Alex Hendrie

Senate Bill Abolishes Obamacare’s Middle Class Taxes

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Posted by Alex Hendrie on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017, 10:52 AM PERMALINK

The Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill abolishes the many middle class taxes that were imposed by President Obama and the Democrat party in 2010. Obama promised repeatedly that he would never raise any form of tax on any household making less than $250,000 per year.

He lied.

Although you’ll never hear it from the establishment media, the Senate’s Obamacare repeal bill:

  • Abolishes the Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax which hits 8 million Americans each year.
  • Abolishes the Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax.
  • Abolishes Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax which hits the 20 million Americans with Health Savings Accounts and the 30 million Americans with Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • Abolishes Obamacare’s Flexible Spending Account tax on 30 million Americans.
  • Abolishes Obamacare’s Chronic Care Tax on 10 million Americans with high out of pocket medical expenses. This Obamacare tax imposed higher income taxes on households making an average of $53,000 per year.
  • Abolishes Obamacare’s HSA withdrawal tax.
  • Abolishes Obamacare’s 10% excise tax on small businesses with indoor tanning services.
  • Abolishes the Obamacare health insurance tax.
  • Abolishes the Obamacare 3.8% surtax on investment income.
  • Abolishes the Obamacare medical device tax.
  • Abolishes the Obamacare tax on prescription medicine.
  • Abolishes the Obamacare tax on retiree prescription drug coverage.

“Obamacare promised to reduce individual insurance premiums – a lot. Premiums rose – a lot,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. Obama promised no tax hikes on anyone earning less than $250,000 – that was a lie. Taxes increased. Healthcare costs increased. Obamacare failed. By its own promised goals, it failed. It is time to repeal failure and reform healthcare to protect consumers, not bureaucracy.”

Photo credit: Sam Bowman

More from Americans for Tax Reform

ATR Statement in Praise of Trump Budget

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Posted by Alex Hendrie on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017, 1:17 PM PERMALINK

President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal released today is a conservative blueprint to reverse the nation’s frail fiscal state, enact tax reform, and grow the economy.

“Trump starts by respecting taxpayers. Trump’s budget shows that he realizes every dollar being spent by Washington is first earned by American workers and then taken from them,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.  “Spending wisely, ripping out wasteful, duplicative and counterproductive spending programs, is step one. The budget blueprint, titled ‘The New Foundation for American Greatness’ is a dramatic U-turn from the policies of the last administration. The proposal will ensure that the federal government lives within its means, programs are run efficiently, and taxpayer dollars are responsibly spent,” said Norquist.

Highlights of the budget include:

- Reduces IRS budget by $239 million

- Demands tax reform, not tax increases: The Trump Budget calls for desperately needed tax reform that simplifies the code, promotes economic growth, and allows businesses to compete and innovate. Specifically, the Trump budget calls for a 15 percent rate on corporations and small businesses, drastic tax cuts and simplification for families, elimination of the death tax and AMT, and territoriality for businesses operating overseas.

This proposal is in stark contrast to the budget proposals from President Obama in the past eight years, which were replete with tax increases. In his last year alone, Obama proposed a net $3.4 trillion over a decade including a $320 billion energy tax for wasteful new spending on bullet trains and self-driving cars. This would increase federal taxes to the point where they are 20 percent of the economy, far above historical averages.

- Calls for strong economic growth: The policies in Trump’s budget call for strong economic growth of three percent. Over the past decade, the economy has struggled at just two percent GDP growth as the country has experienced the worst recovery in the modern era.  While the post-World War II average remains at three percent GDP growth per year, the Congressional Budget Office projects that under current policies, two percent growth will continue into the next decade.

Strong growth is also the best way to balance the budget, as every 0.1 percent in growth can result in $315 billion in federal revenue over the next decade. The Trump budget does this, instead of relying on higher taxes that suppress economic growth and hurt American families.

Cuts Wasteful Spending Programs: The Trump budget addresses Washington overspending by reducing spending by $3.6 trillion over the next decade.

The budget takes aim at unnecessary federal agencies to ensure states are able to set policies that best fit their needs, free from unelected federal bureaucrats:

- Cuts the EPA by 31 percent.
- Cuts the Department of Agriculture by 21 percent.
- Cuts the Department of Commerce by 16 percent.
- Cuts the Department of Education by 13 percent.

Enacts Welfare Reform: The Trump budget calls for welfare reform that ensures finite federal resources are well spent and encourages able-bodied individuals to return to the workforce. The budget tightens eligibility of SNAP, EITC, and the child tax credit to cut down on waste and abuse.


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

More from Americans for Tax Reform

Repeal Bill Abolishes Obamacare Tax Increases

Posted by John Kartch, Alex Hendrie on Monday, March 6th, 2017, 6:34 PM PERMALINK

The Obamacare repeal bill is out and it abolishes Obamacare's taxes:

Individual Mandate Non-Compliance Tax: Under Obamacare, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by the Obama-era Department of Health and Human Services -- must pay an income surtax to the IRS. In 2015, eight million households paid this tax. Most make less than $250,000. The Obama administration uses the Orwellian phrase “shared responsibility payment” to describe this tax.   

For tax year 2016, the tax is a minimum of $695 for individuals, while families of four have to pay a minimum of $2,085.


Households w/ 1 Adult


Households w/ 2 Adults

Households w/ 2 Adults & 2 children


2.5% AGI/$695


2.5% AGI/$1390

2.5% AGI/$2085

A recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that repealing this tax would decrease spending by $311 billion over ten years.

Medicine Cabinet Tax on HSAs and FSAs: Under Obamacare, the 20.2 million Americans with a Health Savings Account and the 30 - 35 million covered by a Flexible Spending Account are no longer able to purchase over-the-counter medicines using these pre-tax account funds. Examples include cold, cough, and flu medicine, menstrual cramp relief medication, allergy medicines, and dozens of other common medicine cabinet health items. This tax costs FSA and HSA users $6.7 billion over ten years.

Flexible Spending Account Tax: Under Obamacare, 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 an Obamacare-imposed cap of $2,500. This tax will hit Americans $32 billion over the next ten years.

Before Obamacare, the accounts were unlimited under federal law, though employers were allowed to set a cap. Now, parents looking to sock away extra money to pay for braces find themselves quickly hitting this new cap, meaning they have to pony up some or all of the cost with after-tax dollars. Needless to say, this tax especially impacts middle class families.

There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap is particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  Families with special needs children often use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at special needs schools can run thousands of dollars per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax increase limits the options available to these families.

Chronic Care Tax: Under Obamacare, this income tax increase directly targets middle class Americans with high medical bills. The tax hits 10 million households every year. Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical expenses were allowed an income tax deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). Obamacare now imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Therefore, Obamacare not only makes it more difficult to claim this deduction, it widens the net of taxable income. This income tax increase will cost Americans $40 billion over the next ten years.

According to the IRS, approximately 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction each year before Obamacare. Almost all were middle class: The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earned just over $53,000 annually in 2010. ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax benefit is about $200 - $400 per year.

HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike: Under Obamacare, this provision increases the tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

Ten Percent Excise Tax on Indoor Tanning: The Obamacare 10 percent tanning tax has wiped out an estimated 10,000 tanning salons, many owned by women. This $800 million Obamacare tax increase was the first to go into effect (July 2010). This petty, burdensome, nanny-state tax affects both the business owner and the end user. Industry estimates show that 30 million Americans visit an indoor tanning facility in a given year, and over 50 percent of salon owners are women. There is no exception granted for those making less than $250,000 meaning it is yet another tax that violates Obama’s “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of tax on Americans making less than this amount.

Health Insurance Tax: In addition to mandating the purchase of health insurance through the individual mandate tax, Obamacare directly increases the cost of insurance through the health insurance tax. The tax is projected to cost taxpayers – including those in the middle class – $130 billion over the next decade. 

The total revenue this tax collects is set annually by Treasury and is then divided amongst insurers relative to the premiums they collect each year. While it is directly levied on the industry, the costs of the health insurance tax are inevitably passed on to small businesses that provide healthcare to their employees, middle class families through higher premiums, seniors who purchase Medicare advantage coverage, and the poor who rely on Medicaid managed care.

According to the American Action Forum, the Obamacare health insurance tax will increase premiums by up to $5,000 over a decade and will directly impact 1.7 million small businesses, 11 million households that purchase through the individual insurance market and 23 million households covered through their jobs. The tax is also economically destructive – the National Federation for Independent Businesses estimates the tax could cost up to 286,000 in new jobs and cost small businesses $33 billion in lost sales by 2023.

Employer Mandate Tax: Under Obamacare, this provision forces employers to pay a $2,000 tax per full time employee if they do not offer “qualifying” – as defined by the government -- health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Employer Mandate Tax raises taxes on businesses by $166.9 billion over the ten years.

Surtax on Investment Income: Obamacare created a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 for singles). This created a new top capital gains tax rate of 23.8% and increased taxes by $222.8 billion over ten years.

The capital gains tax hits income that has already been subjected to individual income taxes and is then reinvested in assets that spur new jobs, higher wages, and increased economic growth. Much of the “gains” associated with the capital gains tax is due to inflation and studies have shown that even supposedly modest increases in the capital gains tax have strong negative economic effects.

Payroll Tax Hike: Obamacare imposes an additional 0.9 percent payroll tax on individuals making $200,000 or couples making more than $250,000. This tax increase costs Americans $123 billion over ten years.

Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers: Under Obamacare, this law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax on all sales of medical devices. The tax applies even if the company has no profits in a given year. The tax was paused for tax years 2016 and 2017. Under Obamacare it was scheduled to cost Americans $20 billion by 2025.

Tax on Prescription Medicine: Obamacare imposed a tax on the producers of prescription medicine based on relative share of sales. This is a $29.6 billion tax hike over the next ten years.

Elimination of Deduction for Retiree Prescription Drug Coverage: The elimination of this deduction is a $1.8 billion tax hike over ten years.

$500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives: This deduction limitation is a $600 million tax hike over ten years.

Goodbye Obamacare tax hikes. You will not be missed.

The bill also prevents the "Cadillac" tax from taking effect -- the bill delays it another five years, to 2025.