Big Tax Cuts Likely for 80,000 Minnesotans Charged Obamacare Penalty
One of the most significant provisions of the Senate tax cuts got lost in the media frenzy immediately following passage. On the way to approving the most comprehensive tax reform since Reagan, the Senate also voted to kill Obamacare’s individual mandate. And it doesn’t exactly fit the liberals’ narrative of tax breaks for the rich.
The repeal amounts to a major tax cut in itself for millions of Americans. The beneficiaries of getting to keep their own money include nearly 82,000 Minnesotans who paid the federal government $35 million under the penalty for 2015.
The tax hits middle and lower income Americans hardest of all by far with more than 90 percent of those penalized earning under $75,000. In Minnesota, 80 percent of those paying the Obamacare tax earned $50,000 or less.
The individual mandate’s repeal would effectively short-circuit Obamacare, while also going a long way to satisfy the GOP’s unfulfilled promise to undo the previous president’s signature achievement, according to The Hill.
“Families ought to be able to make decisions about what they want to buy and what works for them — not the government,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said, hailing the accomplishment.
“I believe if people don’t want to buy the ObamaCare insurance, they shouldn’t have to pay a tax penalty to the IRS.”
The Senate tax bill must still be reconciled with House legislation that does not include the mandate’s repeal. But that is unlikely to be a major issue, given support in the GOP conference for repealing the mandate.
Yet National Review points out another compelling reason to celebrate the probable end of the individual mandate.
But the biggest problem with the individual mandate is not a question of money. The idea that government can force every American to purchase a specific product, even for the common good, is deeply offensive to the American idea of individual liberty. There is a good reason why the individual mandate is the most unpopular part of Obamacare: It runs contrary to the American character, and fundamentally alters the relationship between government and the individual. That alone would justify repeal.