As you may well remember beginning in 2014 if you do not have a healthcare plan in America you were charged a penalty under Obamacare, well the numbers are in.

According to data from the IRS Commissioner John Koskinen approximately 6.5 million American taxpayers were charged that penalty.  The cost to them was approximately $3 billion dollars.

Beginning In 2014, American taxpayers without insurance had to pay the greater penalty of either a flat fee of $95 or 1% of the household’s adjusted gross income.

In 2016, those penalties increased to a flat fee of $695 or 2.5% of the adjusted gross income.

In 2016, the IRS reports that the average penalty paid was around $470 and that about 70 percent of payments were $500 or less, while only 7 percent of payments were $100 or less.

The question has always been, is it right for the government to force you to buy a product.  I understand that healthcare is different than forcing someone to buy a car let’s say, but is it that different.  Everyone at some point in their life is going to need to access healthcare, can you not also say the same about buying a car?  At some point in someone’s life they are going to have a need for a car.

Should everyone have healthcare insurance, I say yes.  The question is do you want to go down the slippery slope of your government telling you what you must buy or pay a penalty.

If the government is going to force you to buy healthcare then is it not incumbent on them to take away as many roadblocks as possible in order to decrease the cost of healthcare?

For instance, tort reform.  They cannot allow the lawyers’ group through their donations to the Democrat party to sue doctors for every little thing.  We know that doctors do practice defensive medicine, ordering unnecessary tests, in order to make sure they did not miss one tiny little thing that they could get sued for, thus increasing the cost of healthcare.  Our bodies and what we do with them are so unique it is very difficult or impossible for doctors to catch every little thing.

How about allowing for companies to sell health insurance across state lines.  If they eliminate competition then of course the cost of health insurance will rise.

You should know that starting this year that due to an executive order signed by President Trump, the IRS is easing requirements for Obamacare's individual mandate.  That executive order requires that federal agencies reduce the burden of Obamacare on the American taxpayer. Now, the IRS will not require taxpayers to indicate whether or not they have health insurance, which will then not require them to pay the penalty.

Now that still leaves the problem that they will need to access healthcare sometime in their life and when it does who pays for it.

We need healthcare reform, a reform with a goal that will reduce the cost of healthcare insurance thus making it affordable for all of us to pay for it ourselves.

Again if the government is going to force you to purchase health insurance it is incumbent on them to get out of the way of competition, not make it so easy for ambulance chaser lawyers to sue doctors and whatever else possibly via market forces to bring down the cost of health insurance.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595