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John B.
Republican WY

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  • Obamacare

    by Senator John Barrasso

    Posted on 2015-04-14

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    BARRASSO. Mr. President, tomorrow is April 15. April 15 is a date that causes a great deal of stress and anxiety for hard-working American taxpayers. For millions of American families, this year is going to be worse than ever before. The Obama health care law, ObamaCare, is making tax day harder for Americans.

    American taxpayers who were forced into the ObamaCare system--well, they are having to fill out even more forms this year than in the past, so many forms that the Internal Revenue Service can then enforce all of the President's health care mandates. It is a complicated and burdensome process.

    President Obama promised that buying health insurance through ObamaCare was going to be as easy as buying a television on Amazon. Well, why didn't the President ever say it was going to be so difficult to satisfy the IRS? Why didn't the President say that hard-working American taxpayers would have to fill out pages and pages of forms just to find out if they had actually paid the right amount for their health insurance? Why didn't the President say that people who changed jobs during the year might have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to the IRS? That doesn't happen when you buy a television on Amazon. Amazon tells you the price, and that is what you pay. Amazon doesn't make you fill out the forms on April 15; Amazon doesn't demand more money from you after the amount you paid. But that is what is happening to millions of Americans across the country. Taxes were already too complicated. Now, because of ObamaCare, it is much worse.

    For this year's tax filing season, the IRS released seven new forms that people might have to fill out to comply with the new health care law. The instructions alone for these forms are 46 pages long.

    A married couple with 2 children might have to enter numbers and other information into 133 individual boxes on just 1 of the new ObamaCare tax forms. A family could spend more time filling out one of these forms than they used to spend filling out their entire tax returns in the past.

    So for people who go through all of this effort, the results actually still can be terrifying.

    CNN ran a report earlier this year about the problem. The headline was: ``I have to pay back my ObamaCare subsidy.'' They told the story of Janice Riddle from Los Angeles. She got an ObamaCare subsidy last year. Then when she got a new job, she forgot to tell the IRS about the new job. They sort of knew because she was getting paid from the new job and she was paying taxes, but she didn't actually alert the IRS about it from the standpoint of ObamaCare. So when she was doing taxes this year, she learned she has to pay back the entire amount of the subsidy, more than $5,000.

    She told CNN: I'm in shock . . . but I have no choice. Do I want to argue with the IRS or the Obama administration? Well, Janice is not alone. The Obama administration says as many as 7.5 million families in America will have to reconcile their ObamaCare subsidies on their taxes for 2014 when they have the filing deadline tomorrow.

    According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, last month only 4 percent of all the families who qualified for a subsidy got the right amount. So the Kaiser Family Foundation did a study last month, and what they have come out with is only 4 percent of all the families across the country who qualified for a subsidy got the right amount. The study found that half of all U.S. households that were eligible for a subsidy would have to pay back some of it with their taxes this year. The average amount they are going to have to pay back is $794.

    One of those people who just found out he owes the government so much money is Rob Tuck from Dublin, CA. According to an article last week by the Associated Press, he said he had expected to actually get a refund for his taxes--a refund of $400 for his taxes from his work last year. It turns out his refund has been almost wiped out--wiped out--to repay some of the subsidy he got to buy an expensive ObamaCare policy. He changed jobs during the year. He got a little extra income. In America, that should be a good thing, you get extra income. Well, not for him. It came with a large pricetag from the government. He said he enrolled in the plan to avoid the tax penalties of being uninsured, and he says that now he feels penalized by the Obama administration anyway.

    Another person who is feeling penalized by the President's health care law is Bill Preus of St. Petersburg, FL. He was quoted in the same Associated Press article last week. This man was only on ObamaCare for 3 months. After that time, he went onto Medicare. Well, there was poor coordination between the ObamaCare Web site, healthcare.gov, and his insurance company. Because of that, he may have to pay the IRS close to $4,000.

    Now, the man used to own an insurance agency, and, according to the article, he said he is used to complexity, but he said he never has seen anything like this. He told the Associated Press: ``It's a total mess.'' His tax preparer and the IRS both told him--his tax preparer and the IRS--that the best thing to do was to file an incomplete return so it would trigger an audit and then they could sort things out.

    Is that the President's idea of his health care plan being as easy to use as buying a TV on Amazon? This man has to go through an IRS audit. That is what they are hoping for, to get audited by the IRS. Apparently, that is the easiest way for Washington to figure out its own rules. It is outrageous.

    When the President, in the past, has been asked about the health care law, he said it is actually working better than he expected. What did he expect when people are telling stories such as these? The President's health care law is more than 2,000 pages long. It paid for thousands of IRS agents--people to investigate American taxpayers to make sure they comply with all the law's destructive and expensive mandates. But all of that complexity has become a disaster. This law has been bad for patients, it has been bad for providers, and as we reach the IRS filing deadline tomorrow, it is clear this law is terrible for taxpayers.

    This isn't what Democrats promised, and it is not what the American people wanted. People didn't want more redtape, more stress. They just wanted the care they need from a doctor they choose at lower costs. That is what Republicans in the Senate are working to give them. We can do it without more IRS audits. We can do it without a 2,000-page law. We can do it without making tax day harder for Americans. We can do it without all the negative side effects of ObamaCare.

    I yield the floor.

    I suggest the absence of a quorum.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.

    The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

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