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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Use Primary Vote As Protest Against Romney Health Insurance Mandate

Several Northeast states hold presidential primaries Tuesday, including Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware.  Although Mitt Romney is presumed by many to be the Republican nominee in waiting, the Massachusetts health insurance mandate which he implemented results in a witches' brew of penalties, required forms and regulations.

Stop trusting the regurgitated opposition research and press reports. Look at my original source research, with accompanying comments. Then judge for yourself.

First, here's the penalty for not purchasing health insurance.  This is a tax by any other name.  And the only way to avoid it, is to move out of state. Even if you die, you get hit with the penalty for every month, or portion thereof, in which you were alive without suitable insurance, as proscribed by this form that provides for your level of minimum health insurance "to avoid penalties."

Under the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act, "individuals who are deemed able to afford health insurance but fail to comply are subject to penalties for each month of non-compliance in the tax year (provided that there is no penalty in the case of a lapse in coverage of 63 consecutive days or less). The penalties, which will be imposed through the individual's personal income tax return, shall not exceed 50% of the minimum monthly insurance premium for which an individual would have qualified through the [state Health Insurance] Connector." (The "Connector" is the state Health Insurance Connector Authority, as explained below.)(Text in bold reflects my emphasis.)

If you're annoyed with the complexity and size of your tax forms (if you did them yourself) or the amount you had to pay a tax preparer this year, consider this required four page form all Massachusetts residents must complete in addition to their state income tax return.

These Massachusetts regulations created a new state bureaucracy just to implement the mandate.  Note the following language: "The [Massachusetts Health Care Reform] Act creates a new independent authority, the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, which is responsible, among other things, for setting standards to determine whether affordable health insurance is available to residents, based on the percentage of income available to obtain coverage and the price of coverage. The Connector [Authority] is also responsible for reviewing appeals of the health care individual mandate due to hardship."

It gets worse...

"...the implementation of the health care law involves multiple agencies including the Connector and the Department of Revenue."

Consider that these penalties apply only to adults who are deemed [by the Health Insurance Connector to have been] able to afford health insurance. On an annual basis, the Connector establishes separate standards that determine whether individuals, married couples and families can afford health insurance, based on their incomes and affordable health insurance premiums.(Note this last sentence --- the state government insurance authority declares that it will determine what you can afford and how you will spend your money -- this is a tax by any other name.)

Do you want to fight the mandate penalty?  Here's how you do it.  Have fun doing that without a lawyer, like me. 

Finally, to add insult to injury, here's what they say the purpose of penalties is:

Penalties are not intended as a source of revenue. Rather, penalties are meant to provide taxpayers with an incentive to comply voluntarily with their tax obligations.

Tuesday's primaries are an excellent opportunity for conservatives who believe in a free marketplace and free people to protest ObamaCare and the encroaching government efforts to control and command every aspect of our lives.  A vote for a viable alternative candidate to Mitt Romney is a valid choice, and I would urge you to vote for Newt Gingrich.

Eric Dixon is a New York and New Jersey lawyer who is a candidate for statewide at-large delegate, supporting Newt Gingrich, in the upcoming New Jersey Republican primary.

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