GOP Tax Cuts / ACA Repeal Impact on Middle Class in Ohio

I thought I would look at my disposable income here in Ohio in 2017 and estimate it for 2018 taking into consideration the GOP 2018 tax cuts and estimated healthcare expenses in 2018 to evaluate the viability of democrats using the GOP Tax Cuts & ACA Repeal / Replace efforts in 2018 political campaigns. 

After the president’s “State of the Union” address on Tuesday (1/30/3028) night republicans went to an exclusive resort in West Virginia for what has been characterized as a retreat to develop their strategy for the 2018 elections.  Vice president Pence made a speech to attack senator Joe Manchin for not voting for the Trump tax cuts for the rich in West Virginia on his way to the republican retreat.  I am not a big fan of DINO (democrat in name only) senator Joe Manchin and it didn’t surprise me that the republican establishment attacked him because he is one of the democratic US senators who are vulnerable to being replaced by a republican in the 2018 election cycle.  I didn’t think that the republican political attack machine would kick in until after the 2017 / 2018 federal budget and DACA were passed by congress.  This indicates that democrats should not expect either congressional republicans or the white house to negotiate with them to resolve issues with the federal budget or DACA.  Democrats need to forget about some kumbaya moment in which republicans decide to negotiate in good faith .  

Right now the republican talking points are based on the tax breaks provided to the American public because of the bill passed in December by republicans.  The reduction in tax is due to an increase in the personal exemption to $4,150  ($100.00 increase from 2017),  married filing jointly deduction to $13,000 ($300.00 increase from 2017), single and married filing separately deduction to $6,500 ($150 increase from 2017),  and heads of household standard deduction to $9,550 ($200 increase from 2017).  Changes to the Alternative Minimum Tax exemption, Earned Income Credit, and income tax brackets also contribute to reducing personal tax liability in most cases.  The elimination of the deduction for state property taxes will result in increased taxes for people in northeastern states and on the west coast.  The average tax cut received by US wage earners in the $75K to $100K income range (my income bracket) in the 2018 tax year is ~$1,310.

Lets evaluate 2018 cost of living increases due to increased healthcare insurance costs.  These cost increases are mostly due to instability in the healthcare insurance market as a result of republican ACA repeal and replace efforts.  My monthly healthcare insurance premium in the state of Ohio in 2017 was $721/month based on a silver policy with an upfront deduction of over $6,000 (I pay for the first ~$6000 in healthcare expenses then the insurance pays claims based on the insurance policy paying 80% of the claim and I pay the remaining 20% of the claim).  I selected this policy from over 10 insurance policies offered on the Healthcare.gov site in the state of Ohio in 2017.  I thought the cost of healthcare insurance in Ohio in 2017 was outrageous but it was available and I was covered. I had no significant healthcare issues / events in 2017 and my out of pocket expenses as a single male were ~$2,200 due to the policy upfront deductible amount and $8,652 in insurance premiums.   I paid over $10,852 in healthcare expenses with no significant healthcare events in 2017. 

In November, 2017 I went to the Healthcare.gov site to select healthcare insurance coverage in the state of Ohio during 2018 because I was notified by Aetna that Aetna ACA based healthcare insurance would not be offered in the state of Ohio in 2018.  One (1) insurance policy provider was listed as offering health insurance coverage on Healthcare.gov in the state of Ohio for a single male with my age and income in 2018.  The policy premium was $1,226/month with an upfront deduction of $3,600 (I pay for the first $3,600 in healthcare expenses then the insurance pays claims based on the insurance policy paying 80% of the claim and I pay the remaining 20% of the claim).  Assuming that I have no significant healthcare event(s) in 2018 my out of pocket expenses will be ~$2,200 due to the policy upfront deductible amount and $14,712 in insurance premiums. Based on the above, my estimated healthcare expense in 2018 is $16,912.

Based on the above information about the estimated decrease in my 2018 taxes due to the republican tax cuts and increases in my 2018 healthcare expenses due to the republican “ACA Repeal and Replace” efforts I estimate that my disposible income will decrease by ~$4,750 in 2018.  

I know that covering the above information in a nice political “sound byte” will be difficult but democrats need to find a way to do it and quickly.

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