Healthcare

Here comes the ObamaCare tax avalanche

Here comes the ObamaCare tax avalanche

At its core, ObamaCare is three things: a massive expansion of Medicaid; a set of complex mandates to control both insurance providers and customers; and the largest tax increase in a generation, much of it levied against the middle class.  Because it is politically vital to hide tax increases from the Sainted Middle Class, much of this burden is hidden as pass-through taxation – you think your premiums are increasing, but it’s really an income redistribution scheme with the tax burden laid on insurance providers, who pass it along to you.  This has the enormous political benefit of diverting public anger over increased premiums against the insurance providers, rather than the government, which is something the former should have considered more carefully before hopping into bed with the latter, visions of mandatory commerce dancing in their heads.

ObamaCare also includes quite a few explicit tax increases, which were delayed until they would not jeopardize Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.  The most obvious of these taxes is the individual mandate – certified as a 100 percent bona fide tax by the Supreme Court, in the decision that allowed ObamaCare to exist at all.  President Obama has seized the extraordinary new power to selectively delay this tax for certain people – a precedent that will prove interesting if the next President also wishes to waive taxes by executive fiat.  Perhaps we should add a fourth core component of ObamaCare: it rewrote the Constitution, in the manner of a computer virus corrupting an operating system.

But some people certainly are going to pay that individual mandate tax next year, and it’s far from the only tax hike coming our way in 2014.  The New York Post runs them down, and reports that at least one insurance provider has decided not to keep them safely hidden:

Most insurers aren’t advertising the ObamaCare taxes that are added on to premiums, opting instead to discretely pass them on to customers while quietly lobbying lawmakers for a break.

But one insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, laid bare the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”

The new taxes on one customer’s bill added up to $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually, according to Kaiser Health News. It boosted the monthly premium from $322.26 to $345.40 for that individual.

You remember Obama telling you that your tax bill would shoot up by over $275 a year under his plan, don’t you?  No?  You remember the exact opposite - passionate, repeated vows that taxes on the Sainted Middle Class wouldn’t be raised by a dime?  Call it Obama’s Third Big Lie, after “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” and “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

What’s in that hearty salad of new taxes, New York Post?

The new taxes and fees include a 2 percent levy on every health plan, which is expected to net about $8 billion for the government in 2014 and increase to $14.3 billion in 2018.

There’s also a $2 fee per policy that goes into a new medical-research trust fund called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Insurers pay a 3.5 percent user fee to sell medical plans on the HealthCare.gov Web site.

But wait, there’s more!

Americans also will pay hidden taxes, such as the 2.3 percent medical-device tax that will inflate the cost of items such as pacemakers, stents and prosthetic limbs.

Those with high out-of-pocket medical expenses also will get smaller income-tax deductions.

Americans are currently allowed to deduct expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their annual income. The threshold jumps to 10 percent under ObamaCare, costing taxpayers about $15 billion over 10 years.

High out-of-pocket expenses, you say?  Hey, wait a second… don’t those newfangled “Affordable” Care Act plans feature enormous deductibles?  Why, I’ll bet a whole lot of Sainted Middle Class folks are going to get stuck with a bigger tax bill next year because of that.  Shucks, you’d almost think it was a deliberate deception to hide yet another tax increase from them.

And of course, ObamaCare includes a tax leveled specifically at “millionaires,” a term redefined by the Democrat Party to mean people who earn $200,000 a year or more:

Under ObamaCare, individual tax filers earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 will pay an added 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on top of the existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax. They’ll also pay an extra 3.8 percent Medicare tax on unearned income, such as investment dividends, rental income and capital gains.

A new tax on capital gains smuggled into the “health care” bill… that’s just what a weak economy struggling to emerge from the endless Obama non-recovery needed.

Instead of ruining so many people’s lives with poorly written mandates and blowing billions of dollars on bug-riddled federal and state exchange websites, Obama could have been honest in 2009 and simply proposed a huge Medicaid expansion, plus the tax increases needed to fund it.  But that level of honesty is anathema to socialists.  Their schemes always have to be dressed up as technocratic masterworks, brilliant plans that will not only fix the problems they love to exaggerate – in this case, the number of Americans who were involuntarily uninsured – but restructure and improve everyone’s life, at no cost to the Sainted Middle Class.

Obama’s Big Lies were designed to fool voters into thinking ObamaCare would be essentially voluntary – you’d be able to keep everything the way it was if you wanted to.  You probably wouldn’t want to, because ObamaCare would be so super-awesome that its plans would go flying off the virtual shelves, but if you weren’t sold on entering the system, you could keep your old plan and your preferred health care providers.

In reality, none of that is true, and you wont’ be able to escape the ObamaCare tax avalanche, either.  This is just the beginning, too.  Wait until insurance companies caught in the death spiral of expensive, older, sicker customers buying Affordable Care Act policies, while the young and healthy take a pass on their planned shakedown, causes the industry to come looking for a bailout… which will probably be financed with deficit dollars… which will turn into irresistible demands for tax increases in a couple of years.  Wait until the federal government pulls the Medicaid rug out from beneath your state, obliging the state government to soak you for more tax revenue.  Wait until an army of desperate low-income ObamaCare policy holders begins crying out for relief from their huge deductibles, shaken at last from the delusion that Obama was going to give them “free medicine.”

Every fountain of government benefits is also a siphon into taxpayer wallets.  In 2014, the ObamaCare siphon will begin rumbling to life.  In the years to follow, you’ll be amazed at how hard it can suck.

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