It’s Unpopular, Unworkable, and Insane, So Naturally They’re in a Hurry to Pass It

So I noted last month (more accurately, noting that Joe Kristan’s comment was completely accurate). We have a new listing of the taxes in the healthcare legislation. The new taxes are noted by italics while taxes that have been removed are noted by strikeout text.

1. Individual Mandate Tax. For those who don’t purchase health insurance, this income tax surcharge will start at $95 $495 (S)/$295 $990 (2)/$1485 (3+) or 0.5% of AGI in 2014 and rise in 2016 and future years to $750 $495/$2250 $990/$1485 or 2% of AGI.

2. Employer Mandate Tax. On businesses with 50+ employees that do not offer health care, and at least one employee qualifies for a tax credit, $750/employee. This will cause many small businesses to stop growing once they reach 49 employees.

There is also a waiting period tax of $400 (if the wait is 30-60 days) or $600 (60+ days). This tax also starts in 2014.

3. Excise Tax on Health Insurance Plans. Beginning in 2013, 40% tax on plans costing $8500/$23,000. Is indexed to CPI. In high premium states such as California, many plans would pay this tax. My health insurance would likely pay this tax…and it’s not a Cadillac plan. There’s a higher threshold for early retirees ($9850/$26,000) and those in “high-risk” professions. Longshoremen are exempt.

4. Health Insurance would be reported on W-2s. Another mandate that increases costs for business.

5. “Medicine Cabinet Tax.” Limitation on HSAs, FSAs, and MSAs to purchase non-prescription medication except insulin. Note that this is also in the House healthcare bill.

6. HSA Withdrawal Tax Increased. The tax would increase to 20% from 10%. This is also in the House legislation.

7. FSAs capped at a maximum of $2500. They are now uncapped.

8. 1099 Reporting for corporations. Requires businesses to send 1099-MISCs to corporations. This is another cost for businesses. This will begin in 2011 and will definitely increase my income.

9. Tax on Charitable Hospitals. This excise tax of $50,000 per hospital impacts hospitals that don’t meet new Department of Health and Human Services regulations.

10. Tax on Drug Companies. The tax would be $2.3 billion based on sales percentage.

11. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers. The $2 billion tax is also based on sales percentage. It rises to $3 billion in 2017.

12. Tax on Health Insurers. A $6.7 $10 billion tax based on percentage of health insurance premiums collected. It now phases in gradually until 2017.

13. Elimination of tax deduction for employer provided retirement prescription drug coverage.

14. Increase of percentage of AGI required to deduct medical expenses from 7.5% to 10%. Few can deduct medical expenses today; fewer will be able to deduct them tomorrow.

15. Compensation Limitation for Health Insurance Executives. If you work in that industry, you will be limited to a salary of $500,000.

16. Medicare Payroll Tax Hikes. Once your income exceeds $200,000/$250,000 (MFJ), you will pay an additional 0.5% 0.9% tax. Note that the employer will only collect (and be responsible for this tax) if you earn $200,000/$250,000 or more. This also impacts the self-employed. And the law is written so that the self-employed cannot deduct half of the new tax as a deduction to income tax.

17. Blue Cross Tax. There is a tax deduction available today for Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies; this tax deduction will vanish if they don’t spend 85% (or more) of premiums on clinical services.

18. Excise Tax on Cosmetic Medical Procedures. A new 5% excise tax on these procedures.

18. Tax on Indoor Tanning. A new 10% excise tax on indoor tanning salons.

This is bad legislation, unwieldy, probably unconstitutional, and will hurt us all. So of course there’s a rush to pass it….


4 Responses to “It’s Unpopular, Unworkable, and Insane, So Naturally They’re in a Hurry to Pass It”

  1. Russ
    Fantastic outline.


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