NFL and NBA Obamacare Alliance: Out of Bounds for Special Needs Children
As reported Monday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the NFL “has been very actively and enthusiastically engaged [in Obamacare promotion talks with HHS] because they see health promotion as one of the things that's good for them and good for the country."
This potential partnership between the Obama administration and pro sports leagues - such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL – to shill for the partisan and controversial Obamacare law should be rejected by the commissioners and players of each league. The Obamacare law contains twenty new or higher taxes, including one that will particularly harm families with special needs children.
Here’s how it works: The 30 - 35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family's basic medical needs face a new Obamacare cap of $2,500. This will squeeze $13 billion of tax money from Americans over the next ten years. (Before Obamacare, the accounts were unlimited under federal law, though employers were allowed to set a cap.) Now, a parent looking to sock away extra money to pay for their family’s medical needs will find themselves quickly hitting this new cap, meaning they would have to pony up some or all of the cost with after-tax dollars.
Needless to say, this tax will especially impact middle class families.
There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. Nationwide there are several million families with special needs children and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.
Besides, a fan wants to enjoy watching his favorite team play, not be reminded about how his taxes have gone up.
Rather than help advocate for a law that hikes taxes on families with special needs children, the NFL and NBA should be standing up for its fans.