Ringing In The New Year With New ObamaCare Taxes

ObamaCare’s 2013 Taxes Are Devastating For The American Economy And The American People

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“New Taxes Are Coming Jan. 1 To Help Finance President Barack Obama’s Health Care Overhaul.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Health Care Tax Hikes For 2013 May Be Just A Start,” The Associated Press, 12/25/12)

MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURERS WILL BE TAXED

Medical Device Manufacturers Are Now Subject To A 2.3 Percent Sales Tax That Will Lead To A Loss Of Jobs And Higher Costs For Consumers. “A 2.3 percent sales tax on medical devices used by hospitals and doctors. Industry is trying to delay or repeal the tax, saying it will lead to a loss of jobs. Several economists say manufacturers should be able to pass on most of the cost.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Health Care Tax Hikes For 2013 May Be Just A Start,” The Associated Press, 12/25/12)

The Tax Is Projected To Raise $29 Billion And Will Affect Manufacturers “From Thermometers To MRI Machines.” “On Wednesday, an Internal Revenue Service final rule detailed plans to levy the tax. It was originally projected to raise up to $20 billion in revenues over 10 years, but the Joint Committee on Taxation later estimated it would be around $29 billion. The 58-page device rule lays out a tax structure for an industry that manufactures everything from thermometers to MRI machines.” (Jason Millman, “Medical Device Tax Set But Industry Still Fighting,” Politico, 12/6/12)

  • In Addition To High-Tech Burn Treatments, Catheters And Back Braces Will Be Subjected To The Tax. “The 2.3 percent excise tax that device makers must pay on their gross sales goes into effect on Jan. 1. It’s one of the new revenues used to offset the cost of the healthcare law. The Internal Revenue Service issued Wednesday its final rules on the tax, which will impact profits on items such as high-tech burn treatments, catheters, back braces and in-home HIV tests.” (Colby Itkowitz, “Casey Calls For Delay Of Medical Device Tax,” The Morning Call , 12/7/12)
  • Pacemakers And “Experimental Cancer Treatment Devices” Will Also Be Subject To The Tax. “The tax applies mostly to devices used and implanted by medical professionals, including items as complex as pacemakers or as simple as tongue depressors. Products sold for humanitarian reasons, such as experimental cancer treatment devices, are not exempt from the tax.” (“IRS Finalizes New Tax For Medical Devices In Health Care Law,” Reuters, 12/5/12)

The Medical Device Industry Projects That 43,000 Jobs Are Now Jeopardized By The Tax While The Industry Has Already Cut Nearly 6,000 Jobs In Anticipation Of The Tax. “Lobbyists for medical device makers say implementation of the tax could jeopardize about 43,000 jobs nationwide in a $64.7 billion industry. They say companies have shed about 6,000 jobs in the past year, some in anticipation of the tax, while others might scuttle expansion plans or cut back on research that can lead to medical breakthroughs.” (Bob Salsberg, “Medical Device Makers: Jan. 1 Tax Could Cost Jobs,” The Associated Press, 12/28/12)

OBAMACARE WILL CUT FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS

ObamaCare Limits The Amount An Employee Can Contribute To Their “Tax-Free Flexible Spending Accounts For Medical Expenses. “A limit on the amount employees can contribute to tax-free flexible spending accounts for medical expenses. It’s set at $2,500 for 2013, and indexed thereafter for inflation.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Health Care Tax Hikes For 2013 May Be Just A Start,” The Associated Press, 12/25/12)

  • Flexible Spending Plans, Which Lower Out Of Pocket Expenses, "Will Be Cut In Half." “To pay for this sweeping reform, here’s what will change: Those tax-free flexible spending accounts will be cut in half. They reimburse some medical bills not covered by insurance. The new cap: $2,500.” (Mark Strassmann, “Already Insured? Get Ready To Pay More,” CBS News, 3/22/10)

The Limit Will Result In $24 Billion In New Taxes Over 10 Years. ( “Estimated Revenue Effects Of A Proposal To Repeal Certain Tax Provisions Contained In The ‘Affordable Care Act,’” Joint Committee On Taxation, 6/15/12)

  • The Middle-Class Will Be Hit By The Tax On Health Savings Accounts And Flexible Spending Accounts. “Other provisions directly affecting individuals and families with incomes below $200,000 and $250,000, respectively include the increase in additional tax on distributions from health savings accounts and flexible spending arrangements not used for medical expenses and limitations on health flexible spending arrangements in cafeteria plans.” (Joint Committee On Taxation, Letter To Senator Tom Coburn , 3/20/12)
  • The Tax Will Affect More Than 20 Million Americans. “The trend, triggered by the 2010 health-care law, affects more than 20 million Americans with flexible spending or health savings accounts that let them use pretax dollars for medical needs.” (Jeffrey Young, “Doctors Hit By Aspirin Demands As Health Law Restricts Accounts,” Bloomberg, 8/23/11)

The New Limits On Flexible Spending Accounts Will Drive Up Medical Costs And Create Unnecessary Work. “Doctors pharmacists, insurers and drug companies say while it may generate money to help expand coverage for the uninsured, the measure is driving up medical costs and creating unnecessary work.” (Jeffrey Young, “Doctors Hit By Aspirin Demands As Health Law Restricts Accounts,” Bloomberg, 8/23/11)

OBAMACARE’S TAXES WILL HIT THE MIDDLE-CLASS

ObamaCare’s Largest Tax Hike, Referred To As A “Medicare Contribution” Will Not Strengthen Medicare’s Trust Fund. “The biggest tax hike from the health care law has a bit of mystery to it. The legislation calls it a ‘Medicare contribution,’ but none of the revenue will go to the Medicare trust fund. Instead, it’s funneled into the government’s general fund, which does pay the lion’s share of Medicare outpatient and prescription costs, but also covers most other things the government does.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Health Care Tax Hikes For 2013 May Be Just A Start,” The Associated Press, 12/25/12)

  • The 3.8 Percent Tax On Investment Income Is “Projected To Raise $123 Billion.” “The new tax is a 3.8 percent levy on investment income that applies to individuals making more than $200,000 or married couples above $250,000. Projected to raise $123 billion from 2013-2019, it comes on top of other taxes on investment income.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Health Care Tax Hikes For 2013 May Be Just A Start,” The Associated Press, 12/25/12)
  • "This Is The First Time That Unearned Income Will Be Subject To A Medicare Tax." (Aaron E. Carroll, “2013: How Health Care Will Affect You,” CNN, 12/28/12)

ObamaCare Adds “An Additional Medicare Payroll Tax.” “High earners will face another new tax under the health care law Jan. 1. It’s an additional Medicare payroll tax of 0.9 percent on wage income above $200,000 for an individual or $250,000 for couples. This one does go to the Medicare trust fund.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Health Care Tax Hikes For 2013 May Be Just A Start,” The Associated Press, 12/25/12)

The Wall Street Journal : The Increased Medicare Surtax Will Affect “Many Middle-Class Families” As The New Medicare Taxes “Aren’t Indexed For Inflation.” “Oh, and these new taxes aren’t indexed for inflation, so many middle-class families will soon be considered rich and pay the surcharge as their incomes rise past $250,000 due to tax-bracket creep. Remember how the Alternative Minimum Tax was supposed to apply only to a handful of millionaires?” (Editorial, “Taxes Upon Taxes Upon…,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/11/11)

  • "Taxpayer Costs Over 10 Years: $210 Billion.” (Editorial, “Taxes Upon Taxes Upon…,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/11/11)

Biden’s False Claims About Religious Liberty

THE CLAIM: Biden Claimed That ObamaCare Would Not Require Religious Groups Or Institutions To Finance Contraceptives. BIDEN: “With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear: No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise - including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy, any hospital - none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.” (Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

THE FACTS: “Biden Went A Bit Far Saying It Is A Fact That They Will Not Pay For Contraceptives.” “But there are still unsettled issues in this matter, so Biden went a bit far saying it is a fact that they will not pay for contraceptives.” (Josh Hicks, “Fact Check: Biden Goes A Bit Far On Birth Control,” The Washington Post , 10/11/12)

  • The Obama Administration Has Yet To Come Up With An Accommodation For Religious Groups So That They Will Not Pay For Contraceptive Coverage. Some church organizations still object to the mandate despite the exemption for religion-affiliated groups, arguing that they could end up paying for birth control indirectly if the mandate causes their health insurance costs to rise. Furthermore, the Obama administration said in March that it will come up with an accommodation for religiously affiliated employers that self-insure, but it has not yet decided how to handle that seven months later.” (Josh Hicks, “Fact Check: Biden Goes A Bit Far On Birth Control,” The Washington Post , 10/11/12)

Obama’s Backtrack On The Mandate Was An Absurd Plan Which Will Result In Higher Health Care Premiums

The Wall Street Journal : Obama’s Backtrack Is Absurd In Which “A Political Mandate Will Be Compounded By An Uneconomic One.” “Here’s a conundrum: The White House wants to impose its birth-control ideology on all Americans, including those for whom sponsoring or subsidizing such services violates their moral conscience. The White House also wants to avoid a political backlash from this blow to religious freedom. These goals are irreconcilable. So you almost have to admire the absurdity of the new plan President Obama floated yesterday: The government will now write a rule that says the best things in life are ‘free,’ including contraception. Thus a political mandate will be compounded by an uneconomic one-in other words, behold the soul of ObamaCare.” (Editorial, “Immaculate Conception: An ‘Accommodation’ That Makes The Birth-Control Mandate Worse,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/13/12)

  • The Wall Street Journal : Costs Associated With The Contraception Mandate Will Bring On Higher Health Care Premiums. “Insurance companies won’t be making donations. Drug makers will still charge for the pill. Doctors will still bill for reproductive treatment. The reality, as with all mandated benefits, is that these costs will be borne eventually via higher premiums. The balloon may be squeezed differently over time, and insurers may amortize the cost differently over time, but eventually prices will find an equilibrium. Notre Dame will still pay for birth control, even if it is nominally carried by a third-party corporation.” (Editorial, “Immaculate Conception: An ‘Accommodation’ That Makes The Birth-Control Mandate Worse,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/13/12)

The Catholic Bishops And Catholic Health Association Oppose The Backtrack Because It Still Disregards Religious Liberty

U.S. Conference Of Catholic Bishops: Rule Still Mandates Contraception Coverage Nationwide. “First, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the administration’s plan still includes a ‘nationwide mandate of insurance coverage of sterilization and contraception, including some abortifacients.’” (Jennifer Haberkorn, “Bishops: Contraception Deal ‘Unacceptable,’” Politico, 2/11/12)

  • Obama’s Plan Doesn’t Go Far Enough In Exempting Religious Employers. “And while Obama’s new plan allows religious-affiliated employers to refrain from paying for contraceptive coverage - insurers would be obligated to provide the coverage for free - the bishops said the change doesn’t go far enough.” (Jennifer Haberkorn, “Bishops: Contraception Deal ‘Unacceptable,’” Politico, 2/11/12)
  • Religious Employers Are Not Exempted From The Mandate. “‘It would still mandate that all insurers must include coverage for the objectionable services in all the policies they would write,’ the bishops said. ‘At this point, it would appear that self-insuring religious employers, and religious insurance companies, are not exempt from this mandate.’” (Jennifer Haberkorn, “Bishops: Contraception Deal ‘Unacceptable,’” Politico, 2/11/12)

The Catholic Health Association Said That Obama’s Contraception Rule Does Not Address Its “Religious Liberty Concerns.” “The White House has lost perhaps its most prominent Catholic ally in its controversial effort to expand contraception coverage, with the huge Catholic Health Association saying Friday that the mandate for most religious employers to offer coverage would not ‘adequately meet the religious liberty concerns.’ The change of position at the association, the country’s largest group of nonprofit health-care providers, comes as polls show President Obama and Mitt Romney tied among registered Catholic voters. For the past four of five presidential races, the candidate who won Catholics won the presidency.” (Michelle Boorstein, “Catholic Group Says Obama’s Contraception Effort Falls Short,” The Washington Post , 6/18/12)

  • In The Letter Addressed To Health And Human Services, The Catholic Health Association’s Asked The Administration To Reconsider The Rule To “Broaden The Exemption For Religious Groups That Say Facilitating The Use Of Contraception In Any Way Goes Against Their Beliefs.” “In a five-page letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, leaders of the association said the group supports Obama’s overall health-care overhaul but thinks he should broaden the exemption for religious groups that say facilitating the use of contraception in any way goes against their beliefs.” (Michelle Boorstein, “Catholic Group Says Obama’s Contraception Effort Falls Short,” The Washington Post , 6/18/12)

#FAILED PROMISE: Revisiting Obama’s Broken Promises That He Made Exactly Four Years Ago

FLASHBACK PROMISE:  Obama Promised That He Wouldn’t Raise Taxes On The Middle Class. OBAMA: “And if Senator McCain wants a debate about taxes in this campaign, then it is a debate I’m happy to have, because if you’re a family making less than $250,000 a year, my plan will not raise your taxes, not your income tax, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, St. Louis, MO, 7/7/08)

Obama: It’s Absolutely Not True “That My Plan Raises Taxes On The Middle Class.” “And, you know, I know that during his statements he was also making some suggestions that my plan would raise taxes on the middle class. That is absolutely not the case.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, St. Louis, MO, 7/7/08)

BROKEN:  The Joint Committee On Taxation Report Found That ObamaCare Raises Taxes On Middle-Class Americans. “There are a number of tax provisions in the health care bill that may directly increase taxes on some individuals and families earning less than $200,000 and $250,000 per year. Furthermore, other tax provisions in the bill that directly affect businesses may ultimately affect individuals and families earning less than $200,000 and $250,000, respectively, to the extent that increased taxes results in higher prices for the products of the affected businesses.” (Joint Committee On Taxation, Letter To Senator Tom Coburn, 3/20/12)

PolitiFact: ObamaCare Raised Taxes On The Middle Class. “The health care law that Obama signed on March 23, 2010, raises taxes on some things regardless of income. Two taxes in particular stand out. A tax on indoor tanning services begins this year. And in 2014, people will have to pay a fine, levied through their income taxes, if they don’t have health insurance.” (Angie Drobnic Holan, “Smokers, Tanning Aficionados, The Happily Uninsured: More Taxes Coming At Ya!” PolitiFact, 4/8/10)

The Wall Street Journal: “Obama Has Imposed The Largest Tax Increase In History On The Middle Class.” “It is now undeniable that Mr. Obama has imposed the largest tax increase in history on the middle class. Individuals who don’t buy insurance will have to pay several hundred dollars, depending on income. The Congressional Budget Office says that 76% of those who pay the mandate tax will make less than 500% of the federal poverty level, estimated to be $24,000 for a family of four in 2016. That means 76% of the payers will earn less than $120,000 a year.” (Editorial, “It’s Up To The Voters Now,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/28/12)

FLASHBACK PROMISE: Obama Promised His Plan Would “Bring Down Premiums By $2,500 For The Typical Family. OBAMA: “I’ll also help families who are struggling under the crushing burden of health care costs by passing a plan that brings the typical family’s premiums down by $2,500 per family per year and guarantees coverage to everyone who wants it.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, St. Louis, MO, 7/7/08)

BROKEN: Under Obama, The Average Cost Of Family Health Care Premiums Have Increased From $12,680 To $15,073. (“Employer Health Benefits, 2011 Annual Survey, Exhibit 1.11” Kaiser Family Foundation, 2011)

Despite President Obama’s Promise, Health Care Premiums Aren’t “Going To Go Down.” “Giving families and businesses relief was a big part of Obama’s sales pitch for health care reform. … But no matter what happens with the law, the line on that graph isn’t going to go down.” (David Nather, “Health Care Reform: 4 Inconvenient Truths,” Politico, 3/16/12)

FactCheck.org: ObamaCare “Falls Short Of Making Health Care ‘Affordable And Available To Every Single American,’ As Promised.” “Furthermore, the law falls short of making health care ‘affordable and available to every single American,’ as promised. The law provides subsidies to help some Americans buy insurance, expands Medicaid and doesn’t allow insurance companies to exclude persons with preexisting conditions. But still, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected 23 million persons will remain uninsured — some because they can’t afford coverage.” (D’Angelo Gore, “Promises, Promises,” FactCheck.org, 1/4/12)

FactCheck.org: ObamaCare Is Actually Making Health Care “Less Affordable.” “At the moment, the new law is making health care slightly less affordable. Independent health care experts say the law has caused some insurance premiums to rise. As we wrote in October, the new law has caused about a 1 percent to 3 percent increase in health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored family plans because of requirements for increased benefits. Last year’s premium increases cast even more doubt on another promise the president has made — that the health care law would ‘lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.’” (D’Angelo Gore, “Promises, Promises,” FactCheck.org, 1/4/12)

The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker: “Insurance premiums have gone up, in part because of new benefits mandated by the law.” (Glenn Kessler, “The Fine Print In Obama’s ‘Promises Kept’ Ad,” The Washington Post’sThe Fact Checker,” 1/6/12)

Brief History Of Obama Broken Promises On Health Care Taxes

Obama In 2008: Health Care Should “Never Be Purchased With Tax Increases On middle Class Families”

Obama In 2009: Individual Mandate Is “Absolutely Not A Tax Increase”

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs In 2010: ObamaCare Is Not A Tax

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs In 2010: Individual Mandate Isn’t A Tax Increase On Middle Class