In and Out of the Senate Health Care Bill

IN: Favors for organized labor. Kevin Troutman of Fisher & Phillips writes in a Houston Chronicle op-ed, “Goodies for labor tucked away in health bill,” including: “[Another] provision would establish lucrative state training partnerships that contain little or no opportunities for non-union employee organizations. Provisions in Senate proposals would exempt union-negotiated health care plans from taxes on “Cadillac” health plans.

OUT: Any serious tort reform. From Point of Law, “The Senate health care bill dodges liability reform,” a report that there’s only a “sense of the Senate” language suggesting state demonstration projects. But not too strong of a suggestion.

IN: The Bo-tax, a 5 percent excise tax on cosmetic surgery. See Los Angles Times, “Paying for healthcare reform with a ‘botax’

OUT: Support for consumer-oriented health care reforms, such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). From Joe Jackson, chairman of Save Flexible Spending Plans and CEO of WageWorks Inc., a news release, “Senate Health Bill Would Significantly Curtail Flexible Spending Accounts.”

IN: New taxes and taxes increases. From the Joint Tax Committee, via, “The Senate Health Bill: Higher Taxes from Harry Reid“:

Reid Taxes as calculated by the Joint Tax Committee:

1. 40% Excise tax on High Value plans such as $8,500 for Individual and $23,000 for a couple. $149.1 billion in new taxes over the next ten years.
2. 0.5% Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax Hike, for single earners over $200,000 and joint earners over $250,000. $53.8 billion in new taxes over the next ten years.
3. Changes to Health Savings Accounts, Archer Medical Spending Accounts and Health Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements, $5 billion in new taxes.
4. Cap Flexible Spending Accounts at $2500 in cafeteria plans from the current status of unlimited FSA, $14.6 billion.
5. Increase Penalty for early non-qualified Health Savings Accounts Withdrawals from 10 to 20 Percent, $1.3 Billion.
6. Tax on Branded Drugs: manufacturers and importers of branded drugs that will cost taxpayers $22.2 billion.

7. Annual tax on the health insurers. $60.4 billion in new taxes over ten years.
8. Tax on companies who manufacture or import medical devices that will generate $19.3 billion in new taxes over the next ten years.
9. 0. 5% excise tax on cosmetic surgery. This is basically a new 5% federal sales tax on cosmetic surgeries and procedures. $5.8 Billion in new taxes over ten years.
10. Increase the floor of the Medical Expenses Deduction from 7.5% of Adjusted Gross Income to 10%. The floor for seniors will be maintained at 7.5%. This means that the cost of being sick has increased, and sick taxpayers will pay $15.2 billion in new taxes in the next ten years.
11. Eliminate the Deduction of Medicare Part D(prescription Drug Plan) generates $5.4 billion in new taxes over the next ten years.
12. Cap salaries for all employees of health insurance companies at $500,000 by making any remuneration all of that not deductible for tax purposes. $.6 billion over ten years.
13. Established mandates on employers of companies with more than fifty employees to provide health coverage or pay a fee, and requires individuals to maintain qualified health coverage or pay a fee. Companies would pay a penalty of $750 per employee if any employee obtained coverage through the insurance exchange. Full-time workers would have to accept company coverage unless company coverage would cost more than 9.8 percent when they could be on the government exchange, but companies would still face the $750 penalty yielding $36 billion over ten years.

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