Obamacare Socks Middle Class With $3.9B in Taxes

Tuesday, 13 Apr 2010 10:01 AM

By Dan Weil

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Healthcare reform will produce an additional tax burden of $3.9 billion in 2019 alone for families making less than $200,000, according to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation.

The new plan restricts the medical expense deduction, which is commonly used by the elderly or those with a serious illness, to raise $15.2 billion in 10 years.

Starting in 2013, you can only deduct medical expenses greater than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Now the threshold is 7.5 percent. That increase starts for older taxpayers in 2017.

By 2019, when the law fully kicks in, the deduction reduction will hurt 14.8 million taxpayers — 14.7 million of whom will earn less than $200,000 a year, according to the committee, whose report was obtained by The Hill newspaper.

That includes single and joint filers and heads of households.

"Loss of this deduction will mean higher taxes for 14.7 million individuals and families making under $200,000 a year in 2019," Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told The Hill.

"The new subsidy for health insurance would not be available to offset this tax increase for most of these households."

The healthcare law gives tax breaks to people who buy health insurance, but the breaks go away if you make $88,000 a year.

Currently the wealthy pay nearly all of U.S. taxes. About 47 percent of Americans will pay no federal income taxes for 2009, according to the Tax Policy Center research group, Associated Press reports.

That’s because either their incomes are too low or they qualify for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to prevent any tax bill.

Tax credits for low- and middle-income families have expanded so much that a family of four making up to $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, assuming the two children are below 17, according to consulting firm Deloitte Tax, AP reports.

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