Government mandating health care

The IRS announced last year that for the first time it will not process any electronically filed tax return that doesn’t include proof of health insurance in 2017.

Paper returns could also be held up and refunds delayed.

(The often-cited car insurance and home insurance analogies don’t fit. “In other cases, the government mandates something but provides the means.

More on that further down.) Politicians on both sides are complaining about many of the other provisions too. For instance, you’re required to educate your child, but the government provides a system of free, public schools.

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The insurance mandate has been removed, but the repeal doesn’t take effect until 2019.

Taxpayers can get an exemption from the insurance requirement if, for example, they can show they can’t afford the coverage; that they experienced a personal hardship, such as homelessness, a death in the family or unpaid medical bills; or they live in a state that did not expand Medicaid.

The Internal Revenue Service has created an Affordable Care Act Estimator Tool, which can assess your potential penalty.

But, generally speaking, your opinion of the health care law generally hinges on whether you can accept the health insurance mandate. Some look at the prospect of providing health care to 30 million currently uninsured Americans, including millions in Texas, and at the success the system has had in Massachusetts, and conclude the mandate is worth it. As the New York Times reports, the conservative justices posed probing questions about the health care mandate. Verrilli Jr., only minutes into the argument.” “Chief Justice John G. asked if the government could compel the purchase of cellphones. I won’t venture a guess on whether the mandate is constitutional or how the court will rule.

Others see government overreach—an unprecedented intrusion on individual liberties that can’t be justified no matter how many more people gain health insurance as a result. But if the court does strike down the mandate, we also may lose the most popular provisions in the law such as the ban on denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions and allowing dependents to remain on their parents’ plans up to age 26.

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