Despite promises that the president’s health reforms would lower health care costs, “Obamacare” is saddled with new taxes, mandates and regulations that will increase the cost of care for families and job creators.
New requirements force Americans to purchase a health plan deemed “essential” by Congress and bureaucrats at the Department of Health and Human Services. Price controls are to be imposed nationally — despite the fact that identical requirements enacted in several states dramatically increased premiums and eliminated consumer choice. Despite President Barack Obama’s recent insistence that “Obamacare” punishes only those who can afford coverage but refuse to buy it, the health care law contains a hidden tax on Americans and small businesses that do purchase coverage.
Here’s how it works: “Obamacare” can impose a new tax on Americans through a “fee” on health care premiums, including Medicare Advantage, Part D and private Medicaid plans — making insurance companies the de facto tax collector. The law imposes this new tax on all commercially purchased health plans, with the exception of some nonprofits that earn 80 percent or more of their revenue from certain government programs.
It will hit 50 million Americans every year. The ripple effects will very likely increase premiums by billions of dollars a year for families and small businesses across the country.
The $8 billion “Obamacare” fee on insurers will increase Americans’ premiums by $10.6 billion in its first year, estimates Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office .
That tax will be particularly hard on the poor and middle class — the very people that were supposed to benefit from the law.
In 2014, people earning between $10,000 and $30,000 will pay almost $2.8 billion in higher health insurance premiums. People earning between $30,000 and $50,000 will pay $2.2 billion. (This does not include the proposed government subsidy.) People earning from $75,000 to $100,000 will pay less than $1.5 billion, and the numbers only go down from there.
While insurers will be forced to collect the tax, the bottom line is that all Americans will ultimately pay the tab — the people already struggling to pay their grocery bills, car payments and mortgages during one of the worst periods of economic growth in recent memory.
In addition to higher premiums, patients could see higher medical bills elsewhere.
Under “Obamacare,” insurers won’t even pay a predictable percentage in taxes — they’ll pay a share of an arbitrary fee. Every year, the secretary of health and human services will set a deadline for insurance companies to report how much revenue they earned the year before. Then the secretary will tell them what to pay.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
To read the full op ed, click here.