By ruling that ObamaCare is constitutional, the Supreme Court has set in motion a slew of tax hikes. Well, someone has to pay for it. For rich folks, looming big is the 3.8% Medicare surtax on investment income, and the 0.9% Medicare payroll tax hike (from 1.45% to 2.35%). And then there are the tax hikes for everybody else.
Obama’s pledge against any form of tax increase on Americans making less than $250,000 a year “was thrown out the window” when he signed the healthcare law, says John Kartch, communications director with Americans For Tax Reform (founded by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist).
Here’s a rundown of seven ObamaCare tax hikes that affect the hoi polloi.
No. 1. The Individual Mandate Excise Tax. Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income tax surtax. It goes up each year until 2016 and beyond when a couple would pay a tax of the higher of $1,360 or 2.5% of adjusted gross income.
No. 2. The Over-The-Counter Drugs Trap. Since Jan. 1, 2011, employees with health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts or health reimbursement accounts have no longer been able to use pre-tax funds stashed in these accounts to buy over-the-counter medicines for allergy relief and the like without a doctor’s prescription (there’s an exception for insulin).