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Biden doubles down: Fine Americans lacking health insurance but free for illegal immigrants

Joe Biden smiles at the crowd at a public forum. Photo courtesy Joe Biden campaign.

Washington D.C. – In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, former Vice President and candidate for President Joe Biden said he will reimpose the controversial Obamacare tax penalties on Americans who don’t purchase, or can’t afford to purchase, health insurance. That policy change could lead to dire consequences for tens of thousands of Maine families.

“Yes, yes, I’d bring back the individual mandate,” Biden told Cuomo, after claiming his health care plan would actually cost a “hell of a lot less.”

Under the Obamacare tax penalty, the fine was $695 per adult and up to $2,085 for a family of four. Data provided by the IRS on the 2015 Obamacare penalty showed that more than two-thirds of the 34,000 Mainers who paid a fine for not having health insurance earned less than 400% of the federal poverty level.

About 27,000 of those families had an adjusted gross income of $50,000 per year or less, meaning a $1,200 per month insurance premium would have consumed at a minimum almost 29% of their adjusted gross income.

However, at the first Democrat Presidential debate, Biden joined all the other candidates on stage in raising his hand to say he would provide health care benefits to “undocumented immigrants.”

DEBATE REVIEW: Democrats upend health care issue by supporting benefits for illegal immigrants

Biden insists that the individual mandate is a key component of lowering health insurance premiums, but, as this data from Bloomberg’s Apothecary shows, and most Americans know, health insurance premiums skyrocketed in the years of Obamacare’s implementation.

The Obamacare penalty was repealed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, relieving working Maine families of the threat of punishment if they could not afford insurance.  Biden has also said he will repeal that tax cut, saying at a campaign event, “The first thing I’d do is repeal those Trump tax cuts.”

The tax cut Biden is referring to reduced income taxes for most Americans. For instance, families of four earning $73,000 saw a tax cut of more than $2,000, and a single parent with one child earning $41,000 would have seen a tax cut of more than $1,000.

It made other changes to business taxes and simplified the tax code as well.

Biden’s poll numbers have been slipping slightly since the Democratic primary debate incident where Sen. Kamala Harris took him to task for working with segregationist Senators and opposing the busing of black children to different schools as part of desegregation efforts.

If Biden survives the primary, the busing issue Senator Harris has been punishing him with may continue to present a challenge, but Biden’s desire to reimpose penalties on working Americans who can’t afford health insurance while giving free care to illegal immigrants is likely to resonate across America.

Two recent polls, one by Rasmussen and one from CNN after the Presidential debate, found 55% to 59% of Americans oppose giving illegal immigrants health care benefits.

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