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Investor’s Business Daily – June 29, 2012 – Taxation: The high bench has confirmed that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is a massive tax on the American middle class. But let’s not forget the 20 other new taxes that are embedded in the law.
Though President Obama never sold it as a tax hike, the Supreme Court ruled the mandate is exactly that. Unfortunately, the majority argued it’s legal under Congress’ taxing authority.
Forcing citizens to buy health insurance “is absolutely not a tax increase,” Obama insisted in 2009. Earlier, he assured the public that raising taxes on the middle class to support his health care plan was “the last thing we need in an economy like this.” “Folks are already having a tough enough time,” Obama added.
Indeed they are. But his plan, which subsidizes some 30 million uninsured, amounts to a $1.8 trillion whammy on working families. And that’s just for starters.
The court was silent about the 20 other different taxes hidden in ObamaCare, more than half of which affect families earning less than $250,000 a year.
The new taxes, which cost some $675 billion over the next decade, include:
• A 2.3% excise tax on U.S. sales of medical devices that’s already devastating the medical supply industry and its workforce. The levy is a $20 billion blow to an industry that employs roughly 400,000.
Several major manufacturers have been roiled, including: Michigan-based Stryker Corp., which blames the tax for 1,000 layoffs; Indiana-based Zimmer Corp., which cites the tax in laying off 450 and taking a $50 million charge against earnings; Indiana-based Cook Medical Inc., which has scrubbed plans to open a U.S. factory; Minnesota-based Medtronic Inc., which expects an annual charge against earnings of $175 million, and Boston Scientific Corp., which has opted to open plants in tax-friendlier Ireland and China to help offset a $100 million charge against earnings.
• A 3.8% surtax on investment income from capital gains and dividends that applies to single filers earning more than $200,000 and married couples filing jointly earning more than $250,000.
• A $50,000 excise tax on charitable hospitals that fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance” and other rules set by the Health and Human Services Dept.
• A $24 billion tax on the paper industry to control a pollutant known as black liquor.
• A $2.3 billion-a-year tax on drug companies.
• A 10% excise tax on indoor tanning salons.
• An $87 billion hike in Medicare payroll taxes for employees, as well as the self-employed.
• A hike in the threshold for writing off medical expenses to 10% of adjusted gross income from 7.5%.
• A new cap on flexible spending accounts of $2,500 a year.
• Elimination of the tax deduction for employer-provided prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients.
• An income surtax of 1% of adjusted gross income, rising to 2.5% by 2016, on individuals who refuse to go along with ObamaCare by buying a policy not OK’d by the government.
• A $2,000 tax charged to employers with 50 or more workers for every full-time worker not offered health coverage.
• A $60 billion tax on health insurers.
• A 40% excise tax on so-called Cadillac, or higher cost, health insurance plans.
All told, there are 21 new or higher taxes imposed by Obama’s health care law — and 21 more reasons to repeal it.