- Man arrested in car bomb plot at Kansas airport
- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
MILLER: Buried by Obamacare bills
House moves to cancel the stealth health care tax hikes
President Obama promised his health care reform law would save money and reduce costs. It wasn't true then; it's certainly not true now. Lower- and middle-class Americans already have seen their premiums go up. They feel the pinch from taxes on everything from a wheelchair to a bottle of aspirin. While waiting for the Supreme Court to rescue us from this disaster, Congress needs to provide relief.
The House of Representatives will vote Thursday on a bill that reduces health care costs by eliminating the sneaky Obamacare taxes. "This common-sense legislation has strong support from consumers, job creators and families who continue to be hit with higher costs because of Obamacare," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Michigan Republican, told The Washington Times. "We hope to provide Americans with what they've long called for - lower costs and increased flexibility." The increases have had such a negative impact on the public that even some of the committee's Democrats voted in favor of changing their own law.
Next year, Obamacare will impose a 2.3 percent excise tax on manufacture or import of "medical devices." Democrats left it up to the Treasury Department to decide what qualifies as a medical device, but it could apply to things such as pacemakers, MRI machines, stents and even surgical masks. This tax, which was not advertised during the debate on Obamacare, will drive up everyone's medical costs. Conveniently, the tax hits after Election Day.
Americans looking for shelter from the ever-increasing burden are turning to flexible savings accounts (FSA) to pay for their health care. Yet even those were hit by the "medicine cabinet" tax that prohibited using tax-free funds to pay for over-the-counter medications since 2010.
Mr. Camp's legislation would end both of these taxes and reform FSAs so they are more valuable to consumers. Currently, the accounts are "use or lose," which means employees have to forfeit any unused funds back to their employers. The new plan would allow people to cash out the leftover money, up to $500, which would be treated as taxable income. Only about one-fifth of employees who are offered these tax-free plans use them, largely because of the fear of losing the money. This change would give more security to families trying to budget for higher health care costs.
Mr. Obama said at a private fundraiser in Chicago on Friday, "The health care bill that we passed is pushing us in the right direction." The public doesn't agree. A Kaiser Health tracking poll released last week showed that those with a favorable view of the health care law dropped 5 points, to 37 percent, during the month of May. The House bill is a good interim step, but ultimately, the public needs to send someone to the White House who's committed to wiping the books clean of the health care takeover.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
- MILLER: Newtown anniversary used by Obama and Bloomberg for politics
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.’s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
- MILLER: Obamacare disaster gets three-week PR blitz by White House
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Get Breaking Alerts
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- 'Active shooter' injures two at Colo. school; gunman on the loose
- Obama birther theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- North Korea's official report on Jang Song Thaek
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose