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Colorado state lawmakers propose tax credit to offset Obamacare penalty

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DENVER — Two Colorado Republicans want to make it easier to opt out of Obamacare by creating a tax deduction to offset the federal tax penalty for not buying health insurance.

Called the Healthcare Liberty Act, the proposal would "provide a state tax deduction for Coloradans, in an amount equal to the federal tax penalty, levied against them for failing to purchase health insurance as mandated by President Obama's Affordable Care Act."

Republican state Reps. Dan Nordberg and Jared Wright said Tuesday they plan to introduce the bill once the legislative session begins in January.

"Millions of Americans are learning they will not be able to keep their health insurance under Obamacare even though the president promised they could," said Mr. Nordberg, of Colorado Springs, in a statement.

Given the lack of action in Washington, D.C., he said, "it is time the state Legislature step up and help our constituents deal with the surging costs of Obamacare."

Colorado is one of 16 states and the District of Columbia running its own online health-care exchange, and like many of the others, the program has been beset by lower-than-expected enrollment and computer glitches.

Meanwhile, nearly 250,000 Colorado residents have had their health-insurance policies cancelled, according to the state Division of Insurance.

"Our bill is an appropriate response to the tax penalty and will help people in Colorado who simply cannot afford this expensive new government health insurance mandate," said Mr. Wright of Fruita in a statement.

While it's highly unlikely the Democrat-controlled Legislature would pass such a bill, or that Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper would sign it, the measure could serve a political purpose by forcing Democrats to cast and up-or-down Obamacare vote in an election year.

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