Monday, November 26, 2012

ObamaTax Rule Dump: More Questions Than Answers

As Bob noted the other day, we're still awaiting final rules on full implementation of the ObamaTax. But that's about to change.

Today, HHS Secretary Shecantbeserious is set to "pump three major [ObamaTax] regulation proposals into the Federal Register." These include new rate review rules (say that 3 times fast!), the new group wellness program rules, and new provider accreditation rules.

Of course, the phrase "clear as mud" comes to mind, but I'm sure that there'll be no problem implementing all of these rules, and that providers and insurers will be delighted to comply with them. After all, it's only taken almost 4 years to develop them.

Meanwhile, some parts of the ObamaTax have already been rolled out, and their effects are starting to take their own toll. For example, the 2.3% medical device tax:

"This damaging tax will force job cuts and investments in tomorrow's treatments and cures ... Continued medical innovation is key to driving public health gains by reducing costs associated with chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity ... Simply put healthier lives mean healthy economies."

That last bit is a sketchy (I've never seen that particular claim before, nor evidence of its veracity) but the rest is spot on. Throwing up additional barriers (ie taxes) like this discourages new tech, while making the delivery of health care ever more expensive.

But then again again, that's apparently where the IPAB Death Panels come in.
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