The Feb. 9 letter, "Obamacare already driving up taxes," was misleading.

The writer stated that although his total earnings increased by $1,695, his federal tax liability increased by $2,080. But the fact that his income-tax liability increased has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act since any penalty for not having health insurance will not be assessed until he files his 2014 income-tax return.

With regard to the ACA, my office has assisted a fair number of individuals who previously could not afford health insurance due to economic hardships. Most of these individuals have now qualified for affordable health care for the first time in their adult lives.

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The ACA was enacted to ensure that all U.S. residents now have an equal opportunity to receive affordable health care, which may also help someone in the letter writer's family.

The additional costs to fund this program are passed on to taxpayers with income levels exceeding $200,000 through the Net Investment Income Tax and the additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax.

Social Security was not a popular program in its infancy. Can we agree to give the ACA a chance to strengthen our nation?

I would also suggest that the letter writer have a qualified income-tax professional review his return and explain some of the disparity between last year and this year.

Tax rates for 2013 are comparable to the 2012 tax rates for most taxpayers. The increase in tax liability is most likely due to the lack of tax planning on his part.

Common items that affect the bottom line are changes to withholding, Schedule A deductions, loss of the Child Tax Credit, phase-out of deductions due to high income, etc.


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