So, for the last few weeks, I’ve been secretly hoping that Donald Trump scored a legislative win. Yes, me, of all people, was hoping that Donald Trump signed into law the tax reform package that has made its way through Congress. It wasn’t the tax breaks for the corporations I was looking forward to. Nope, it wasn’t the “simplified” postcard tax forms the GOP was promising. No, it was something even more selfish than that, the health insurance mandate which causes me to pay a fine for not carrying health insurance.
Those who read my blog regularly know that it is much cheaper for me to self-insure myself by having resources on hand to pay for my medical bills and by living a life that tries not to cause me medical problems, instead of paying for expensive health insurance. Paying for health insurance is just too cost prohibited for me. I’d rather spend that money on my business or my family. But because I don’t carry the mandated health insurance, I pay a fine each year to the IRS.
I have paid the health insurance penalty for 2014, 2015, 2016 and now I will pay it for 2017. And, likely in 2018 as well!
Yup, that’s right! Even though Donald Trump promised all of you that the first thing he would do is rid the country of the Affordable Healthcare Act, or ObamaCare, I’m still forced to pay a fine for not having health insurance. I was excited in March, when it looked like the health penalty was going to be repealed. I was excited. Trump failed to repeal it. What a surprise!
Yesterday Congress debated the tax reform legislation. One side argues that it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Bread is still sliced by machines, and, I’m still forced to pay the health insurance mandate fine.
As I posted in April, I paid $1,394 in 2015 as a fine for failure to maintain health insurance. I hate paying the fine, but, nonetheless, the $1,392 fine is much less then being forced to pay for health insurance. (Follow this link for the mathematics)
Now, even though the much-pontificated tax reform is about to be signed by Trump, the health mandate is still taking money from my wallet.
But, but, the mandate was repealed.
Look at the fine print. When Trump signs the tax reform bill, the mandate won’t be repealed until the 2019 tax year.
So, not only did I pay for 2014, 2015, 2016, and I will pay for 2017, but that’s not the end of it, I’ll be paying the fine for 2018 as well!
How’s that for the promise of repealing Obamacare as Trump’s first action in office.
Nope, not his first action. Not his second. Ok, ok, so maybe it is his first action because almost a year into office, Trump has finally delivered on one of his promises – tax reform. Or, has he?
So much for secretly wishing Donald Trump some success. He couldn’t even deliver that tiny thing I was hoping for.
But it gets worse, by the time the Tax Reform package makes it to Trump’s desk, it will have undergone several iterations so both houses of Congress could reconcile it. Just like the repeal of the health insurance mandate was delayed until 2019, the complexity of the rest of the package has yet to be fully understood. In weeks, we should know if any us benefits from the tax reform package. I’m not holding my breath. Are you?
But what is even worse is that the mid-term elections and future elections may change the faces of Congress creating the possibility that the tax reform package and the repeal of the health mandate may once again make the rounds of Congress. Then what?
Therefore, for the foreseeable future I will be paying a fine for not carrying health insurance. I’m not really surprised because who really believes that Donald Trump can fulfill any of his legislative agenda before he leaves office. Not me.