White House Unaware That 6 Million Americans Will Pay Obamacare Tax This Year

Posted: Feb 03, 2015 3:00 PM

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest described reports that millions of Americans would be getting tax bill because of Obamacare as "inaccurate" just days after the Treasury Department estimated that 6 million Americans will pay about $2 billion in individual mandate taxes this year.

"I don't think it is accurate to suggest that millions of people are going to get a tax bill as a result of this," Earnest said in response to a question Tuesday about the millions of Americans who will pay a tax penalty for not having health insurance in 2014. "The vast majority of Americans, more than three-quarters of Americans, are just going to have a box to check on their tax form to confirm that they've had health insurance. And so the impact that we are talking about here is very small and for the vast majority of people has been very positive."

While it is true that the vast majority of Americans get their health insurance through their employer, just like they did before Obamacare, it is also true that just last week the Treasury Department estimated that 6 million Americans will have to pay a penalty tax, created by Obamacare, because they did not have health insurance last year. According the Congressional Budget Office, those 6 million Americans will pay about $2 billion in tax penalties.

Worse still, even those Americans who did obtain health insurance through Obamacare exchanges could also face a heavy tax bill come this April. That is because the subsidies given to people who purchase insurance through an Obamacare exchange are calculated on a monthly basis. 

Americans who applied for insurance subsidies when they had a lower income, but later got a raise that bumped them up to a lower subsidy level, will get a tax bill from the government for the difference between thru old and new subsidy levels when they file taxes this year. According to H&R Block, another 6 million Americans will have to make such tax payments to the Treasury this year.