If you take the Obama administration’s word for it, the Affordable Care Act will raise over $800 billion by 2022 by assessing new fees and taxes on the American people. Not to worry, though. Some of the taxes, the White House promises, “most likely won’t directly affect the average American.” Take, for example, the much-maligned 2.3% tax on medical device manufacturers. That tax isn’t going to hurt anybody, is it?
Well, the answer depends on how you define “anybody.” Obviously, any taxes levied on makers of prosthetic limbs, pacemakers, and a host of other devices are going to be passed along to the consumer.
But there’s an even more insidious way in which this tax will hurt Joe and Jane Q. Public. A report last from CBS News revealed that nearly 33,000 jobs have been “impacted” due to the Obamacare’s medical device excise tax.
The report comes from the Advanced Medical Technology Association following an online survey of member companies last year.
“According to the report, the tax has led to employment reductions of approximately 14,000 industry workers and foregone hiring of 19,000 workers,” the study stated. “The total job impact of the tax on industry employment was approximately 33,000.”
So much for the claim by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that there is “absolutely no evidence” that the United States will lose jobs as a consequence of implementing the Affordable Care Act.
A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had already put the lie to Sebelius’s claim, noting that Obamacare law would suck around 2.5 million full-time jobs out of the U.S. economy by 2024. But now on top of that comes the effects of but one of the twenty-one (count ‘em, 21) new taxes that were baked into the law.
But as the hucksters on infomercials say, “But wait. There’s more!” Fox News reports the loss of an additional 498,000 jobs thanks to actions taken by Sebelius:
Sebelius … using discretion granted her by the Affordable Care Act, cut the maximum allowed by law from home health care funds. The cuts were deep enough that officials offered a damaging prediction of the impact saying, it was estimated that approximately 40 percent of providers would have negative margins.
And companies with negative margins don’t last long — or have to cut workers.
Dan Weber, head of the Association of Mature American Citizens, says “forty percent will be put into the red and anyone who has a brain in their skull knows that they’re going to have to cut jobs and reduce services in order to make up the money.” In fact, those cuts put in jeopardy 498,000 jobs of home health care workers who work just for that 40 percent of firms that will be forced into the red.
Meantime, in case you’re wondering, here are all 21 of those taxes that became law with the passage of Obamacare:
- 2.3% Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers 2014
- 10% Tax on Indoor Tanning Services 2014
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike
- Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals which fail to comply with the requirements of ObamaCare
- Tax on Brand Name Drugs
- Tax on Health Insurers
- $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives
- Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D
- Employer Mandate on business with over 50 full-time equivalent employees to provide health insurance to full-time employees. $2000 per employee $3000 if employee uses tax credits to buy insurance on the exchange (marketplace). (pushed back to 2015)
- Medicare Tax on Investment Income 3.8% over $200k/$250k
- Medicare Part A Tax increase of .9% over $200k/$250k
- Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (not a tax)
- Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (repealed)
- Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (not a tax)
- 40% Excise Tax “Cadillac” on high-end Premium Health Insurance Plans 2018
- An annual $63 fee levied by ObamaCare on all plans (decreased each year until 2017 when pre-existing conditions are eliminated) to help pay for insurance companies covering the costs of high-risk pools.
- Medicine Cabinet Tax: Over the counter medicines no longer qualified as medical expenses for flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), and Archer Medical Saving accounts (MSAs).
- Additional Tax on HSA/MSA Distributions: Health savings account or an Archer medical savings account, penalties for spending money on non-qualified medical expenses. 10% to 20% in the case of a HSA and from 15% to 20% in the case of a MSA.
- Flexible Spending Account Cap 2013: Contributions to FSAs are reduced to $2,500 from $5,000.
- Medical Deduction Threshold tax increase 2013: Threshold to deduct medical expenses as an itemized deduction increases to 10% from 7.5%.
- Individual Mandate (the tax for not purchasing insurance if you can afford it) 2014: Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income tax surtax at a rate of 1% or $95 in 2014 to 2.5% in 2016 on profitable income above the tax threshold. The total penalty amount cannot exceed the national average of the annual premiums of a “bronze level” health insurance plan on ObamaCare exchanges.
Howard Portnoy contributed to this report.