Today's Paper Latest stories 2018 election city/county races Most commented Obits Traffic Newsletters Weather Puzzles + games
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

"One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results."

--Milton Friedman

Apparently the next big thing in Washington will be a run toward tax reform. Will it be as successful as Repeal & Replace? That is, not successful at all? The country will soon find out. But there are a couple of U.S. senators who aren't waiting around to see if tax reform will implode after the next presidential tweet. One of them is named Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. The other senator is Tom Cotton, who lives around here somewhere.

These two senators have proposed legislation that would exempt many lower-income Americans from that Obamacare tax that was forced on people who didn't get mandated insurance. The thought during the Obamacare process was that folks had to be, uh, "encouraged" to buy health care to keep premiums as low as possible. So millions of people are fined every year for choosing not to buy health care.

Get this:

A young person who isn't making a lot of money can sign up for a health care package that costs him thousands of dollars a year in monthly premiums. And another several thousand for deductibles. That's what the Obamacare architects had in mind. But if the young person can't afford that, at least he can pay a lot less in fines and get nothing at all. Call it a tax on folks who can't afford insurance.

Your government at work.

The Cotton-Toomey legislation would remove the fines for millions of people who make less than the national median income. In 2015, almost 65,000 people in Arkansas alone paid the mandated fine. Of those, Sen. Cotton says, more than 52,000 made less than $50,000 a year. Talk about a regressive tax.

The idea is such a good one that even the chairman of the state's Democratic Party had something good to say about it. The paper noted that Chairman Michael John Gray said, "Sure we would support that if Senator Cotton made an earnest effort. We are a party that will always support solutions."

Besides, as Sens. Cotton and Toomey noted last week, the mandate hasn't exactly been a windfall for Obamacare: "In 2010, when Obamacare became law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 21 million people would enroll in the exchanges--largely due to the mandate. In reality, less than half the original projection--10.4 million--signed up despite the fact that the prior administration doubled its advertising budget to encourage people to enroll. Even one of Obamacare's chief architects, Jonathan Gruber, admitted in a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that the mandate has had little impact on overall coverage rates. The mandate has fallen far short of expectations while hurting the working poor more than it is helping them. This is why we have introduced legislation to give millions of Americans much-needed relief."

Call it an early attempt at tax reform. And if this is the only reform Americans get this year, it'll still be well worth the trouble.

Editorial on 10/22/2017

Print Headline: Early tax relief

Sponsor Content

Comments

You must be signed in to post comments
  • BoudinMan
    October 22, 2017 at 7:46 a.m.

    Oh, what a wonderful public servant (cough) Ranger Tom is! He's trying to keep all of those healthy young people from paying a needless tax because of that evil Obamacare, boo, hiss. They don't have to carry health insurance. Why, when they have an accident and have to be treated in the emergency room, well, no problem. Those of us who carry insurance will foot the bill. There's that good ole CONservative personal responsibility for you.

  • 23cal
    October 22, 2017 at 8:13 a.m.

    First lie: "A young person who isn't making a lot of money can sign up for a health care package that costs him thousands of dollars a year in monthly premiums." If he "isn't making a lot of money", he can either get Medicaid or subsidies. Dishonest editor manages to overlook that 20 million people who weren't "making a lot of money" gained insurance. Who is dumb enough to believe his claim?
    *
    Second lie: "Call it a tax on folks who can't afford insurance." How about we call it a tax on people who aren't responsible enough to get affordable insurance? Where is that good old right wing mantra the editor trots out about personal responsibility?
    *
    "The Cotton-Toomey legislation would remove the fines for millions of people who make less than the national median income." This bill is just another Republican sabotage of the ACA....one of many currently being done by the people who couldn't come up with something better with which to replace it but who are on a jihad to kill it for partisan political purposes and to deprive millions of the health insurance which keep them alive. They will have blood on their hands.
    *
    About "The paper noted that Chairman Michael John Gray said, "Sure we would support that if Senator Cotton made an earnest effort. We are a party that will always support solutions." Know what else he said at the same time?
    "Cotton should also watch out for Arkansans who have benefited from the health law "by letting them keep his or her health insurance through Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act here in [his] home state."
    *
    Gee, seems Editor Dishonesty left out that fairly important context. As Gomer Pyle would say, "Well, sur-prise, sur-prise."
    *
    Editor Dishonest also managed to overlook the fact that Cotton introduced a similar bill in 2016; it garnered 19 Republican co-sponsors but no Democrats.

    *
    About "In 2010, when Obamacare became law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 21 million people would enroll in the exchanges--largely due to the mandate. In reality, less than half the original projection--10.4 million--signed up" This is where the editor tries to pretend that because it didn't meet that projection, that it isn't a good thing that 10 MILLION people signed up and another 10 MILLION gained insurance due to the ACA. That's 20 MILLION people who were uninsured before but are insured now. Don't let the editor fast shuffle you into believing that because some target wasn't hit that 20 million people having the healthcare they need is a failure. It isn't.
    *
    I have one question for the editor and his conservative "personal responsibility" rhetoric: if these folks aren't fined into buying insurance, who is going to pay their bill when the big medical crisis, which we all have sooner or later, hits them?

  • skeptic1
    October 22, 2017 at 8:28 a.m.

    And if it had been two Democrats to propose the tax relief they'd be heroes. You leftist lemmings have one tune and it's off key.

  • TimberTopper
    October 22, 2017 at 8:56 a.m.

    Whoever wrote this opinion piece is a liar! And, dumb azzes like skeptic1 believe it. Skeptic, put your lazy mind to work and do some research on this!

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT