With the April 15 tax filing day looming, there will be more than the usual angst and hair-pulling by millions of Americans who dread this day more than a trip to the dentist.

The individual mandate in ObamaCare has been able to lay low as the actual financial impact of this draconian, socialistic aspect of President Obama's signature policy, forced on the nation with the support of only Democrats, comes to fruition. For the uninsured and underinsured, the new tax penalty will come as a surprise, or even a shock. How many average Americans actually followed the details of ObamaCare and bothered to wade through the Obama cheerleader media hype and slogans during the months and years leading up to this point? How many bothered to be concerned and even alarmed when then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) actually said out loud, on camera, that she and the rest of us would have to wait until the bill was passed to find out what was in it?


We've all heard the terms "government overreach," "redistribution of the wealth" and "Big Brother government" describing ObamaCare and a sizable number of other Obama policy initiatives. Yet somehow, it doesn't seem real until it happens to you, or someone you know.

We just witnessed how quickly public opinion and wrath can neuter bad policy — at least once the public has a basic, but nonetheless clear, understanding of what's being proposed and how it directly impacts them (the latter being critical in the process of deep-sixing a really, really bad, unfair idea.) Obama, in his most recent State of the Union address, seemed in need some cheap applause line "filler" when he proposed taxing the very popular 529 college savings plans millions of middle-income American families have been contributing to since 1996 in order to save enough money to provide college educations for their kids by benefitting from the special tax benefits of the plan. The response from the public was swift and immediate. Why? Mothers and fathers, and likely a lot of grandparents, too, opened these accounts at the birth of a child, contributing a few dollars every month — whatever they could afford — making it a regular, conscious occurrence in their financial lives. In fact, many relied on the 529 college savings plans as part of their family planning, ensuring they would not have more children than they could afford to send to a four-year college or university.

The public outcry against this blatant government pick-pocketing forced Obama to abandon the proposal within 10 days of announcing it. Even more outrageous was that while in the same breath as essentially blowing away many families' dream of sending their kids to a four-year college and therefore forcing many to compromise by attending community college, Obama then proposed that, oh, by the way, he also wants to force taxpayers to pay the tuition to community college for anyone who wants to go. While it technically was not considered the "pay go" solution Congress adopted in the early 1990s, abandoned and then pretended to readopt some 20 years later, whereby any new spending must be paid for by new revenue (taxes) to help balance the budget, the mere mention of the two proposals in the same speech was the height of arrogance. Or perhaps naivete in believing since he'd gotten away with pulling so much wool over the collective American eyes, that he'd get away with this ruse, as well.

The same will happen with ObamaCare, as millions realize something they understood at their core since they could understand anything about American life regarding personal freedom, privacy and all the great stuff taught in school as kids about the Constitution, and brave men fighting for freedom from tyranny and over taxation, has been snatched away from them. Yes, the individual mandate and ObamaCare penalty tax will now be understood in full and felt acutely. While the 2014 penalty may be as low as $95 for some (or 1 percent of taxable income, depending on which amount is greatest), tax filers will wonder — and find out — what's in store for the years to come, and how the enormous cost of ObamaCare (more than what typical basic health insurance would have cost without it) will impact their future financial planning, hopes for a mortgage instead of rent, a new car versus the bus, or paying off student loans — all the things a young, healthy individual wants as he or she builds a life.

Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget 12 Republican senators defy Trump on emergency declaration  MORE likely based his decision to abort his planned third run for the White House in part due to this fact. Fair or unfair, RomneyCare in Massachusetts is too closely associated with ObamaCare and people don't bother to get into the policy weeds to learn or listen to the differences, nor will they bother with nuance. Importantly, with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Klobuchar: Race, gender should not be litmus tests for 2020 Dem nominee Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run MORE looming large on the horizon as she awaits her coronation as the Democratic nominee for president, Republicans will be able to make her accountable for her HillaryCare effort as First Lady, despite its failure, and have a discussion about ObamaCare/HillaryCare now that more Americans understand the damage done to their lives and finances as a result.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) need to strike while the iron is hot. This is the time for the GOP Congress to repeal ObamaCare, starting with the individual mandate. Americans finally "get it."

Jacobus is president of Capitol Strategies PR and has worked on Capitol Hill and at the Republican National Committee.