to it, which means it is like 10% overall. So apparently the CBO is estimating 9 out of 10 of them will buy insurance and the rest will pay the penalty.

Bottom line is that all the people screaming about this "tax" are likely already covered and therefore not subject to the mandate or the penalty. The new myth that is being perpetuated is that everyone is going to have to pay some new tax in 2014.
I hadn't heard that myth, but maybe I don't watch enough Fox News.

Anyway, at this point it's far from clear that there are even going to be more people with health insurance after this is implemented, let alone that many more. It will be more available for people who need it on a chronic basis, but for those who are currently healthy it's going to be both more expensive and less necessary. The penalty makes a difference, but maybe not enough to outweigh that.

Absolutely there will be more people with insurance. That's been the experience with Romneycare, and this is a state that started with a relatively low rate of noninsurance.
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