New Study’s Findings May Lead to Increased Health Care Penalties
(Washington D.C.) – A new analysis by Avalere Health is likely to lead to increased pressure to raise the financial penalties for not purchasing health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. It is estimated that about 6 million Americans owe the penalty in 2015, which is currently the greater of $325 or 2 percent of income. While that penalty is already programmed to rise annually, the findings from Avalere show that many Americans will likely find it cheaper to pay the penalty than to purchase the costly insurance provided under the health care law. There has already been discussion among supporters of the law about the need for more costly penalties to force consumers to comply. The law remains highly unpopular, with a majority of Americans still holding an unfavorable view of the law and a plurality opposing the individual mandate.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
“It’s wrong to force Americans to purchase a product through the threat of tax penalties that many cannot afford. Now supporters are claiming that in order to make the law “˜work’ as its supporters intended, the penalties paid by millions of families will need to be increased – all while Americans oppose the mandate altogether. Increasing the penalty would be doubling down on a failed approach. We can do better.
The president has refused to revisit the law and work with Congress on a solution to theproblems affecting Americans every day. It is clear that when forced to make a choice between two unsatisfactory options – extremely expensive health coverage or a penalty to avoid it – millions of Americans are still deciding to take the penalty. The answer is not to raise the penalties. It’s to listen to the people, consider innovative solutions on a state and local level, and offer improved options.”