Poor aren't safe, face $2,085 Obamacare tax

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Poor families earning as little as $19,000 will face a tax up to $2,085 if they don't buy health care under Obamacare by 2016, a painful sting on a class of Americans the president and Congress have promised to protect from new taxes.

According to a new Senate analysis based on Congressional Budget Office and Tax Foundation figures, Obamacare taxes on those earning $19,000-$25,000 but who don't have health insurance will range from $695-$2,085, depending on how many dependents they have. A family of four will face the highest tax, a penalty of 8 percent to 10 percent.

The pain is harshest for the poor because it is a regressive tax. The fines are exactly the same for families making up to $50,000 and slide up only slightly for those earning $100,000. But the top tax for a family of four remains the same at $2,085 if families make $25,000 or $100,000, according to the Senate Republican Policy Committee headed by Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso.

"Regardless of what happens in the fiscal cliff negotiations, President Obama's healthcare law guarantees middle class families will pay higher taxes. Hardworking Americans deserve to know that the president's healthcare law - and the administration's regulatory onslaught - dramatically expands the IRS' power to enforce these tax hikes," said Barrasso's committee.

He added that by 2016, when the full penalties kick in, some 4.7 million families will face paying the Obamacare tax for failing to buy health insurance.

Tax Foundation figures