President Obama vowed to protect the middle class from new taxes. One way to do this – slippery, these politicians – is to instead tax stuff the middle class is going to buy.
As everyone knows, companies react in two ways to this: they fire people, or they pass the taxes on to buyers in the form of higher prices. That is, unless we’re talking about cases of Dom Perignon, they pass it on to the middle class.
Here at White House Dossier, just to cheer you up, I’m chronicling some of the de facto middle class tax increases MOST OF YOU WILL BE PAYING as the result of the election of Barack Obama to the presidency.
Last week, I told you about the hush hush $63-per-enrollee “fee” on health plans to help cover people with pre-existing conditions. Guess who will pay the fee?
Well, hold onto to your pacemakers. Today, I want to remind you – you’ve probably heard about it, but you might not realize its significance – of the 2.3 percent tax on all medical devices. It starts in 14 days.
Obama thinks the medical device industry, which employes more than 400,000 people, will be happy with the tax because it helps pay for Obamacare, which will add millions of new customers. Well, the industry is not happy, and it’s already laying off people.
The Medical Device Manufacturers Association is hardly excited about Obama’s tradeoff:
The overwhelming majority of innovation from the medical device industry comes from smaller manufacturers who work closely with clinicians and engineers to develop the therapies and treatments of tomorrow. If it is not repealed, this tax will stifle innovation, harm patient care and weaken the position of the United States as the global leader in medical device innovation.
MDMA has pointed out that there is no data or studies that show the costs of this “innovation tax” will be offset due to an increased pool of insured beneficiaries receiving treatment. In fact, since the majority of products impacted are used in acute care settings where there are legal obligations to treat a patient, the effect of expanded coverage is not likely to increase utilization.
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) who chairs the House Medical Technology Caucus, says the tax could cost 40,000 jobs while harming innovation in an industry that wants TO TRY TO KEEP YOU ALIVE LONGER than you might otherwise have been kept alive.
Here’s what Paulsen had to say:
Earlier this month, a group of 16 senators and two senators-elect wrote President Obama asking him to delay the tax.
The medical technology industry directly employs over 400,000 people in the United States and is responsible for a total of two million high-skilled manufacturing jobs. … Additionally, this industry is also one of the few that enjoys a net trade surplus, significantly boosting U.S. exports around the globe.
Now I know, it seems sort of pro-forma when a group of Republicans demand something from Obama, knowing they’ll never get it.
Except these were all Democratic senators. Seems like even they get the value of low taxes when their constituents start losing their jobs.
Obama so far is adamant that the tax, which will raise about $20 billion for Obamacare, stays.
So enjoy your medical technology, my older readers. And this Christmas, give your grandchildren a gift certificate for a hearing aid, since such devices may be harder to come by when the dear ones get to be your age. They’ll love you for it.
H/T to Townhall.com.