Government Bytes


Obamacare Tax Hikes

by Jordan Forbes / /

I’ve blogged about several of the new taxes and hidden fees in the new health care law, but you should take a look at one of the National Reviews’ most recent posts. It comes in response to a piece in the Kiplinger letters that highlights thirteen tax changes found in Obamacare. Yes, there are a couple of credits for those who enroll in PPACA-sponsored state-based exchanges, but they only apply to businesses with 25 or fewer employees (and yearly wages less than $50,000) and individuals making between $11,000 and $44,000. The problem is that Obamacare will unleash ten tax increases designed to help raise the trillions of dollars necessary to fund the aforementioned subsidies as well as the law's massive Medicaid expansion.

The tax hikes are as follows:

1. 10% tax on indoor tanning services;
2. Eliminate tax deduction for those employers who provide Medicare prescription drug coverage;
3. Increase HSA penalties by 50% to 20%;
4. Cap employer contributions to tax-free FSAs at $2,500. As of now, the “limit” is determined by your business;
5. Prohibit HSA funds from being used to purchase over-the-counter drugs;
6. Medicare surtax for individuals making $200,000 and families earning $250,000, as well as a 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income for these taxpayers;
7. You will have to spend 10% of your income on medical expenses before making itemized deductions. Currently, the starting point is 7.5%;
8. Employer mandate. All businesses with more than 50 employees will have to offer approved health plans or pay a tax of $2,000 per employee;
9. A Cadillac tax will charge high-value plans ($10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families) a 40% excise tax;
10. Individual mandate. Everyone much purchase health insurance or pay a fee. According to the National Review, it “starts in 2014 at $95 or 1 percent of gross income, whichever is greater; and maxes out in 2016 at the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of income.”

The 13th change would require employers to disclose health costs on W-2s.

While we have discussed many of these provisions before, I think the National Review provides a nice snapshot of the dire reality we face. We still have a few years before some of these tax hikes kick in and their details are specified, so it’s not too late to push for repeal. If we don’t halt full implementation of Obamacare, or at a minimum defund it, there will be tremendous, unwarranted consequences for American taxpayers.