(Grace-Marie Turner) – New taxes on investments, taxes on medical supplies, taxes on drugs and health insurance, and taxes on you if you are just breathing… the list of taxes Americans will face just got a lot longer thanks to ObamaCare.
The health overhaul plan just enacted represents the largest tax hike in U.S. history — $569 billion over 10 years through a dizzying array of taxes and fees that promise to frustrate taxpayers at every turn. ObamaCare will make every day feel like April 15th.
And despite President Obama’s campaign promise that no one making $250,000 or less would see a tax increase, Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation confirms that these tax hikes will hit millions of middle- and working-class families who are struggling to make ends meet.
Here are just a few of the most egregious ObamaCare taxes that hard-working Americans will be facing in the $2.6 trillion health overhaul bill:
• “Breath tax”: The infamous “death tax” now has a new sibling: the $17 billion “breath tax.” The new health overhaul law requires everyone in America who breathes to have health insurance by 2014; some will get subsidies, but most will have to pay a fine if they don’t buy the health insurance required by the federal government. Last week, Internal Revenue Commissioner Douglas Shulman said that enforcement of the individual mandate will come by seizing tax refunds and “collection, if need be.”
• Taxes on medical devices: Surgical scissors, wheelchairs, intravenous bags, dental retainers and braces, CT scanners, stretchers, exam room tables, heart stents, pacemakers, surgical gloves, spineboards at every local pool, scales at a doctor’s office or health club, any diagnostic test for any disease or condition -– all will be among the products and procedures subject to ObamaCare’s special $20 billion medical device tax beginning in 2013. This tax will make these medical supplies more expensive, will drive up the cost of health care and health insurance for Americans, will threaten jobs in the medical device industry, and confiscate money needed for new innovative breakthroughs.
• New Tax on Health Insurance Providers: Even though soaring health costs are the problem Americans most wanted government to solve, ObamaCare promises to drive costs even higher by instituting a new $60 billion tax on health insurers. Insurers and health plans can be expected to pass along this tax to policyholders through higher premiums. So starting in 2014, Americans will be forced to buy health insurance, and the federal government will be actively making it more expensive.
• Medicare Payroll Tax: Starting in 2013, ObamaCare increases the Medicare payroll tax for many small business owners and others earning more than $250,000 a year. This tax hike will place yet another burden on small business owners who the country needs to create jobs and lead the economy into recovery. This job-killing payroll tax is estimated to raise $86.8 billion over seven years.
• New Tax on Investment: In addition to the Medicare payroll tax hike, investment income will now be subject to a tax of 3.8% starting in 2013 for those in higher income categories. Even middle-class homeowners who realize a capital gain of $250,000 or more on the sale of their home will be hit by this Medicare tax, which will drain another $123.4 billion out of taxpayers’ pockets and into the government’s coffers over seven years.
• New Drug Tax: ObamaCare’s new tax on brand-name drugs kicks in next year and is estimated to raise $27 billion over nine years. The public can expect to have these costs passed on to them in the form of higher drug prices and higher insurance costs.
Simply put, this health overhaul plan will take at least $569 billion out of the pockets of taxpayers and businesses over the next ten years through new and higher taxes, and will make the problems of soaring health costs even worse. No wonder the more Americans hear about ObamaCare, the less they like it.
(Ms. Turner is president of the Galen Institute)