Obamacare: Making Health Care Cheaper By Taxing People’s Wheelchairs


There may be no more blatant example of the thoroughly absurd and contradictory nature of Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act, than the fact that it institutes a pretty significant tax on actual health care.

This law is supposed to make health care cheaper for Americans (thus the whole “affordable” thing), yet just one of the taxes included in the law will raise the cost of health care by some $29 billion in direct revenues to the government alone over the next decade.

(Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday released final rules for a new tax on medical devices, products ranging from surgical sutures to knee replacement implants, that starts next year as part of President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law.

The 2.3-percent tax must be paid, effective after December 31, by device-makers on their gross sales. The tax is expected to raise $29 billion in government revenues through 2022. …

The tax applies mostly to devices used and implanted by medical professionals, including items as complex as pacemakers or as simple as tongue depressors.

Products sold for humanitarian reasons, such as experimental cancer treatment devices, are not exempt from the tax.

Remember, it’s not just the revenues the tax will produce from the government (an expense doctors and hospitals will pass on to patients) but the cost of complying with this tax. Now hospitals have to keep track of every tongue depressor and syringe they use so that it can be taxed. And they have to keep records, no doubt, so that they can be audited to ensure compliance.

These things will hardly help America’s problem with exploding health care costs. But then, that assumes that Obamacare was intended to accomplish that goal. It’s becoming more and more clear that Obamacare was a poison pill intended to create a health care/insurance crisis that could, in turn, be used to justify further government intrusions into those markets until we’re left with the government-run health care system liberals wanted from the start.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • SigFan

    Due to genetics, loud music and gunfire I use hearing aids at this point in my life. These too classify as “durable medical devices” and are subject to the additional tax. Perhaps I should do without them and just tell Obama I can’t hear him.

    • kevindf

      I think hearing devices are exempted.

      “A 2.9% excise tax on the sale of medical devices will be put into place. Certain common items like glasses, hearing aids, etc. are exempted from this tax.”

      • SigFan

        My mistake then – the audiologist told me they were subject to it. Good to know.

  • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

    “including items as…simple as tongue depressors”

    Under Obamacare, Medicare Part A allows the Doctor to reuse his tongue depressors for a maximum of ten patients in order to lower costs.

    Medicare Part B allows you to bring your own Popsicle stick.

  • DWHoover

    This is almost a “sin tax”, isn’t it? The theory being that if I buy a pack of cigarettes or a case of beer, the government adds a tax for an incentive for me to quit. So, I can look at this one of two ways. I can say, “I am not in a wheelchair, and am in good health so I will not be subject to the tax, and it really doesn’t matter to me.” Or, I can put on my liberal hat and say, “This tax discriminates against those who need medical devices!” And I can feign outrage and claim this is a violation of the ADA, or something just as far-fetched.

    So this is the tax that people pay to cover themselves? Makes perfect sense to me! Maybe after paying this tax for awhile, the people that need the wheelchairs will learn to walk so they don’t these medical devices any longer. And we made fun of Dr. Obama!

  • KJUU

    “The 2.3-percent tax must be paid, effective after December 31, by device-makers on their gross sales.”

    Doesn’t that mean that the tongue-depressor-makers will be taxed and not the hospital that uses them? (I know cost will go up but the hospital won’t have to worry about tracking the tax for a tongue-depressor, right?)

  • schreib

    Thanks you communist democrap dip shyts

  • schreib

    Crap like this will only lead to an underground economy and it will be from necessity as less people will be able to afford basic care and things they need for home care. This is really hurting the poor the most. But do you think the communist in the white house cares??? Naw, just play a few more rounds of golf and take the old lady up to New York for a date at taxpayers expense.

  • kevindf

    The Obamites are mercenaries!