Thursday, June 28, 2012

ObamaCare: "What exactly is the Shared Responsibility Payment"?

Still working through the SCOTUS ruling and posting questions/comments as I read through it. Feel free to leave your comments, suggestions or questions here...

The "shared responsibility payment" is essentially what Congress calls the penalty (SCOTUS refers to it very distinctly as a "tax") for not purchasing health insurance. It's 2.5% of household income, no less than $695 but no more than the cost of the premium for 60% of ten major services (hospitalization, prescriptions, etc). Now, say Joe Smith doesn't have employer assisted insurance and doesn't buy a plan of his own but during the course of the year he does NOT utilize any medical services. It's not unheard of, a lot of people do not have the need to see a doctor during the course of a year.

Given this, why should Joe Smith have to pay this "shared responsibility payment"?

Now, if this payment is meant to offset HIS cost of health care, he shouldn't have to pay it.

However, if this payment is really meant to help offset the cost of everyone else's health care, then that's a different story.

The individual who does not purchase the insurance is being penalized for just that--NOT purchasing insurance on him/herself and possibly burdening the rest of us with the cost. That individual is not being penalized for not contributing to pay for someone else's health care.

So... what really is going on here? 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6/29/2012

    Is the “shared responsibility payment” a tax or a penalty? It’s whatever is convenient for Chief Justice Roberts to uphold Obama Care. For the purposes of the anti-injunction act it’s a penalty, but for his Constitutional analysis it’s a tax. Now I could potentially buy that argument. Congress could pass what amounts to a constitutional tax and choose to call it something different. However that is not what happened here.

    In discussing the anti-injunction act the Chief Justice wrote, “Section 5000A(g)(1)’s command that the penalty be ‘assessed and collected in the same manner’ as taxes is best read as referring to those chapters and giving the Secretary the same authority and guidance with respect to the penalty.” So he is saying that just because the penalty is collected in the same manner as a tax does not make it a tax under the anti-injunction Act, but somehow it does make it a tax under the Constitution.