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The Joint Committee on Taxation, “Estimates of Federal Tax Expenditures for Fiscal Years 2012-2017,” (Jcs-1-13), February 1, 2013, Table 1.

In: Business and Management

Submitted By elimanning10
Words 1543
Pages 7
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed into law in 2010 and implemented in 2014. The goal of the bill was to create affordable health insurance policies so most individuals throughout the United States are covered by a health insurer. If an individual does not comply and purchase a mandated health insurance policy, he or she is subject to a penalty tax. This tax is the greater of a flat tax of up to $695.00 for each individual or 2.5% of the household income.
This expansion of federal taxation is unprecedented and dangerous. The policy is fundamentally instructing the taxpayers how, where and when to spend their money. Once the Supreme Court upheld the ruling that the fines for non-compliance are actually taxes and not penalties, the law-makers have essentially been given permission to create other similar policies that require the taxpayers to spend money in a specific manner if the legislators believe it is in the best interest of the country. There are currently few issues that would require a similar policy. However, if a similar issue arises in the future, a precedent to implement a similar law mandating that citizens spend their money in a particular manner exists.
The idea that the government determines how citizens spend money is not groundbreaking. Tariffs and subsidies have instructed citizens how to spend money in this country for decades. Both tariffs and subsidies indirectly form spending. The government decides which industries are worth protecting and which are not. Often, this has to do with lobbying power and profits more than any social ideal. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is more direct in demanding that the taxpayers purchase certain services which delves into even more dangerous territory. However, this is just another step in an already existing trend.
Not only did the Patient Protection...

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