Congressman Allen West (R-FL) released this statement today as he prepares to vote to repeal the largest tax increase on the American people, the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act":
"Democrats continue to play cynical political games by claiming a vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a vote against helping people with preexisting conditions, against keeping children under the age of 26 on their family health care program, and against helping small businesses. Nothing can be further from the truth, as I have consistently supported these provisions and still do. My vote today to repeal the Obama Tax is a vote to reform our health care system and demand the United States Congress and President Barack Obama provide Americans with a plan focusing on patient-centered care, choice, flexibility, lower costs and on keeping doctors practicing and providing quality care. Congress and the President need a mulligan with regard to the tax law masquerading as a health care law.
My vote for repeal is further strengthened by the recent United States Supreme Court decision clarifying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as yet another enormous tax bill. The framers of the United States Constitution never intended to use taxation authority to establish social policy and then penalize Americans for not complying. In the case of the Health Care Act, the federal government will have the authority to use the Internal Revenue Service as a weapon to modify Americans' social behavior, under the guise of misconceived benevolence.
Americans deserve to know all of the facts so they can fully understand the ramifications of this misguided, onerous monstrosity of 2,700 pages, resulting in 159 new government agencies and bureaucracies. The sad truth is this law does little to improve health care, and is instead packed full of massive tax increases all Americans will be forced to bear."
Included in the President's health care law:
* Individual Mandate Tax -- defined by the Supreme Court decision.
* 3.8 percent Medicare Hospital Insurance payroll tax on investment income (capital gains and dividends) for Americans earning more than $200,000 a year or family households earning more than $250,000 a year.
* 40 percent excise tax on "Cadillac" health insurance plans costing more than $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for families.
* Increased payroll tax from 2.9 percent to 3.8 percent on combined employer/employee Medicare Hospital Insurance for individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000 a year.
* Taxes on health insurance providers based on a company's share of the total market.
* 2.3 percent excise tax on U.S. manufactured and imported medical devices costing more than $100.
* "Black liquor" bio-fuel tax increase.
* Increased taxes on patients with more than 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income spent on medical expenses.
* Taxes on manufacturers and importers of non-generic prescription medication.
* A limit on the amount of pre-tax income individuals can set aside in Flexible Spending Accounts to pay for expected annual health care expenses to $2,500 (previously unlimited).
* Increased tax collections from businesses by eliminating the deductibility of paying for their retirees' prescription drug coverage.
* Non-prescription medication and other health care products will no longer be allowed to be paid for using the pre-tax income Americans set aside using their Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts.
* Businesses will not be able to reduce their tax liability using lawful tax deductions or business strategies.
* Indoor tanning services taxes.
* Increased penalty (tax) for withdrawing money from a Health Savings Account for non-medical early withdrawals.
* A maximum compensation limit for health insurance executives.