How Will the Health Reform Law Affect Your Taxes?
Last week, Quinnipiac University released the results of a new poll on how American voters view the health reform law. According to an article on global financial site RTT News, 55% of voters consider the law a tax increase – rather than a penalty for not maintaining health insurance coverage – compared to 36%, who disagree. Whether or not the law is a tax didn’t seem to affect voters’ opinions on its constitutionality; 49% believed Congress should try to repeal the law, while 43% believed it should be upheld.
According to an article by Kelly Kennedy and Richard Wolf of USA Today, the law will result in increased taxes for only a small percentage of Americans. Through taxes, fees, and penalties, the law is projected to raise over $800 billion. However, 40% of that revenue will come from the country’s wealthiest households, those with annual incomes above $200,000. Most of the rest will come from employers, health insurance companies, and providers such as doctors and hospitals.
Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Wolf explain three ways in which the law could impact middle-income Americans, which are expected to affect a total of about 15 million people. First, the law makes it more difficult to deduct medical expenses from tax payments. Second, the law puts into place a $2,500 limit on tax-deductible spending from flexible spending accounts. Third, people who decide not to enroll in health insurance will have to pay a tax.
Readers, do you think of the health reform law as a tax increase on middle-income Americans? If so, do you think that increase is justified, or should the money to pay for the law come from another source?