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The Week Just Past: The Cost of the New Healthcare Law


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"As I meet small business men and women in their shops and businesses or on the streets of northern New Jersey, they uniformly express concern about the effects of the President's health care law on their operations. They are very worried about all the new regulations, new taxes and new costs contained in the 3,000 pages of the so-called Affordable Care Act and the impact they will have on their ability to retain and hire workers, including the small franchisers who visited me this week in Washington.

"Yet, it may have gone unnoticed this week, but the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced the results of a new analysis of the so-called "individual mandate' established by President Obama's new law -- the provision that forces Americans to buy health insurance or face an IRS fine.

"According to CBO, 11-12 million uninsured Americans will be subject to the mandate. The agency expects more than half of them to pay the fine instead of buying insurance. That means 6 million taxpayers will pay a total of $7 billion in 2016. This figure is about two million more than originally forecast when the law was passed in 2010. With two million more Americans expected to pay the penalty, the CBO predicted $3 billion more in collections each year.

"The CBO estimates that 30 million will be uninsured by that year, but most will be exempted from the mandate, because they are unauthorized immigrants, members of Indian tribes, or don't earn enough income to file taxes, among other reasons.

"Among those who will have to pay a mandate penalty, 4.7 million will have incomes below $60,000 for individuals and $123,000 for families of four by 2016.

"This penalty, or "tax' in the eyes of the Supreme Court, is just one of 21 new or higher taxes contained in the new health care law. I invite you to read more about these taxes on my website.

"But there's also something that the CBO didn't say this week: as more people pay the "tax penalty' instead of buying insurance, premiums for everyone else will go up, potentially inflicting serious damage on the private insurance market."

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