NORQUIST: Health care reform means tax cuts for North Carolinians


While much of the discussion around Obamacare focuses on health policy, it is also a major tax bill. The day this legislative monstrosity was signed into law, Vice President Joe Biden boasted that it was a big deal. What Biden failed to mention that day is Obamacare is also a big tax hike on individuals, families, and businesses across North Carolina and the nation.2010 was a bleak time for North Carolina taxpayers. Then-Gov. Beverly Perdue, a Democrat, had just finished a round of mid-recession tax increases on income, sales, tobacco, and alcohol, only to have President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress pile on with a soul-crushing amount of federal tax hikes, costing $1 trillion over a decade, as part of Obamacare.Following Perdue’s tax hikes, Republicans took control of the state legislature and provided billions in tax relief with several rounds of tax cuts, starting with the landmark 2013 tax law. Republicans have since taken control of Capitol Hill as well, and now have a White House occupant who will sign tax relief into law by repealing Obamacare.Repealing Obamacare will save North Carolinians from a wave tax increases, the worst of which include the following:
A 3.8 percent surtax on investment income on households or families earning at least $250,000 or single filers making at least $200,000Imposition of a $2,500 spending cap on flexible spending accounts that harms families who pay for special needs education for their childrenA tax of at least $695 on individuals who refrain from buying “qualifying” health insuranceA new employer mandate tax; $2,000 per employee if at least one qualifies for a health tax credit, $3,000 if any employee receives coverage through the exchange, and a $400 tax per employee if the employer institutes an enrollment waiting period of 30-60 days ($600 per employee if over 60 days)A new tax on health insurers relative to the premiums they collect annuallyProhibiting the use of pre-tax dollars (through FSAs, HSAs, or HRAs) to buy over-the-counter medicines, with the exeption of insulinA 40 percent tax on comprehensive health insurance plans also referred ot as “Cadillac” plansA tax imposed on innovator drug companies and their share of sales made annuallyA 10 percent excise tax on the use of indoor tanning salonsRepeal of Obamacare represents a large middle-class tax cut. During Tom Price’s confirmation hearing to be the next secretary of Health and Human Services, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) grilled Price on whether or not repealing Obamacare would provide tax relief for the middle class.During one exchange, McCaskill stated that “when Obamacare is repealed, no one in America who makes than less than $200,000 is going to enjoy the benefit of that.”It’s too bad Price didn’t rebuke the senior senator from Missouri on the spot, because McCaskill is dead wrong. In fact, at least seven of the 20 tax increases imposed under Obamacare hit middle- and low-income households. The bottom line is that repealing Obamacare would be a massive tax cut for all income levels. Either McCaskill is ignorant of that fact, or was purposefully spreading false information. Either way, it’s not good.Additionally, health insurers in many states, including in North Carolina, have been forced to pull out of the market, leaving many individuals and families with only one health insurer available. After UnitedHealthcare withdrew from 77 of North Carolina’s 100 counties and Aetna’s exodus from the market, a majority of North Carolinians will only have one option for health insurance. In other words, they will have no option.Obamacare is a flawed and expensive new entitlement that that was forced on Americans through a party-line vote. Republicans in Congress must now fix the havoc wreaked by Obamacare, which is so structurally unsound it would collapse under it’s own weight anyway. The good news is Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, and President Trump are getting to work on a replacement plan that will increase access to care by increasing competition in the marketand reducing costs.North Carolinians are set to realize a massive tax cut with the repeal of Obamacare. After that gets done, President Trump and Congress will turn their primary attention to the next wave of tax relief for Americans in the form of rate-reducing tax reform. Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform, a taxpayer advocacy organization founded in 1985 at the request of President Ronald Reagan.