Humans are not the only ones to be affected by the prolific new taxes and tax increases about to take effect in 2013 to service the massive costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. According to a new rule recently published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), certain medical devices that have been formally approved for use in human medicine, but that are also used in veterinary care, will be subject to the new 2.3 percent medical device tax established as part of Obamacare.
Though the rule specifically states that devices intended for exclusive use in a veterinary setting are exempt from the tax, as are devices sold at the retail level for individual use, it also states that devices used by veterinarians and licensed for humans are not exempt, which means veterinary costs for the average pet owner will more than likely increase going into the new year. According to Heritage.org's The Foundry, more than half of all medical device manufacturers have already indicated they will pass on this added cost to their customers.
"A recent survey of 181 manufacturers found that a 52.5 percent majority plan to 'pass along some or all of the increased cost [of the tax] to our consumers,'" states a Heritage Foundation article by Lachlan Markay, referencing a recent survey conducted by the Emergo Group, a medical device consultant. "Among North American manufacturers, the portion who said they would raise prices was an even higher 58 percent."
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such taxable, "dual-use" devices include common things like examination gloves, sterile catheters, and infusion pumps, which means every person who uses a veterinarian will likely bear the brunt of the tax. Additionally, devices that are not currently listed under Section 510(j) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360), but that are later determined by the agency to be subject to the tax, can still be added to the clause going into the future.
Also going into effect on January 1, 2013, is the new 3.8 percent tax on investment income, which will siphon a portion of investment earnings from higher-earning American taxpayers to fund Medicare expansions (http://www.advisorone.com). Other new Obamacare taxes to take effect in 2013 include an increased capital gains tax; a new tax on flexible spending accounts (FSA); and an additional 0.9 percent tax on higher-income taxpayers to cover Medicare Part A. (http://swampland.time.com)