Skip to main content

gavel on top of a health insurance policy
The screeching over the Affordable Care Act as the biggest middle-class tax hike ever from Republicans has quieted down some this week, as the Republican House realizes they've got yet another vacation coming up and a whole heckuva lot of legislating they haven't bothered to deal with yet still out there waiting for them. But it will be the focus of Republican outrage all summer long, and we're going to see a redux of August '10 with astroturfed town meetings featuring frothing teabaggers screaming about gubmint keeping its paws off their Medicare.

So, in preparation for that, here's yet one more analysis, this one from USA Today, showing that very few in the middle class will end up having to pay more in taxes as a result of the law. This, they say, is what might happen.

•About 7 million people could pay more because the law makes it more difficult to deduct medical expenses. People with lower incomes are less likely to itemize deductions.

•About 4 million workers could pay more because of a new $2,500 limit on flexible spending accounts, which can be used to shield medical expenses from taxation.

•The tax that rendered the law constitutional, to be assessed on those who fail to buy mandated health insurance, could hit about 4 million people across all income brackets.

All in all, the paper says, less than 10 percent of the nation's 140 million taxpayers could see a tax increase. That same 10 percent (unless they refuse to purchase insurance at all) will also get the benefits of not having copays for any preventive care, not being denied coverage for a serious illness that arises because of some specious "pre-existing condition," and the security of knowing that they'll always be able to be insured. For that small sliver of the population, that's a pretty decent tradeoff.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 03:01 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 03:01:32 PM PDT

  •  Must-See Quiz (7+ / 0-)

    This is the perfect teaching tool on the ACA.  It's super-fast, clear but not dumbed down, and purely factual.  It's also published by a private organization.  

    I highly recommend taking it, then sharing it with all your networks. Crosstabs indicate that Dems are almost as unclear on the elements of the bill as are Republicans.  

    Kaiser Healthcare Reform Quiz
    How will YOU score?  Hint:  devoted dKos readers beat the odds.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:34:47 AM PDT

    •  Yup, my Dad (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, ZedMont, shoeless, varro, Amber6541

      who reads three newspapers a day, and news magazines (left wing ones like the Nation), didn't know that the lifetime limit was something that was gone with the ACA.  He is well informed and in favour of "Obamacare" and he didn't know the specifics.  Sigh.

      •  Ditto my dad (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annetteboardman, varro, Amber6541

        He is a big ACA supporter but STILL didn't know about the 80% payout rule, which IMO is a huge part of meaningful regulation on the insurance industry.  (That one didn't get put into the quiz, however -- make what you will of that.)  

        The small-business provisions are also tricky for many people.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:10:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can't believe... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, Amber6541

      ....I got 100% on the quiz, and am shocked at the questions where 25% or 27% of people got it right - much less than even random selection!

       (Then again, I know damn well how much I pay for health insurance and care, and have seen it skyrocket over the years.  I've also been denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions that are controlled with generic prescriptions - a whopping 2 a month.)

      And this is of the people who are knowledgeable or curious about a situation, let alone the people who let Fox News or Rush Limbaugh do their thinking for them.  

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:11:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chilling, isn't it? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Amber6541, varro

        High volume lies seem to work.  But we do what we can in our own little corners, so my goal is to help spread accessible tools for conveying the truth about the ACA.

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:13:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes of course . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, slouchsock, varro

    and this is one of the biggest difficulties us proponents of single payer national health care face. (Yes, we still exist.) It would indeed constitute a huge tax increase, BUT, it would save the vast majority of people money because they wouldn't have to pay for health insurance or health care any more.

    That doesn't seem like it ought to be hard to explain, but it's the difficulty of explaining just that which got us the individual mandate in the first place, instead of a much more sensible approach.

    •  It would just reallocate spending... (0+ / 0-)

      ....from health insurance to taxes for health care.

      I don't care if the government takes my money or a private company takes my money - it's still gone, and I want coverage for the fee or tax.  (Of course, there are Paulites who think that's the most horrible thing in the world, but that one should be privileged to pay corporations, since they're people just like us...)

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:15:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama lowered my taxes (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, Matt Z, shoeless, varro

    (and I didn't even want him to) a LOT more than the ACA will every cost me. Why?  Because I have employer-based insurance already and decent odds of keeping it.  And the guaranteed payout rates on HMO finances will be worth a lot of cash to consumers in the long run.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:37:10 AM PDT

    •  Yep (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, True North, Matt Z, shoeless, howd

      My wife is in that same situation.  Me?  I have VA medical and so, well, um...I'm a "taker", as the Romney folks like to say.  But, she feels EXACTLY like you do.  When she retires in May next year, she'll go on Medicare and being a "Medicare for all" kinda guy, I'm elated.  If the repubs screw with Medicare, I'm going to head to D.C. and everyone will know exactly who I am and how I feel -_-

      The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

      by commonsensically on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:47:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Strange diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    penguins4peace, WhitRobinson

    By saying:

    One more analysis shows that Obamacare is not the largest tax increase ever
    We're actually saying it IS a large tax increase.

    Gotta be careful how we put things, methinks.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:43:40 AM PDT

  •  Barnicle on Morning Joe: I wish the two candidates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless

    would stop all of this negative campaigning and tell us what they're going to do for the American People......Go back to sleep Mike.

  •  Problem is: GOP is 10% correct. That's enough... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, varro

    ... to justify the rhetoric, to keep the fact checkers from saying Republicans lie and to spread the misleading slogans. Our case is harder than we'd like to believe.

    "Less than 10 million taxpayers..." [10% of 140 million taxpayers would seem to be closer to 14 million than 10 million, but I digress] - that "small sliver of the population" - is still millions of people. And it lets the Republicans get away with haranguing about just one factoid of an otherwise pretty good law (given the legislative realities).

    This - given the short attention spans of the average watcher/listener/reader - is one reason why liberals tend not to win a lot of arguments with facts.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:46:47 AM PDT

  •  The FSA thing, which I didn't know about, will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless

    probably affect my family as we usually take more than $2,500. It's really a pittance though and, as I point out to any Republican who'll listen to me, I will GLADLY pay the extra money if it means allowing 30,000,000 more Americans will receive health care.

    Seriously, that's what it's all about, right? Why do Republicans have such a hard time with this?

    Conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less. E.J. Dionne

    by blueyescryinintherain on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:52:35 AM PDT

    •  It's because Republicans love America, (0+ / 0-)

      but they hate Americans.

      Ann Richards on how to be a good Republican: You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

      by shoeless on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:08:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  its because the Rmoney's and the Addelson's aren't (0+ / 0-)

        paying their fair share.

        The flex change is a tax on sick people, and its already crappy that we pay ANY taxes on medical care. Taxes FOR medical care, yes, on care no.

        I won't be advertising this bump in our taxes, but it doesn't make me happy.

  •  I'd call that a sweet deal! (0+ / 0-)
  •  wondering if any of this is offset (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, slouchsock

    by insurance co. reimbursements?  

    And can any of it be changed by a simple amendment?  I actually want people to be able to deduct medical expenses..and to shield them from taxation...

    thanks/sh

  •  Ask any junior high school teacher how... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless

    they would rate rmoney's mannerisms and reasoning.

    They would say "7th grade at best".


    Universe started with a Big Bang. It's big, getting bigger, and mostly dark.

    by jim in IA on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:58:58 AM PDT

  •  How in a nation of 330M (0+ / 0-)

    are they're only

    All in all, the paper says, less than 10 percent of the nation's 140 million taxpayers could see a tax increase.
    Are you saying only 30% in US pay federal taxes?  What does that do to all the arguments of fairness and hidden fees, taxes at state and local levels, etc..etc..

    Can you clarify this for me?

    FP confusing me again...

    Somebody said Party! I got excited. I love Parties! Especially Parties with exclamation marks! Now I'm sad because there's not a Party! h/t AnnetteK ;-)

    by EdMass on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:59:51 AM PDT

    •  they're ---> there.....sigh (0+ / 0-)

      I hate this preposition....

      Somebody said Party! I got excited. I love Parties! Especially Parties with exclamation marks! Now I'm sad because there's not a Party! h/t AnnetteK ;-)

      by EdMass on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:02:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  its an increase for my family (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    42

    I'm unhappy that its a tax increase for sick people, not a progressive tax.

    Insurance is supposed to share the risk, but outrageous deductibles already penalize the sick through thousands of dollars in deductibles.

    We put $5000 per year in our flex account (12% of our income). That money is paid from pre-tax dollars, so we can't deduct it (and we shouldn't -no quibble there). We spend ALL of it, plus another $1000. I'm in a study, so I have to have 3 CT scans per year, and bimonthly exams. Chemo has played havoc with my teeth and I have early cataracts. We both wear glasses. I need pt for my knee.

    With only 2500 from pre-tax $$, the new change will cost us $375 per year.

    The wellness exams save us $20 per year, since husband is the only one well enough to need them-I have all those tests done as part of my treatment.

    Moving a lot of drugs over to over-the-counter is also costing us ≈$40 year since drugs that were covered and counted toward our deductible no longer do.

    •  Sorry about your situation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slouchsock

      Frankly the number of sick people with $5000 FSAs and the income to put that much into them isn't very big -- but I agree that it sucks to be in that group. I suspect the FSA change was made to keep the overall law more revenue-neutral than it would have been otherwise, to try to get some GOP votes (didn't work) and blue-dog Democrats.

      Hopefully, you will find that under the new law either your premiums will go down, or the deductibles will go down, or you will qualify for a tax credit/subsidy for some of this. I think it will take a couple of years under the new law for everyone to see exactly how all the moving pieces affect them.

       

      •  I think its another govt. employee/union worker (0+ / 0-)

        jab. Benefits for us are what they should be for everyone and we can't have THAT for the peasants!

        We don't have the income to put that much in either. A subsidy would be welcome, but what would be most welcome is prices that are not inflated and an actual accountable person in the billing office and insurance company.

  •  The biggest tax ever was the "$5.00/gal gas (0+ / 0-)

    tax that Big Oil and Wall Street imposed on the rest of us, which was the needle that burst the bubble economy and "disappeared" several trillion dollars of wealth, from little old ladies' retirement funds, (of course Wall Street got a bailout and the execs got multi-million dollar bonuses for that little trick.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:29:04 AM PDT

  •  Honestly (0+ / 0-)

    I read:  

    we're going to see a redux of August '10 with astroturfed town meetings featuring frothing teabaggers screaming about gubmint keeping its paws off their Medicare.
    as --  astroturfed clown meetings.

    It made every bit as much sense that way -- but it may be time to break down and get a pair of bifocals if and when the funds ever become available.

    I want a living planet, not just a living room.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 10:57:31 AM PDT

  •  And the Freedumb Corpse... (0+ / 0-)

    ....is on the comments section of the article.

    "Gummint doesn't do anything right!"  "It's those damn illegals!" "It's good to suffer - we don't want to be like those Commie Europeans!"

    What is wrong with some people?  

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 11:06:58 AM PDT

  •  The medical deduction thingy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EclecticCrafter

    I've been a tax preparer for several years, and I've rarely if ever seen anyone who had enough out of pocket medical to reach the 7.5% threshold and, of course, enough total deductions to be worth itemizing. (There are undoubtedly a few.) So the number who meet that but could not meet the 10% one has got to be fairly small. I wish Obama had not had to tweak the tax rules to make the bill more "revenue-neutral", but recognize he did or thought he did.

    As with any tax change, it takes a couple of years for the dust to settle and people to figure out what it means for them.

    That will of course not stop the right-wing media from talking endlessly about how Obama is raising everyone's taxes -- just as they have for the past three years when he actually reduced them via the payroll tax break. In other words, the rhetoric is fact-independent.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site