Human Events Blog

Get ready for your huge new ObamaCare health insurance tax

Remember when Barack Obama claimed he wasn’t going to raise taxes on the middle class?  There were people that actually believed him.  It was grimly amusing.

Back here in the real world, we’re getting ready for the biggest tax increase in ObamaCare, which is basically a pinata full of tax increases and death.  22 tax increases, to be exact.  (We’ll get back to death in a moment.)  Forbes takes a look at the gigantic $100 billion tax hike on middle-class families from coast to coast:

Starting next year the ACA imposes a new $100 billion tax on health insurance. The tax will start at $8 billion in 2014, increasing to $14.3 billion in 2018, and will continue to increase each year.

The health insurance tax is larger than the device tax and the prescription drug tax combined.

The health insurance tax will increase costs for individuals and families purchasing coverage on their own, small businesses, seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, and state Medicaid managed care plans.

The health insurance tax is far greater than the minimum penalty for those who choose not to buy health insurance – further incentivizing young, healthy people to forgo purchasing insurance until they need medical care.

Well, at least it won’t hit those sweet old Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries that Obama loves so very much, right?

In fact, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will see costs rise from $16 to $20 per member per month in 2014 – increasing to between $32 and $42 by 2023. The costs for Medicare Advantage coverage over the next ten years is expected to reach $3,590. Individuals on Medicaid managed care will see increase costs on an average of $1,530 per enrollee between 2014 and 2023.

Dang!  Well, at least all those other taxes will be paid by rich fat cat corporate-jet-owning robber barons and overpaid doctors, right?  Not according to president Karen Ignagni of America’s Health Insurance Plans and president John C. Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) supports Ignagni and Goodman’s warnings, stating that the health insurance sales tax will be “largely passed through to consumers in the form of higher premiums.”  Unfortunately, as Goodman predicts, “this is only one example of many middle income taxes buried in ObamaCare.” The time to repeal and replace is narrowing, with just months now separating us from another massive tax hike that Americans cannot afford.

Too bad we don’t have the kind of freedom-loving nation where proud, independent citizens could realize ObamaCare is a disaster and repeal it.  We’re more of a “one man, one vote, one time” kind of country when it comes to such things.  Except that some of us vote more than once.  But we’re not supposed to dwell on that.

Nor are we supposed to dwell on the fact that even one of America’s pre-eminent left-wing loons just admitted Sarah Palin was right about the ObamaCare death panels all along:

Eventually we do have a problem. That the population is getting older, health care costs are rising… there is this question of how we’re going to pay for the programs. The year 2025, the year 2030, something is going to have to give… We’re going to need more revenue… Surely it will require some sort of middle class taxes as well.. We won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society we want without some increase in taxes… on the middle class, maybe a value added tax… And we’re also going to have to make decisions about health care, doc pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits. So the snarky version… which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble, is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.

That’s Paul Krugman, folks.  Yes, the New York Times “economist” who generally insists that unlimited deficits are super-awesome because it’s all just money we owe ourselves anyway, trillion-dollar platinum coins are a fascinating idea, alien invasions and natural disasters are great boons to the economy because of all the government spending they justify, and the only problem with Obama’s trillion-dollar stimulus is that it should have been $3 trillion bigger.

But now he says “something is going to have to give?”  Why?  Why can’t we just print up another few trillion bucks in 2030, or punch out a couple of those platinum coins, and buy unlimited first-class health care for all?  Why isn’t ObamaCare showering us all with dirt-cheap first-class health care right now?  But instead, he’s suddenly admitting that we’ll need even more fat middle-class tax increases – on top of the ones ObamaCare already hit us with – in just another ten years or so?  (And he’s being extremely disingenuous about being able to hold those tax hikes off until 2025; it will be a minor miracle if Obama isn’t tearfully informing us of their necessity before he leaves office.)

Why does anyone, anywhere, still listen to these people?

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