Obamacare tax increases hitting millions this month will serve as a "stark reminder" the healthcare law has both "failed to bend down" the cost curve of health coverage and hiked taxes "on families and businesses alike," one analyst charges.
In a commentary for Time,
Nathan Nascimento, a senior policy advisor at the Koch brothers
-associated Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, blasts Obamacare's individual and employer mandates for "taking more out of families' and individuals' wallets."
"While the Affordable Care Act has failed to bend down the cost curve of health insurance, it has increased taxes on families and businesses alike," he writes. "April 15 has been a dreaded date for decades — and it's only getting worse."
According to Nascimento, annual premiums for Obamacare's low-cost bronze plans averaged $2,484 for individuals and $12,420 for families with three or more children.
"If you don't think this pricier insurance is worth the cost, or simply can't afford it, you'll likely face tax penalties upon filing your return," he writes, adding the 2015 penalty being assessed this year is $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, or 2 percent of household income, whichever is greater.
The penalty increases in 2016 to $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, or 2.5 percent of household income, he notes.
Meanwhile, the employer mandate "is limiting career opportunities for workers across the country," he charges.
According to Nascimento, the mandate went into effect last year, requiring employers with 100 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance to most of their workers; it expands to those with more than 50 employees beginning this year.
Employers who can't afford the costs that average $12,591 per employee for family coverage will also face a tax penalty of either $2,000 or $3,000 per worker after the first 30 employees, he writes.
Nascimento charges 20 percent of private sector businesses have already reduced or plan to reduce part-time work because of Obamacare, while another 5 percent have or plan to lay off workers.
"As the employer mandate expands and its penalties continue to worsen, more workers will find it harder to start their careers," he writes.
"It serves as a stark reminder of all the ways this law continues to harm American families and businesses, six years after it was signed," Nascimento writes.
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