This reminder from the New York Post came on Christmas, when few paid attention, but it’s worth noting today. The disastrous rollout of ObamaCare is only the appetizer for Americans, the 2013 lead-in to higher costs and fees built into the so-called Affordable Care Act. What most people haven’t heard — yet — is the new fees that ObamaCare charges for access to those higher premiums:
The cost of President Obama’s massive health-care law will hit Americans in 2014 as new taxes pile up on their insurance premiums and on their income-tax bills.
Most insurers aren’t advertising the ObamaCare taxes that are added on to premiums, opting instead to discretely pass them on to customers while quietly lobbying lawmakers for a break.
But one insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, laid bare the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”
The new taxes on one customer’s bill added up to $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually, according to Kaiser Health News. It boosted the monthly premium from $322.26 to $345.40 for that individual.
These “fees” will add up to a considerable hike, as the Post notes. They include a 2% fee on the plans themselves for consumers, which will eventually raise $14.3 billion a year for the federal government. Insurers are paying a 3.5% fee for participating in the exchange, a cost to the risk pool that will get transferred — as all risk-pool expenses do — to the consumers in the form of higher premiums. The medical-device tax has long been debated, and will also get passed to the consumer.
It’s going to cost consumers at tax time, too. Remember when you could deduct all of your medical expenses if they exceeded the normal threshold for itemization?
Americans are currently allowed to deduct expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their annual income. The threshold jumps to 10 percent under ObamaCare, costing taxpayers about $15 billion over 10 years.
That means that consumers will pay more for their medical care than ever, thanks to the tax limitation.
That’s nothing new about ObamaCare, though. We’ve been pointing out for years that this is just a wealth-transfer system, not a cost-containment system. It manipulates price to disguise the increased costs, but those are becoming more and more apparent, as USA Today reports today in a piece about the lack of choice for middle-class consumers throughout the country (via David Frum on Twitter):