Obamacare's Five Tax Increases That Most Hurt Seniors


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Monday, July 9th, 2012, 11:02 AM PERMALINK


The jobs-killing Obamacare law contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and employers.  Many of these tax increases fall on families making less than $250,000--a direct violation of candidate Obama's promise not to raise "any form" of taxes on these families.  In less than a week, the third anniversary of Obamacare being signed into law will take place.  The Supreme Court will be hearing oral arguments about the constitutionality of Obamacare next week.

Out of the 20 new or higher taxes in Obamacare, here are the five that most hurt seniors:

Individual Mandate excise tax penalty.  Many seniors face a coverage gap between retirement and Medicare eligibility.  Obamacare raises taxes on these younger seniors by punishing them if they don't purchase "qualifying health insurance."  Set to go into effect in 2014, the excise tax penalty for mandate non-compliance will in 2016 rise to 2.5% of adjusted gross income for a senior couple (or $1390 for those making less than $55,600).  Why does Obamacare raise taxes on seniors just as they are entering retirement?

"Cadillac Plan" excise tax.  Starting in 2018, Obamacare imposes a whopping 40% excise tax on high-cost ("Cadillac plan") health insurance plans.  This is defined for seniors as a plan whose premiums exceed $29,450 for a family plan, or $11,500 for a single senior.  Seniors often face higher costs in health insurance premiums due to chronic health conditions and other risk factors.  This tax is almost exclusively a tax which will fall on seniors with the greatest health insurance needs.

Dividends tax hike.  Starting in 2013, the top tax rate on dividends is scheduled to rise from 15% today to 39.6%.  In addition, Obamacare imposes a dividend "surtax" of 3.8% on families making more than $250,000 per year.  That would create a top dividend tax rate of 43.4%, nearly triple today's rate.  This will fall very hard on seniors.  According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of IRS data, 70% of households over age 55 receive dividend income.  71% of all dividends paid flow to these households.  To raise taxes on dividends is to raise taxes on seniors.

Medical device excise tax.  Obamacare imposes a new excise tax on medical device manufacturers in 2013.  These companies will surely build the cost of this new tax into the price of what they sell.  Who buys medical devices?  Who buys pacemakers, wheelchairs, and other costly medical devices?  Seniors do. 

Reduce allowable medical itemized deductions.  Under current law, medical itemized deductions can be claimed on tax returns, but they must be reduced by 7.5% of adjusted gross income.  Obamacare increases this "haircut" to 10% of AGI in 2013.  This will mean that millions of Americans claiming medical itemized deductions will no longer be able to.  The same IRS data as above tells us that 60% of all tax returns claiming this deduction are over age 55.

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