US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: The ObamaCare Taxman Cometh

The ObamaCare Taxman Cometh
By Senator John Thune

John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_CongressThe Beatles aptly sang in their song “Taxman”: “If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat / If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.” Had ObamaCare been the law of the land at the time, they perhaps would have added, “If you need a pill, I’ll tax the bill; if you need a doc, my tax will shock,” to represent the pain of the tax penalties that will be hitting South Dakotans and millions of Americans across the country this tax season.

ObamaCare was supposed to solve our nation’s health care problems. It was supposed to drive down premiums and make health care more affordable. Instead, it’s generally done the opposite. Since ObamaCare became law in 2010, health care premiums have risen. Millions of Americans have lost their health insurance plans. Others have lost access to their doctors. Still others are stuck in new insurance plans paying more for less coverage.

The American Action Forum recently ran the numbers and estimated that 6,000 South Dakotans will have to pay the ObamaCare tax penalty for not having government-approved health insurance. According to a calculator on the Wall Street Journal’s website, the average individual who must pay the ObamaCare tax for not having government-approved insurance in South Dakota will pay a $394 penalty this year, while the average family of four in South Dakota will pay a $650 penalty. That’s a lot of money for a South Dakota family. And it’s only going to go up, because the tax penalty will rise in 2016.

South Dakotans could be spending that tax money on a number of essential items if they didn’t have to pay the penalty. An individual could purchase 201 gallons of gas or six weeks of groceries with the money he will use to pay the tax penalty. A family of four could buy three weeks of groceries, or cover almost two months’ worth of car payments, or purchase 332 gallons of gas at South Dakota prices. That would cover a lot of trips to school and football practice and dance practice.

The last few years have involved government creating many burdens on American workers and the American economy to fund big-government programs and the president’s pet projects. Take the ObamaCare tax on lifesaving medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps. This tax was put in place to help pay for the president’s health care law, but it has ended up negatively affecting jobs in this industry.

ObamaCare has demonstrated big government is not the answer. Instead of pushing big-government solutions, we need to rebuild our economy from the bottom up. I will continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to repeal and replace the most onerous parts of ObamaCare with policies that lower health care costs for South Dakota families.


6 Replies to “US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: The ObamaCare Taxman Cometh”

  1. Winston

    Instead of complaining about the tax and the hypothetical taxpayer victims maybe you should spend your time in Washington finding affordable health care for these allege 6000 tax victims instead.

    What is your answer Sen. Thune?

    I guess the Republicans have once again forgot that Obamacare was Romneycare first (You know, the guy who has come to South Dakota in recent years to support Senators Thune and Rounds and he was your 2012 Presidential nominee, too), and before it was Romneycare, it was originally a Heritage Foundation (Yes, Heritage, you know the organization now run by a former US Senator and Tea party leader) idea back in 1994 in response to a more comprehensive Hillarycare plan.

    Either Republicans have gone more to the right or they have very short memories.

    Now enjoy the following debate:

    1. FUnston

      The basic structure of Romneycare was a good initial plan but the potential for politically motivated expansion and abuse by the Democrats administering the plan later made it into the monster it came to be. Romney basically did the legislative equivalent of building a shiny healthcare laser and then handing it over to a pack of warring cavemen.

  2. springer

    Winston’s memory seems to have a flaw too. How about “you can keep your doctor if you like it, period” and “you can keep your insurance plan if you like it, period” and it will only cost X amount of dollars as approved by the CEO (which has been proven completely understated – on purpose of course to get it passed) and “it will save every American $2500 a year” and it will give everyone affordable health care. The real truth was told by Pelosi that “you have to pass it to see what’s in it.” and the legislators were also lied to and/or bought off and the thing passed, and now we are seeing what is in it. I have no sympathy for those who believed the lies and bought into this and got it passed thinking it was going to be God’s answer to health care in America. The truth is that you can’t always keep your doctor or keep your plan (many of them no longer exist), you aren’t saving $2500 a year, and not everyone is covered, still. And now that people are starting to see the true cost of this and who is going to be paying for it, it’s a real shocker for some. Some of knew all along that the numbers didn’t add up. Hopefully the Supreme Court will strike down the mandate, although I hold little hope of that after Roberts’ decision regarding the tax issue. Obamacare was never about health care, it was about government control and higher taxes to pay for it..

    1. Winston

      Springer, prior to Obamacare, every year the first thing I did when I renewed my private health insurance plan with my employer was to check to see if our doctor(s) were still within the network. That guarantee has never been there regardless of what the President said back in 2010.

      Frankly, I would rather be the Obama backer who has to explain the doctor comment then the Bush lover (of ’88, ’92, ’00, 04, and now ’16) who has to explain away the lie about WMD in Iraq.

      As far as the costs of the ACA (Obamacare), they are now coming-in lower than expected:

      The major reason Roberts’ used the tax argument was because if he would have allied himself with the four other conservatives on the bench, using the commerce clause, that would have caused the unraveling of social security and medicare, too. Then you would really would have had a mess on your hands thanks to the Tea party element of the GOP – but like Reagan (in fact, he worked in the Reagan DOJ) who worked with Tip O’Neil back in 1983 to save Social Security, Roberts knew better and played the constitutionally right and politically smart card concerning the ACA and the constitution and our overall established safety net.


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