Does Obamacare Contain Future Health Benefits Taxes?


Posted by Ben Wilterdink on Monday, April 25th, 2011, 11:43 AM PERMALINK


Buried in Obamacare is a new requirement for employers to report employee health benefits on W-2 forms. At first glance, this is merely a new useless and burdensome regulation placed on businesses but it is no tax, which it is not, in and of itself. However, upon closer inspection, this is a useful tool to Obama as an ideal set-up to raise taxes on families (even those making less than $250,000 per year). It has already been established that President Obama will use any creative means necessary to circumvent his own campaign promise and raise taxes on those making less than $250,000 per year, but this is the clearest example, so far, of how he will most likely accomplish this.

Obama has once again hit the campaign trail with a plan to reduce the deficit. In the midst of his long, partisan campaign rhetoric there does come several vague and ominous glimmers of things to come. Taxes can be counted on as a “fix,” and most likely will come in the form of raising new taxes on health benefits. By passing this provision in Obamacare, he has cocked a gun ready to hike taxes at any moment. Another “fix” is a cut in “spending through the tax code” which is correctly referred to by Jon Stewart as an example of Orwellian newspeak for raising taxes. Other examples include a “tax trigger” to force new taxes to pay for reckless spending and intentions of making higher taxes a “shared responsibility”.

Even more disturbing than Orwellian newspeak or forcing new tax increases is the clearly underhanded nature that Obama continuously uses to accomplish his agenda of higher taxes to pay for a bigger Obama-sized government. Before he was elected, Candidate Obama made a pledge not to raise “any form of taxes” on families making less than $250,000 per year. Despite this pledge Obama has broken his word in increasingly creative ways. First he signed into law a tobacco tax increase (with no minimum income exemptions), he then raised taxes 7 different times on families making less than $250,000 in his healthcare bill alone. One new tax in Obamacare is on “Cadillac” healthcare plans; this means taxing health benefits if they are deemed “too good.”  Now, this provision of the new healthcare law would enable President Obama to raise taxes in the shadows once more.

By requiring the reporting of health benefits on W-2 forms it becomes incredibly easy to tax the benefits as well as income. This new tax could include everyone, since it won’t technically be considered as part of their “income.” Another possibility is that the reporting of health benefits on W-2s may be used as a pretext to claim that many more families actually make above $250,000 per year, opening up the door to this potential tax as well as many other taxes “on the wealthy”. No matter how this new provision is applied, the only logical conclusions lead to tax increases (most likely ones that break Obama’s pledge). This clear set-up for a tax increase should not be ignored, especially given that Obamacare has already included a tax on other healthcare plans.

This President has gone through much more trouble than this to justify and implement higher taxes. The employer reporting of health benefits creates an all new tax hike temptation as the ideal low hanging fruit of easy potential tax increases. Considering the history of Obama’s dubious ploys to raise taxes and his disregard for his campaign promise, current rhetoric combined with this easy set-up should raise a red flag for every taxpayer.

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