Adam Radman

Obamacare Exchanges Enroll Only 51,000 Uninsured Americans


Posted by Adam Radman on Thursday, October 10th, 2013, 5:06 PM PERMALINK

A new report today in the Daily Mail finally answered a question the Obama Administration would not for the past 10 days—namely, how many people have successfully enrolled in Obamacare’s federal “exchange” website healthcare.gov.

The answer is a paltry 51,000.  To put that in context, it’s a small fraction of one percent of the uninsured population.  It falls far short of the 7 million enrollment figure that is widely believed to be the administration’s goal.

The cost to taxpayers is staggering.  According to reports, taxpayers have footed the bill for $363 million to get this “glitchy” exchange enrollment website off the ground.  That comes out to $7118 per enrollee thus far.  This gives a whole new meaning to “waste, fraud, and abuse.”

For the past 10 days, the Obama Administration has engaged in a coordinated campaign to cover up, duck questions, and otherwise obfuscate the truth about how many people have chosen to enroll in Obamacare.  ATR has kept record of every administration quote denying to the public knowledge about the website taxpayers themselves paid for.  Now we know why.  51,000 people is the turnout figure for a baseball game, not a national health insurance scheme.

ATR President Grover Norquist observed, “We are not on track for anything like seven million [enrollees]. New Coke was retired for being a smaller disappointment.”

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LA-05 Special Election Update: Riser and Morris sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge


Posted by Adam Radman on Thursday, August 29th, 2013, 3:52 PM PERMALINK

The Louisiana 5th Congressional district special election has its first two Taxpayer Protection Pledge signers of the race: State Sen. Neil Riser and State Rep. Jay Morris. Rep. Rodney Alexander, who currently occupies the seat, recently announced his plans to resign from Congress on Sept. 26th to become Louisiana Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

The special election to fill the rest of his term is set for Oct. 19th. According to Politics1, there are a number of other announced candidates in the race and ATR is working hard to make sure they all have an opportunity to sign the Pledge.

Under Louisiana’s unique election system, candidates from all parties run on the same ballot in October. If no candidate obtains 50 percent or higher, the top two candidates face off against each other on Nov. 16th regardless of party.

With Rep. Alexander taking over 77% of the vote in 2012 and a PVI  at R+15, it’s very unlikely that Democrats make this a competitive race. In fact, The Cook Political Report (subscription needed) rates this race as SOLID R while the Rothenberg Political Report rates this seat as Safe Republican.

Click here to see the release for State Sen. Riser and here for State Rep. Morris.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Medical Device Tax


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Friday, August 23rd, 2013, 4:02 PM PERMALINK

Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Manufacturers of medical devices like pacemakers, crutches, and prosthetics face a new 2.3% gross receipts tax under Obamacare.  That means they have to pay the tax even in a year where they lose money.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Saver Surtax


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Thursday, August 22nd, 2013, 12:01 PM PERMALINK

Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Obamacare imposes a 3.8% surtax on investment income for super-saver families.  As a result, the top capital gains and dividends rate is now nearly 24%.

 

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Slacker Mandate


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Monday, August 19th, 2013, 4:40 PM PERMALINK

Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Obamacare says that health insurance companies are forced to cover “children” up to age 26.  Like Peter Pan, Jay and Silent Bob never have to grow up.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: "Indoor Tanning Tax"


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013, 5:12 PM PERMALINK

Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review

.

This Obamacare tax increase has the distinction of being the first to go into effect (July 2010). Slipped into the bill by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) behind closed doors in the middle of the night, this tax hike replaced the planned Obamacare "Botax" on cosmetic surgery.

This petty, burdensome, nanny-state tax affects both the business owner and the end user.  Industry estimates from the Indoor Tanning Association show that 30 million Americans visit an indoor tanning facility in a given year, and over 50 percent of salon owners are women. 

There is no exception granted for those making less than $250,000 meaning it is yet another tax that violates Obama's "firm pledge" not to raise "any form" of tax on Americans making less than this amount.

Making matters worse: According to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report, the Obama IRS didn't bother to issue compliance guidelines until three quarterly filing deadlines had passed:  "By the time [IRS] notices were issued, tanning excise tax returns had been due for three quarters." This is yet another sign that the Obama administration is ill-prepared for Obamacare implementation.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Payroll tax Hike


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Tuesday, August 13th, 2013, 5:36 PM PERMALINK

Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Obamacare raises the top Medicare payroll tax rate from 2.9% to 3.8%.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: High Medical Bills Tax


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Thursday, August 8th, 2013, 12:24 PM PERMALINK

Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review. 

Americans have long been allowed to deduct out of pocket medical expenses as an itemized deduction on their taxes. They cannot have already benefited from other tax provisions for health care like tax-free employer-provided care or tax-free accounts like flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs). A full list of qualified expenses can be found in IRS Publication 502.

After totaling all unreimbursed, out-of-pocket medical expenses, the taxpayer must then subtract from this figure an amount equal to 7.5 percent of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income (AGI). This subtraction amount is known commonly as a "haircut."

According to the IRS, 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction in 2009, the latest year of available data. They deducted $80 billion in medical expenses after applying the “haircut.” The Office of Management and Budget reports that this tax deduction saves these taxpayers upwards of $10 billion annually.

The Obamacare law made one change to this tax provision: it raised the "haircut" from 7.5 percent of AGI to 10 percent of AGI. Since virtually all taxpayers claiming this income tax deduction make less than $200,000 per year, the income tax hike falls almost exclusively on the middle class:

-Virtually every family taking this deduction made less than $200,000 in 2009. Over 90 percent earned less than $100,000.

-The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earns just over $53,000 annually.

-ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax benefit will be $200 - $400 per year.

-This income tax increase is focused on families with the largest medical bills that weren't covered by insurance. So the target population is low-and middle-income families with debilitating medical costs. That's a good definition of the opposite of “affordable” or “caring.”

According to the Joint Tax Committee, this tax increase is scheduled to raise between $2 billion and $3 billion annually. That may be a drop in the bucket in Washington DC, but try telling that to the $53,000 family with high medical bills that just saw a tax increase.

The tax is a clear violation of President Obama's "firm pledge" in 2008 to not enact "any form of tax increase" on these families.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Red Tape Tax Credit


Posted by Adam Radman, Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013, 9:31 AM PERMALINK

Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Obamacare creates a tax credit for small employers to comply with Obamacare.  There’s only one problem—the tax credit is so complex, the IRS and CBO report that no one is using it.

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Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers Boustany and Landry Prep for Runoff in Louisiana


Posted by Adam Radman on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012, 5:43 PM PERMALINK

In the wake of the election, there has been some confusion over whether Reps. Charles Boustany and Jeff Landry have signed ATR’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Both candidates have, in fact, signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge for this election cycle.

The Pledge, sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."
 
ATR confirms that Rep. Charles Boustany [Pledge] is a long-time supporter of the Pledge, and Rep. Jeff Landry [Pledge] has been a signer since he began his first term in 2010. Neither candidate has ever broken their Pledge to taxpayers.
 
“I want to once again congratulate Dr. Boustany and Mr. Landry for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Both Congressmen have proven their commitment to opposing higher taxes. Louisiana taxpayers can rest assured that they will continue to have a voice in Congress that stands up for their interests,” said Grover Norquist, president of ATR.

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