Obamacare — the government overreach that continues to punish, as discussed at a Monday forum.

North Carolina ranked fifth nationally in exchange marketplace enrollment, with 357,584 registrants, or about one-third of the eligible uninsured population. But, as with other states and nationally, questions have remained unanswered about how many of those were legitimate sign-ups.

Langley and Chris Conover, a research scholar at Duke University’s Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research, said of the 7.3 million people who purchased plans nationally — a number the federal government recently scaled back from the original estimate of 8 million — many will end up owing the IRS money at the end of the year.

That is because Obamacare requires participants to estimate their annual income at the beginning of the year. Subsidies are awarded based on those numbers. If an Obamacare participant earns more than expected, thus receiving a higher subsidy than allowed, the IRS could seize that overpayment at income tax return time.

“I would think it’s probably going to be a minimum of 10 percent” of Obamacare participants who will fall into that situation, Langley said.

“I would guess that the number is going to be in the millions,” Conover said. “At least 1 million will end up having to pay the government back, and that’s going to create a lot of chaos.”

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