Wow, hey, whaddya know? Starting in 2014, your employer (and, by extension, you) will begin paying a fresh new $63 annual ObamaCare fee, to cover the extra cost of insuring other people's pre-existing conditions. The Associated Press describes how this little "unexpected expense" popped out of recently unearthed regulations:
The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers.
Employee benefits lawyer Chantel Sheaks calls it a “sleeper issue” with significant financial consequences, particularly for large employers.
“Especially at a time when we are facing economic uncertainty, [companies will] be hit with a multimillion-dollar assessment without getting anything back for it,” said Mr. Sheaks, a principal at Buck Consultants, a Xerox subsidiary.
Based on figures provided in the regulation, employer and individual health plans covering an estimated 190 million Americans could owe the per-person fee.
The Obama administration says it is a temporary assessment levied for three years starting in 2014, designed to raise $25 billion. It starts at $63 and then declines.
Most of the money will go into a fund administered by the Health and Human Services Department. It will be used to cushion health insurance companies from the initial hard-to-predict costs of covering uninsured people with medical problems. Under the law, insurers will be forbidden from turning away the sick as of Jan. 1, 2014.
A small price to pay for the Big Government takeover of health insurance, run by the same people who lost a couple thousand guns across the Mexican border, spent a few million dollars a pop creating "green jobs," and couldn't manage to keep White House tours running when faced with a 2 percent deceleration in spending!
Does anyone remember Barack Obama saying we'd all get hit with a special "temporary" tax (stop sniggering, dear reader), on top of skyrocketing insurance premiums, to fund the re-definition of "insurance" into something that provides guaranteed benefits to people with pre-existing conditions? No, of course not. You remember him saying the cost curve would be bent down, not a dime would be added to the deficit, and if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.
Every turn of the crank on the ObamaCare jack-in-the-box releases another evil clown puppet of taxation. We're still reeling from the last surprise tax, exposed just a few days ago, in which veterinary bills are going up under the President's health-care boondoggle. Yes, veterinary bills. Stunned pet owners discovered they would have to pay more when taking Fido and Mister Tinkles to the vet, because of ObamaCare's medical device taxes:
A dog owner was surprised after her veterinarian posted a notice to her Facebook page warning customers of the rising costs they will encounter due to Obamacare, CBS Miami reports.
The notice read: “Because medical equipment and supplies will be going up in cost, that extra expense will have to passed on to the customers.”
In order to help pay for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the new health reform will include a 2.3 percent excise tax on certain medical devices. Manufacturers of the instruments pay the tax, but a recent survey found more than half plan to pass it along.
“I’m extremely concerned how this is going to be a hidden tax to our consumers that is going to be passed on,” veterinarian Mike Hatcher told CBS.
There will surely be more to come, since (a) ObamaCare's laughable deficit projections were blown into orbit upon contact with reality, and (b) there are more regulations to be written. There will probably always be more regulations on the way. Just wait until the "pathway to citizenship" for illegal aliens merges with the crumbling infrastructure of the decrepit government-run health care highway. The next off-ramp after that will be single-payer socialized medicine - the final dissolution of American independence from the State.
These tax eruptions highlight both the flaws in ObamaCare, and the utterly fraudulent promises it was sold with. The program cannot do what Obama promised it would do, for anywhere near the cost he estimated. Or maybe he'll pull out the tried-and-true "Incompetence Defense" technique pioneered by his Administration, and claim this is all a big surprise to him, too.
It's also a grim lesson - delivered, perhaps, too late to make a difference - in the folly of giving the government open-ended control over major sectors of American life, and our economy. They're not bound by any of the promises they make when engineering such a takeover. No degree of failure will be interpreted as a breach of contract with the American people. You can't sue the people who inflicted ObamaCare upon you for fraud, or force them to deliver the promised services at the agreed-upon price. No matter how tattered that contract might be - no matter how much of it stands redacted with black marker, scribbled in pencil, or edited with red ink - the American people are forever enslaved to it. One presidential election after ObamaCare passed, we are lectured that we never get to vote on this again. It's sad that so many people are willing to sign their liberty away under conditions that would make them laugh in surprise and disgust, if offered by a private business.
Notice, also, how the growth of government has given it many tiny tendrils it can use to drain away our money. A few bucks here, a couple of dollars there, a fee on this, a surtax on that... it all adds up, but each tendril is small, and sinks without much discomfort into a different vein. In this way, the true cost of government is hidden from people who can't figure out why their dollar doesn't go as far as it used to, and so many things don't seem to work right any more.