Opinions On Obamacare in Ohio, Penalties Increase

This story ran on NPR’s Morning Edition on Friday.

The takeaway on the story is that Obamacare is a redistribution and degradation of the quality of healthcare. According to the survey 27% of Ohioans say Obamacare has directly hurt them while 21% say it has directly helped them.

Lilo Whittaker, who responded to the poll, lives on a wooded one-acre lot in rural Ohio. The setting is idyllic on a cold winter morning. Chickadees chirp outside and a pot of coffee brews in the kitchen.

But at nearly 60 years old, Whittaker says the picture isn’t perfect. When Whittaker first heard about the federal health overhaul several years ago, she expected it would help.

“I thought, this is great,” Whittaker says. “People will be able to afford their health insurance, get decent coverage and begin to take care of their medical issues.”

But, in the past two years, Whittaker says, her husband’s Parkinson’s medications went from just over $150 a month to more than $400. The couple’s health insurance coverage has also become less affordable.

“A lot of people like me will forgo going to a doctor even if they have a problem because you can’t even afford your deductible or your copay,” she says. “And I don’t think your health insurance issues here are addressed properly.”

Couple this story with an article in the Washington Times in which H&R Block is reporting that the average tax penalty for not purchasing health insurance is $383. For many Americans who still cannot afford insurance, this is a huge burden. Many Americans were expecting a tax refund only to find out the government penalized them when they did their taxes.

Halfway through tax season, uninsured filers are paying more than twice as much as they did last year to satisfy Obamacare’s penalty for lacking coverage, H&R Block said Tuesday in an analysis that found other customers are still struggling to match their incomes to tax credits they got from Uncle Sam.

The tax-prep giant said its customers are paying an average penalty of $383 because of the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate,” compared to $172 last year.

This is what happens when government entangles health insurance into your personal income taxes.

Obamacare has become an utter disaster. The next Republican president better lead the charge to repeal it and replace it with free market solutions.


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