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Information on the Affordable Care Act

September 12, 2012
Daily Press


There was a letter to the editor recently in the Daily Press from Kathie Scott that mentioned how you can contact Dr. Dan Benishek s office for more information on the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare). If you know me then you know I am one that goes after the nitty gritty about things that affect myself and those that I love and cherish, oh and my hard earned money. After months of trying to find this information on line without any success I did in fact make this contact and have received not only this but also a report from the Congressional Research Service utilized by our Members and Committees in Congress. This report has to do with the health-related revenue provisions in the ACA, their effective dates, and, where data are available, potential impacts of these provisions.

Here is how Obamacare will pay for their ACA (directly from this report):

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148 as amended) will, among other things, raise revenues to pay for expanded health insurance coverage. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, these health-related provisions are projected to increase federal revenues by about $392 billion over 10 years.

The majority (64 percent) of the health-related revenues will come from individuals, largely from taxes imposed on higher income tax filers through the Medicare payroll tax and adding an additional tax on net investment income. A much smaller share of revenues derived from individual taxpayers will come from limitations on tax-advantaged accounts (such as flexible spending and health savings accounts) and on the itemized deduction used to pay for health care expenses. The remaining approximate one-third (36 percent) of these health-related revenues will be derived from taxes and fees on health insurers, plan administrators, and health companies. Specifically, these revenues include:

- an excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health insurance;

- an annual fee on health insurance providers;

- an annual fee on manufacturers and importers of brand-name pharmaceuticals;

- an excise tax on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices; and

- an excise tax on indoor tanning services.

The new law will also limit the deductibility of compensation for health insurance executives. While the provisions above are directly targeted toward firms in the health care sector, there is an additional provision that will affect all employers who provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries, which will eliminate the tax deduction for expenses allocable to the Medicare Part D subsidy to employers."

All these fees and taxes have been declared by the Supreme Court of the United States of America as constitutional. There will be an increase in your taxes no matter how you look at it. The bottom line is it all trickles down to guess who? What do you think employers are going to do to cover all these fees and taxes? It's simple Economics 101. They will turn the cost of doing business over to the little guy; increase their costs of your healthcare, pharmaceuticals, food, products and services you buy. They will give out fewer and/or reduced benefits and wages. And, you no longer have the ability to claim your medical expenses on your taxes they way we were due to the limitations imposed now on your Flex plan and itemized deductions. Or they may simply go out of business, e.g., most likely, will happen to a lot of small businesses.

On another note, Ashley Troy (legislative assistant for Health Policy Office of Congressman Dan Benishek M.D. Michigan 1st District) will let the Congressman know of my support and interest in this matter. She says she knows he is very grateful for the dedicated nursing care we provide patients in Northern Michigan.

Alice Roberts RN

Bark River



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