ObamaCare: Finding out More of What's in It

The sequester continues to dominate the headlines in Washington, but several Congressional committees are closely examining another important and controversial subject: the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare.

Yesterday, the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways & Means Committee held a hearing to review the tax provisions found in ObamaCare.  This coincided with a lengthy new report from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) that describes the law’s 47 new taxes or tax related provisions. All in all, ObamaCare’s new taxes will extract approximately $1 trillion from taxpayers over the next 10 years.

As the JCT study shows, several of these tax hikes just took effect at the beginning of 2012, like the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers and an increase in Medicare payroll taxes for higher income earners. Some will not kick in until 2014, like the individual mandate tax and the health coverage provider “fee,” and the “haircut” on the medical expense deduction, a write-off claimed by more than 10 million people. It takes effect this year but won’t be felt until tax returns are filed in 2014. And some, like the “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer-provided insurance, won’t take effect for several years.

Meanwhile, the House Energy & Commerce Committee and Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee released a joint report showing other disturbing facts about ObamaCare.  It demonstrates that contrary to President Obama’s claims, the law will make health insurance significantly more expensive for families and individuals.  According to the report:

“Some estimates show some Americans facing startling premium increases of 203 percent because of the law. A study by actuarial firm Oliver Wyman suggests premiums in the individual market will increase an average of 40 percent. The Society of Actuaries similarly estimates an average premium increase of 32 percent in the individual market.”

As then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously said in 2010, “we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” Well, we continue to learn more about ObamaCare and, unfortunately for taxpayers, it ain’t pretty.