Welcome to VoteFacts. Back when Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he had this to say about taxes and health care:
"You see, Senator McCain would pay for his plan, in part, by taxing your health benefits for the first time in history. I want everybody to clear about this, this tax would come out of your paycheck."
Now that Mr. Obama has achieved his own goal of health care reform, we thought we would give you the chance to focus on the facts as they relate to his words from the campaign trail four years ago and the law he passed.
Here is your data to help you cast your vote:
• Section 9001 of the new health care law (PPACA) places an excise tax on employer-sponsored health insurance coverage with a benefit value above specified levels... The tax is 40 percent of the excess benefit value above these thresholds. We estimate that, in aggregate, affected employers will reduce their benefit packages in such a way as to eliminate about three-quarters of the excess benefit value. CMS, Page 17
• The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services anticipates that the fees and the excise tax would generally be passed through to health consumers in the form of higher drug and device prices and higher insurance premiums, with an associated increase in overall national health expenditures ranging from $2.1 billion in 2011 to $18.2 billion in 2018 and $17.8 billion in 2019. CMS, Page 17
• In reaction to the tax, which would take effect in 2018, many employers would reduce the scope of their health benefits. CMS, Page 12
• Moreover, because health care costs will generally increase faster than the Consumer Price Index (CPI), we anticipate additional, incremental benefit coverage reductions in future years to prevent an increase in the share of employer coverage subject to the excise tax... As mentioned earlier, the proportion of workers experiencing reductions in their employer-sponsored health coverage as a result of the excise tax is estimated to increase rapidly after 2019. CMS, Page 17