by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Anyone who receives Obamacare subsidies could be in for a rude awakening this tax season.
Four in ten low-income Obamacare participants will face sticker shock this April 15 when they discover they owe a great deal of money to the IRS because of a little-known “clawback” provision in the health-care law.
A family of four could owe the government as much as $11,200, according to a 2013 prediction by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
The idea that struggling, low-income Obamacare enrollees would have to repay the government for subsidies has been a dirty little secret that has always been part of the Affordable Care Act.
Although its existence has been known since 2010, neither Obamacare advocates nor the Internal Revenue Service have widely publicized it.
Authors of the groundbreaking UC study, written by supporters of the health-care law, warned the repayment feature could kill future support for Obamacare.
“Repayment requirements could lead to public dissatisfaction with the exchanges. And if there is much media attention to the need for repayments, some people could be dissuaded from participating in the exchanges,” they cautioned.