H.R. 3590, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to give it its full title, is rammed full of tax increases which will further economically cripple Americans already laboring under the worst financial crisis since the great depression.
The partnering Reconciliation Act, currently in the Senate, also contains a raft of pork barrel and tax hikes, there to fund the trillion dollar cost of nationalizing medicine.
As reported by Bloomberg News today, analysis by the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation reveals that the bill will generate $409.2 billion in additional taxes by 2019.
In addition, the Congressional Budget Office states that the bill also levies almost $69 billion more in penalties for those who fail to meet mandates to buy insurance.
The Journal of Accountancy boils down some of the tax hikes and penalty fees in H.R. 3590 and the Reconciliation Act – the highlights include:
- Excise Tax on Uninsured Individuals – Individuals who fail to maintain minimum essential coverage will be subject to a penalty equal to $750. The fee for an uninsured individual under age 18 is one-half of the adult fee.
- Excise Tax on High-Cost Employer Plans – The federal government would impose a 40% tax on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage exceeding certain thresholds. Those levels are projected to be $8,500 for self only and $23,000 for any other level by the year 2013. This excise was announced with fanfare by the White House and labor unions in January and remains in the final bill.
- Increase in additional tax on distributions from Health Savings Accounts and Archer Medical Savings Accounts not used for qualified medical expenses – An increase from 10% to 20% on taxes of money in a health savings account not used for qualified medical expenses. For Archer medical savings accounts, an increase from 15% to 20%.
- Additional Hospital Insurance Tax on High-Income Taxpayers – High income tax payers, making on a joint return over $250,000 and a standard return over $200,000, are required to pay an additional 0.5% of wages. This applies to both self-employed, and regularly employed individuals.
- Fees on Health Plans – A fee applied to all health insurance providers based upon net premiums and any third party fees associated with the administration of those programs. The fees will total $6.7 billion annually. This figure begins at $8 billion in the Reconciliation Act and rises to $14.3 billion by 2018.
- Tax on Indoor Tanning Services – The act imposes a 10% tax on amounts paid for indoor tanning services. Like a sales tax, the tax will be collected from the person tanning when payment for the tanning services is made.
Business Insider boils down 15 more tax hikes here – highlights include:
- Tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage – A 2.5% income tax on individuals who do not have health care coverage, limited to a cost less than the average national health care premium.
- Excise tax on elective cosmetic medical procedures – A tax of 5% is levied upon the am mount paid for any cosmetic surgery. This does not include the need for such surgeries created by trauma or a disfiguring disease. If the tax is not collected by that professional completing the procedure, their business is still liable for the requirement.
- The Reconciliation Act also legislates for the following surcharges: 1% surcharge on individuals making more than $350,000, 1.5% surcharge on individuals making more than $500,000, 5.4% surcharge on individuals making more than $1 million.
Yet more tax provisions in the bill are highlighted by INvestors Business Daily in their piece titled 20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms – highlights include:
- Taxes On Employers – If you are a large employer (defined as at least 101 employees) and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000 under the reconciliation changes) (Section 1513).
- Taxes on Pharmaceutical Companies – The government will extract a fee of $2.3 billion annually from the pharmaceutical industry (Section 9008 (b)).
- Taxes on medical device manufacturers – The government will extract a fee of $2 billion annually from medical device makers (Section 1405).
As a candidate and President, Barack Obama has had one core message for middle class Americans: I won’t raise your taxes.
By putting his name to the health care reform bill today he has swiftly put to bed any pretence that he would uphold that pledge (multi-trillion dollar bailouts aside).
While the new taxes on individuals are bad enough, the penalties imposed on pharmaceutical corporations, health insurers and employers are will inevitably serve as a double whammy as the hikes will undoubtedly be passed on to the general public in the form of higher costs.
“Simply, you have nationalized healthcare by proxy.” writes Jonah Goldberg of the LA Times.
“Insurance companies are now heavily regulated government contractors. Way to get big business out of Washington! They will clear a small, government-approved profit on top of their government-approved fees. Then, when healthcare costs rise — and they will — Democrats will insist, yet again, that the profit motive is to blame and out from this Obamacare Trojan horse will pour another army of liberals demanding a more honest version of single-payer.”
“The Obama administration has turned the insurance industry into the Blackwater of socialized medicine.” Goldberg concludes.
A swift dose of propaganda is sure to silence some critics. However, if the softly softly approach fails, the myriad of new taxes and regulations contained in the Obamacare bill will be aggressively enforced by no less than 16,500 new “combat trained” IRS agents armed to the teeth with shotguns, who will also closely scrutinize Americans’ income tax returns and be waiting to pounce should they find evidence of anyone trying to avoid paying for mandatory government health care.
Even if you agree with socialized health care in principle, the fact is that this will only benefit the insurance companies who wrote it. Meanwhile millions of Americans will be subjected to more taxation, harassment, and oppression at the hands of a federal government run amok. An out of control leviathan, hell-bent on an agenda to control every aspect of your life, as they lay in wait to exploit the momentum achieved through the passage of Obamacare by ramming through nightmare cap and tax levies to further financially castrate already beleaguered Americans.