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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tax preparers drove Obamacare enrollment numbers -- By Patrick Howley, The Daily Caller

Tax specialist George Klatt (R) advises Joshua Falley in an H&R Block office in Chicago April 16, 2007. U.S. internal Revenue service has set the deadline for filing tax returns to April 17.  REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES) - RTR1OPJ2Obamacare’s late surge in enrollment numbers may have been been driven by tax-preparing services that offered government-sponsored health care plans to all customers seeking help doing their taxes.

H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt Tax Services partnered with online insurance brokers, GoHealth and GetInsured to steer customers toward Obamacare insurance plans after preparing their tax returns, it was announced in February. The two major tax preparers are collectively responsible for preparing more than 20 million U.S. tax returns per year, according to estimates.

Neither company, however, is saying how many people they helped enroll. Neither is the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which did not immediately return The Daily Caller’s request for comment on this story.

President Barack Obama is the top all-time recipient of campaign contributions from H&R Block employees and their family members and the fourth all-time recipient of campaign contributions from Jackson Hewitt employees and their family members.

“Do you have health insurance, and, if not, would you like to look at your coverage options under the Affordable Care Act?” Jackson Hewitt employees began asking customers up-front earlier this year.

This year’s tax filing deadline occurred on April 15. Two days later, Obama announced that enrollments had hit 8 million, athough the 8 million number was disputed by at least one independent expert.

Obamacare penalties for not having insurance are deducted from Americans’ next-year tax refunds if not paid within a year.

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