Today, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed that the Obama administration is involved in talks with the NFL and other major sports leagues about enrollment partnerships to advocate for the controversial healthcare law known as Obamacare. As Sebelius said:
“It’s clear that we’re having discussions, active discussions, right now with a variety of sports affiliates — both in terms of what will end up being paid advertising but hopefully some partnership efforts.”
The HHS Secretary also said:
“The NFL for instance, in the conversations that I’ve had, has been very actively and enthusiastically engaged because they see health promotion as one of the things that’s good for them and good for the country.”
Sebelius’ comments confirm a recent Politico report about the NBA and its potential partnership to promote Obamacare. While it is unclear whether prominent players – such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant – would be featured in ad campaigns or whether the NBA logo would be attached to marketing tools, the league and its players should refuse the offer.
For starters, Obamacare is the most partisan and controversial law in the United States. By partnering with the current administration, the NBA would no longer be a sports league devoid of political affiliation or allegiance. Secondly, players featured in potential Obamacare ad campaigns will be advocating for higher taxes on the American public. President Obama has made it clear that he believes Americans should pay more, so why would NBA players advocate a tax hike on themselves? Of the twenty new or higher taxes contained in Obamacare, at least seven hit the middle class (here are the five worst). Athletes are already taxed at the top marginal rate at the federal and state level prior to paying a “jock tax” on away games. Shouldn’t they want their rates lowered rather than increased?
The chart below shows the effect of Obamacare’s Medicare payroll tax rate hike on some of the NBA’s most popular players. The Medicare payroll tax on these players has risen from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent of their salary (in excess of $200,000 single/$250,000 married) under Obamacare.
Obamacare Medicare Tax
*The formula used to calculate Obamacare’s Medicare Tax is the player’s Salary x the 0.9 percent Medicare payroll tax rate hike found within Obamacare. Salaries were found at http://espn.go.com/nba/salaries
The last thing American families want to see while enjoying their favorite sports is a reminder of how much the Obama administration is trying to tax them. Visit atr.org to see all twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare.