US taxpayers soon to taste the bitter fruit of Obamacare 

Get ready for your life to change. The so-called benefits of Obamacare don’t start until 2014, but the tax increases, misallocated resources and federal regulations start now.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said the night of Obamacare’s passage, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” The emerging picture is frightening.

Obamacare dramatically alters the already overregulated health insurance market. The law creates a maze of mandates, federal directives, price controls, tax increases and subsidies.

We all begin paying Obamacare taxes this year. The law includes at last count at least 19 new taxes. As Americans begin to reap the personal financial burden of Obamacare, the movement to repeal it is mounting.

Individuals must pay an annual penalty of $695, or up to 2.5 percent of their annual income, if they don’t purchase an approved health insurance plan. Penalties on families include an annual penalty of $347 per child, up to $2,250 per family, if parents don’t purchase an approved policy.

Most of us have heard about the penalties on employers. Business owners must buy a government-approved health plan or pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee if they have 50 employees or more.

Medicare taxes are climbing, too. The bill requires single people earning $200,000 or more and couples earning $250,000 or more to pay an additional 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes.

Thinking about downsizing or buying a new home? There are new taxes on home sales tacked on the bill. Obamacare imposes a 3.8 percent tax on home sales and other real estate transactions.

Obamacare empowers the IRS for enforcement. The IRS is hiring 16,500 new enforcement officials. The IRS will confiscate tax refunds, place liens on property and seek jail time if health care penalties and taxes are not paid.

But don’t despair. As of July 14,130 members of Congress have signed a discharge petition that will force Nancy Pelosi to hold a straight up-or-down vote on HR 4972, a bill, proposed by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, that repeals Obamacare.

In plain language, that means that the repeal of Obamacare is actually within our grasp. Rep. King is upbeat, saying: “I am optimistic that we will be able to attract the 218 signatures we will need to force a vote on repealing Obamacare. ... Signatures on the discharge petition have come more quickly than I had expected.”

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown are bestselling authors and speakers. Floyd is also president of the Western Center for Journalism.

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