ObamaCare Taxes Will Affect Us All

March 11, 2013

To shrink the deficit and cover the costs of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama has instituted a plethora of new taxes. More than 20 tax increases are associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or "ObamaCare"), which is likely to hurt business and investment and slow economic recovery, says Andrew Lundeen, the associate for government relations and corporate development at the Tax Foundation.

The total tax burden of ObamaCare is now estimated at $1.058 trillion -- a steep increase from the initial $569 billion estimate produced at the time of the passing of the law. Owners of small businesses will be hit the hardest, facing both a tax increase on self-employment income and the employer mandate. The tax increase may force some small businesses to shut down or fire workers and raise prices.

  • The cost of complying with 21 of the new taxes is estimated at 127.6 million hours. This loss in productivity will hit small and large businesses, medical providers and individuals.
  • An additional 0.9 percent payroll tax on wages and self-employment and a new 3.8 percent tax on dividends, capital gains and other investment income will cost an estimated $317.7 billion.
  • A "Cadillac tax" on high-cost plans will cost an estimated $111 billion.
  • The employer mandate will cost an estimated $106 billion and the individual mandate will cost an estimated $55 billion.
  • A new annual tax on health insurance providers will cost an estimated $101.7 billion and an annual tax on drug manufacturers and importers will cost an estimated $34.2 billion.
  • A 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers will cost an estimated $29.1 billion.
  • Limiting flexible spending accounts in cafeteria plans will cost an estimated $24 billion.
  • Raising the adjusted gross income floor on medical expenses from 7.5 percent to 10 percent will cost an estimated $18.7 billion.
  • Increasing the penalty for nonqualified health savings accounts (HSA) distributions will cost an estimated $4.5 billion.
  • Limiting HSAs from purchasing over-the-counter medicines will cost an estimated $4 billion.

Another 10 taxes bring the total to $1.058 trillion. With the 3.8 percent investment tax from the ACA and the fiscal cliff tax increases, the United States now has a combined state and federal capital gains rate of 28 percent. The more these taxes increase, the less capital will flow freely, which will damage long-term economic growth.

Source: Andrew Lundeen, "Obama Tax Increases Will Impact Us All," Tax Foundation, March 5, 2013.

 

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