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Cost of ObamaCare Enrollment Lowballed

ACTA apologizes for the technical difficulties experienced over the past two weeks, which prevented your humble scribes from growling. We look forward to growling for you.

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In last Thursday's Washington Times, Stephen Dinan reported, "The Obama administration “misled” Americans into thinking signing up for Obamacare would be cheaper than it really was, according to an inspector general’s report Thursday that said the IRS dramatically understated the actual cost of enrolling."

Dinan went on to explain in part:

"But as part of the letters, the IRS said most people could find plans for $75 a month or less once government subsidies were figured in.

"That was untrue — in fact, the average cost was more than twice that figure, at $168 a month, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said.

"Many of the nearly 7.5 million taxpayers who receive letters and seek insurance may feel misled if the actual cost of their insurance is much higher than the $75 per month detailed in their notification letter,” the inspector general concluded.

"The IRS said it was only using numbers provided by Department of Health and Human Services and verified by the Treasury Department. They said the $75 figure was true for some taxpayers.

"The inspector general said it asked for that documentation but never received it.

"Auditors said their own analysis found the HHS studies were based on a smaller sample and was limited to those who chose lower-coverage plans with fewer benefits.

"According to the new audit, federal regulations require agencies to present accurate information.

"Investigators uncovered the misleading information as part of a broader audit about how the IRS was handling its role in alerting Americans who aren’t complying with Obamacare’s mandate to hold insurance.

"Some 19.3 million Americans ducked the Obamacare mandate in 2016, with 12.8 million claiming an exemption and 6.5 million paying the tax penalty."

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a press release about the report, pointing out, "Although required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to do so, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did not issue notification letters to taxpayers without Minimal Essential Coverage (MEC) for Tax Year 2014 by the statutory June 30, 2015, deadline."

According to the TIGTA report, the "audit was initiated to assess the IRS’s processes for identifying and notifying individuals who file an income tax return and do not have the required Minimum Essential Coverage under the Affordable Care Act. This includes assessing whether the IRS complied with Affordable Care Act Section 1502(c)."

Growls readers are encouraged to take a few extra minutes to write or call your Congressional representatives. Ask them what they are doing to hold the IRS accountable. Contact information is available at the Library of Congress' Congress.gov website. Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County can contact:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

And ask for a written response. And tell them ACTA sent you.


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