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

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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. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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