To the Editor:
Several weeks back, Fred Siskind of McLean attempted to defend a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) - Medical Devices Excise Tax [“Incorrect Assertion,” The Reston Connection, March 19-25, 2014]. Unfortunately, Mr. Siskind did not go far enough in his research. The PPACA was the authorizing legislation for the Medical Devices Excise Act. Implementing regulations were assigned to the Internal Revenue Service (Section 4191) and the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA determined what devices would be taxed. The tax would be paid by the manufacturer or importer of the device. Thus, one would not expect to see the 2.3 percent tax on their bill or statement - a true statement. However, it takes a lot of denial to believe that a tax levied on the manufacturer is not eventually passed on to the consumer. One need only to type in ”Medical Device Tax” in Google to learn the background and regulations addressing this cruel tax. While there are a number of exemptions; e.g., eye glasses, motorized wheelchairs, etc. over $1B in taxes was collected in the first year from a $30B market with a reported loss of 33,000 jobs. It's a cruel tax as it hits consumers at a low point in their lives - they are sick or injured and often without the means to pay for crutches or a foot boot.
The other day, Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) proposed some lash-up tying Obamacare to the mortgage industry. Lord only knows what is the idea behind the current train wreck - a bigger one? Let's be forewarned and say no to Warnercare!