Obamacare's Fat Tax Squeezes Gym Members


Posted by Brendan Walsh on Thursday, February 20th, 2014, 2:16 PM PERMALINK

Like many people you’ve probably noticed your wallet feeling a little lighter than usual lately. Sorry, but it’s not because you work your biceps every day at the gym. It’s because while you’ve been shedding weight on the treadmill and lifting in order to getting your body to look like you stepped out of an episode of Baywatch, good old Uncle Sam has been robbing you blind with taxes.

Why are people getting a new tax? Obamacare is striking once again, looking for a new way to burn a hole in your pocket. One of the 20 new or higher taxes implemented under Obamacare includes a sin tax on tanning beds. The new 10% tax on tanning beds (used by 10 percent of the population) is coming as an unexpected and an unnecessary tax for members of gyms like Planet Fitness.

Planet Fitness is a nationwide chain of workout facilities that offers multiple membership types. One of Planet Fitness’ popular membership types is the “Black Card Membership,” because it allows members to use any Planet Fitness gym, instead of the one they signed up at. Who wouldn’t want that? Being able to go to any gym you want allows members to get healthy no matter where they are in the country therefore potentially lowering healthcare costs down the road.

However, because this membership allows you to use an in-house tanning bed (though there is no implication that you will), Uncle Sam is looking to punish you. That’s right; while you are busting your rear end trying to get healthy, the government is taxing you as a part of its train wreck of a healthcare plan.

Planet Fitness and its members are not the only people that will be negatively impacted by this 10% tax. Members of other gyms with tanning beds and tanning bed businesses (and customers) will likely find themselves in the same quandary.

Simply put, this tax is hurting the economy and the numbers don’t lie. According to the Indoor Tanning Association, since the tax was put in place 35,000 jobs were lost in the sector. In addition consumers and small businesses have lost approximately $145,000,000 combined. This is money that would be better served in the market economy, not the pocket book of the government. 

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