Human Events Blog

The other ObamaCare middle class tax hike arrives in 2014

If you think it’s been horrifying to watch ObamaCare pop open like a jack-in-the-box filled with tax increases over the last couple of weeks, just wait until the huge new taxes on health insurance companies hit in 2014.  A study commissioned by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) lays out the details:

The [Affordable Care Act] imposes a new sales tax on health insurance that starts at $8 billion in 2014, increases to $14.3 billion in 2018, and will continue to increase each year. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the health insurance tax will exceed $100 billion over the next ten years.

“With full implementation of the ACA a year away, the focus needs to be on making coverage more affordable,” said AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni.  “Taxing health insurance will have the opposite effect by making it more expensive.”

Ignagni noted that the health insurance tax will increase costs for individuals and families purchasing coverage on their own, small businesses, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries, and Medicaid managed care programs.  AHIP supports legislation (H.R. 1370, S.1880) that would repeal the tax.

Of course, this tax will be passed along to consumers through increased premiums, hidden even more lightly than most corporate taxes.  Daniel Horowitz at RedState breaks it down into per-family numbers:

The new tax will raise families’ insurance costs by as much as $7,000 over a decade.  And as is the case with the other tax increases, the blue states will be hardest hit.  New Yorkers will see the cost of their family plans rise by almost $10,000 over the next 10 years.  If you are a senior who is currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage, the one quasi free-market Medicare program, your premiums will increase by $3590. Throw in all the regulations and mandates that have yet to take effect, and we are looking at the death of the private market, with single-payer as the only option.

(Emphasis mine.)  Doctors Cloward, Piven, and Alinsky will see you now, America.

Horowitz wonders why Republicans aren’t warning taxpayers of this “silent fiscal cliff,” which is merely one of the steeper drops in the fiscal Grand Canyon of ObamaCare.  That’s a very good question, which might also have been asked of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.  Many Republicans feared that Romney becoming the GOP nominee would take one of the party’s best issues, the ObamaCare disaster, off the table.  That’s not quite what happened – Romney did offer some criticism of the program – but he should have been working closely with think tanks and his own research teams to tear ObamaCare apart, and hit the American people daily with flaws like this.

Just imagine if Romney had Obama’s stream of “won’t raise taxes on the middle class” lies with something like this in the middle of a debate, then made Obama look like a fool by asking him if he really thinks insurance companies would meekly swallow these immense taxes without passing them on.  Romney could have followed up by pointing out that no other industry meekly swallows tax increases, either.

The presidential campaign is behind us, but the opportunity for other Republican leaders to make these points remains.  Fortunately, there just happens to be an important election coming up in 2014, when ObamaCare’s tax-raising jack-in-the-box will pop open again, emerging to deliver one of its biggest “surprises” yet.

 

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