Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another Study Shows Obamacare Isn’t Largest Tax Increase Ever

By  Joan McCarter  on Tue Jul 17, 2012

The screeching over the Affordable Care Act as the biggest middle-class tax hike ever from Republicans has quieted down some this week, as the Republican House realizes they've got yet another vacation coming up and a whole heckuva lot of legislating they haven't bothered to deal with yet still out there waiting for them. But it will be the focus of Republican outrage all summer long, and we're going to see a redux of August '10 with astroturfed town meetings featuring frothing teabaggers screaming about gubmint keeping its paws off their Medicare.

So, in preparation for that, here's yet one more analysis, this one from USA Today, showing that very few in the middle class will end up having to pay more in taxes as a result of the law. This, they say, is what might happen.

•About 7 million people could pay more because the law makes it more difficult to deduct medical expenses. People with lower incomes are less likely to itemize deductions.

•About 4 million workers could pay more because of a new $2,500 limit on flexible spending accounts, which can be used to shield medical expenses from taxation.

•The tax that rendered the law constitutional, to be assessed on those who fail to buy mandated health insurance, could hit about 4 million people across all income brackets.

All in all, the paper says, less than 10 percent of the nation's 140 million taxpayers could see a tax increase. That same 10 percent (unless they refuse to purchase insurance at all) will also get the benefits of not having copays for any preventive care, not being denied coverage for a serious illness that arises because of some specious "pre-existing condition," and the security of knowing that they'll always be able to be insured. For that small sliver of the population, that's a pretty decent tradeoff.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 17, 2012