NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Aspirin Tax

January 7, 2011

Forty million Americans started paying higher taxes last weekend because of ObamaCare.  ObamaCare will eventually impose nearly two dozen new or higher taxes on the American public, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

  • Until now, Americans could use health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible savings accounts (FSAs) to pay, pretax, for nonprescription, over-the-counter medicines.
  • ObamaCare disallows this use of HSAs and FSAs.
  • Basic aspirin, laxatives, antihistamines, decongestants, antacids -- none of them will be covered by self-controlled, self-savings plans favored by millions of middle-class families.

The problem is worse for FSAs because funds can't be carried from one year to the next, meaning any cash left at year's end is forfeited by the saver and taxed by the government.  This will prove to be an expensive and unsuccessful remedy for the nation's health care woes, says the Washington Times.

Despite Mr. Obama's incessant promises to the contrary, those burdened by these higher taxes include millions of couples who make less than $250,000 annually.  Saturday's taxes deter the use of preventive medicine, the opposite of what the president pledged to do through his government takeover of health care.  This all adds evidence to the conclusion that the government leviathan, not the health of individual Americans, is ObamaCare's real beneficiary, says the Times.

Source: "The Aspirin Tax," Washington Times, January 4, 2011.

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