House Makes 40th Attempt to Repeal Health Care Reform Law

health care reform

The House of Representatives is scheduled on Friday to vote on a bill that would repeal the health care reform law, which is expected to fully take effect in 2014. The repeal effort will be the 40th for House members who say the law should not penalize Americans who choose to opt out of purchasing health insurance.

House Representatives Continue Fight Against Health Care Reform

Health care reform, also known as Obamacare, has been a thorn in many lawmakers’ sides since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010. Almost immediately, opponents in the House of Representatives and in various states pushed to have the law repealed.

Among the many problems some lawmakers had with the bill is the mandatory component, which requires Americans to purchase coverage or pay a penalty. After the issue was addressed in many courts of law, it finally reached the Supreme Court where in 2012 justices upheld health insurance mandate as it stood.

Following the ruling, some House members continued their fight against health care reform. They have said the law is an example of government overreach and is proving unworkable.

Starting in 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin enforcing the requirement that most individuals have health insurance by collecting fines from individuals who don’t. The IRS will also distribute subsidies to help people purchase coverage through new health exchanges.

Today, House representatives plan to vote on a bill that would prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from enforcing or implementing any part of the health care reform law.

What Are the Penalties for Failing to Purchase Health Insurance?

Since the health care reform law was signed, it has been controversial for its mandatory component. Many Americans have felt uncomfortable with being required to purchase health insurance to avoid paying a penalty.

Last year, the penalties individuals and families would pay for failing to purchase coverage became public. Reports show that the penalty amount will adjust by year, starting in 2014, and will be paid as a tax penalty during tax season the following year.

Individuals who fail to purchase health insurance in 2014 will be expected to pay a $95 penalty, while families will pay $285 or 1 percent of their income (whichever is greater). In 2015, the penalties rise to $325 and $975 (or 2 percent of income) and in 2016 they jump to $625 and $2,085 (or 2.5 percent of income), respectively.

The government notes the penalty will not be able to exceed the national average premium of the lowest-cost policy offered through the new health insurance exchanges.

It also notes that subsides provided to individuals and families with incomes less than 400 percent of the federal poverty line should make paying for coverage far more affordable than paying the penalties.

Image: Medill DC