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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore

How bad is Obamacare for seniors? Here are five tax-related ways seniors will get soaked.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Next week, the Supreme Court will be asked to decide if the Federal Government can compel private citizens to buy stuff.

The court will hear arguments for and against Obamacare, and freedom-loving Americans from coast-to-coast and around the globe are hoping the answer will be a rousing and decisive “NO.”

Among the many, many reasons why all Americans should vigorously oppose Obamacare is that it will financially devastate many seniors, thanks to some taxes that traitors-to-freedom Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid made sure were in the bloated bill nobody could read until they voted for it.

Grover Norquist, the President of  Americans for Tax Reform wrote a short Op/Ed that outlines the five most serious tax consequences for America’s seniors if Obamacare is not overturned.

The five tax hikes in Obamacare that most hurt seniors

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, there are five that fall most directly on seniors.

The first is the excise tax penalty for failure to comply with Obamacare’s individual mandate. 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 $1,390 for those making less than $55,600).

Obamacare will leave many seniors counting pennies...if they're lucky.

Why does Obamacare raise taxes on seniors just as they are entering retirement? Many of these seniors will face this “stick” but find themselves with too much income to qualify for the “carrot” of tax credits to purchase Obamacare health insurance plans in an exchange. Many will be forced to keep working just to avoid paying this tax.

The second tax hike on seniors is the so-called “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 will fall almost exclusively on the seniors with the greatest health insurance needs.

Third is Obamacare’s 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. Seventy-one percent of all dividends paid flow to these households. To raise taxes on dividends is to raise taxes on seniors.

Then there’s the 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.

Finally, Obamacare reduces 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 filers claiming this deduction are over age 55.

All of the tax increases in Obamacare will hurt seniors, but these five fall on them directly and hardest.

Did Obama and his henchmen set out to deliberately penalize seniors for getting old? Or were they just too stupid or blinded by ideology to recognize the consequences of what they foisted upon America? Did it occur to them that not all seniors with dividend income are wealthy, that some simply live comfortably in retirement and others just scrape by even with their dividends and that confiscating forty percent of it might make the difference between eating three meals a day and two…or one?

It took 232 years for the nation to elect a president arrogant enough to presume he is not just another inexperienced, megalomaniacal politician, but some kind of royalty who doesn’t lead the nation but rules it.

Whether the Supreme Court decides according to the Constitution, as the Founders intended, or further twists and rips it to squeeze out another fantastical, never-before-noticed government power, we still have one more chance to save the nation come November. Sadly, it does not look like it will be in the presidential election, where Republicans appear determined to nominate the weakest possible candidate to face Our Dear Leader.

The only real hope is that the Tea Movement — notice we don’t hear much about them in the national media anymore — can help elect enough new members of Congress and the Senate to overthrow Obamacare and set the nation back on the road to prosperity.

I know some folks will say I’m dreaming, but for many Americans, the dream is all they have left.

What’s your take on this?

Am I overreacting? Or on the money?

6 Responses to “How bad is Obamacare for seniors? Here are five tax-related ways seniors will get soaked.”

  1. ralph Says:

    Obama care is wrong on so many levels. This is yet another example of its many flaws.

    What folks seem to forget is that nothing is free. You want Obama care? Prepare to pay the cost in cost of service increase , level of service decrease , types of coverage reduction and, most important to my mind, loss in freedom.

    As an aside, did the advent of Medicare in the 60’s shift the burden of taking care of aging family members from family to uncle Sam? Sure seems like Obama care is the culmination of this trend. ” Don’t worry granny our Dear Leader will take care of everything!”

  2. bunkie Says:

    Why are you calling it Obamacare? This is not his original plan. Remember how the republicns ‘gutted’ his plans. This is more their plan than his.

  3. Chelle Says:

    I agree with bunkie. Sorry but the Tea Party already had their chance. I do think penalizing someone without health care is a step backwards. Obamacare should be optional. Really the healthcare industry should not be a free market. There should be some type of regulation on insurance, that way it’s more affordable. Some people think that would only exacerbate the problem, I don’t know. But we have to do something about it, and thus far it seems like Obama is the only person willing to make an effort.

  4. Oliver Says:

    Sorry, bunkie, but he and his cohorts pushed it through so it remains Obamacare, just as Mitt Romney remains saddled with Romneycare. both are equally responsible for the bills they signed.

    Chelle, health insurance was working just fine until government decided to make it better by forcing the insurance companies to include expensive benefits few people would use but all had to pay for. As they mandated more and more, rates went higher and higher to pay for it all until the average working person could no longer afford it.

    Government created this mess. The only thing government can to do fix it is to get out out of it completely and let people decide how much insurance they want and are willing to pay for. Romneycare and Obamacare are nothing more than welfare for insurance companies and power grabs for bureaucrats.

  5. Leonard Barnes Says:

    Until we get Government out of Medicine it will remain as messed up as Amtrac and The Post Office. The Government should abide by it’s Constitutional duties and get out of trying to run ANY business.

  6. Tom D. Says:

    Being a Veteran, I currently receive health care through the VA medical system; paid for by the Federal gov’t. which gets the funds from my and other citizen’s taxes.
    As the deficit increases beyond the outrageous amount it has already reached, I could be forced to buy my own health insurance.
    With my present resources, this would be impossible, therefore I would have to fall back on medicare/medicaid.
    It seems big government is planning to make us all reliant upon them; thereby reducing the possibility that we remain or become self-sufficient.
    At the risk of sounding paranoid, I’d venture to say that it’s all part of a PLAN.
    “Absolute power corrupts…” etc.
    I have a bug-out bag ready just in case~



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