The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is hitting Kansans right in the pocketbook–not only the form of increased heath insurance costs and premiums, but also in additional taxes.
Americans for Tax Reform, a non-profit taxpayer advocacy group, published the number of Kansans paying new Obamacare taxes. Using data from 2014, the most recent data available, ATR reports that 65,780 Kansans paid the Obamacare individual mandate tax. The individual mandate is a punitive tax charged to people who don’t have health coverage. Obamacare also added taxes to Health Savings Accounts or HSAs. HSAs allow individuals to save money for use on health care. The 71,267 Kansans with HSAs now pay additional taxes on their HSAs, thanks to Obamacare. Flexible Spending Accounts are also now taxed under Obamacare, affecting the pocketbooks of 25,823 parents of school-aged children with disabilities. Another 46,000 Kansans now pay net investment income taxes or Medicare payroll taxes thanks to Obamacare regulations.
In addition to new taxes, Obamacare users face limited health care choices and rising costs in Kansas and Missouri. During Obamacare open enrollment, people in Kansas City, Missouri, had two Obamacare provider choices–Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and Humana. Blue Cross proposed 29 percent rate increases, and Humana proposed 35 percent rate increases.
On the Kansas side, individuals could choose between Medica and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Blue Cross and Blue Shield proposed raising rates in the metro area by 28 percent in Kansas and by 47 percent in the rest of the state.
When Democrats in Congress–Obamacare didn’t receive a single Republican vote–passed the Affordable Care Act, they suggested it would be, as the legislation’s title suggests, “affordable.” It’s proven to be anything but.
Before Obamacare’s full implementation in 2014, Kansas boasted some of the lowest insurance rates in the country.Before the ACA, Kansas had 17 insurance carriers. Now the state is down to three carriers, and one offers only a single plan. That may be why Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran cast votes to proceed to debate on Obamacare repeal yesterday afternoon. Vice President Mike Pence broke a tie in the Senate to allow the repeal debate to move forward.
In a statement after the vote, Moran said he has seen the damaging affects of Obamacare on Kansas.
“Healthcare is too important to Kansans, our families and future generations of Americans to get wrong,” Moran said.
A Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare failed later that evening. Today, Senators will offer and debates amendments to repeal and/or change it. Here’s hoping Moran and Roberts stand with Kansans to wrest control of their health care spending from the cruel hands of the government bureaucracy.