The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Gets Even Worse

Photo credit: Kevin Doncaster, CC BY 2.0.

Today in “I don’t know which terrible paragraph to quote so I’ll pick this one,” we go to the Washington Post:

[Senator Orrin Hatch] and other Republicans say that low-income people get a choice about whether to buy health insurance or not. If they no longer wish to buy insurance, they would not get government subsidies anymore to help make their health insurance more affordable. JCT is calculating that as a tax increase, but Republicans say it is “ridiculous” to look at it that way. The subsidy was being paid to the insurance company, not to individuals.

So. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed the House yesterday—here’s a good overview of what it includes—and now the Senate gets to try to add some amendments to the bill.

The Joint Committee on Taxation (aka JCT) ran an analysis of the Senate’s plan and found all of the ways that it’s going to hurt low- and middle-income taxpayers—basically anyone earning below $75,000 annually—especially in regards to the part of the tax plan that lets people opt out of Affordable Care Act health insurance without penalty:

As health insurance premiums rise and people opt not to buy insurance anymore, their tax breaks go away, explained Thomas Barthold, head of the JCT.

If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s the TL;DR: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is going to be bad for everyone who isn’t either rich or a corporation.

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.