Obamacare is giving people fewer and fewer reasons to smile, and in this case, quite literally.
As of Jan.1, Obamacare imposes a new tax of 2.3 percent on medical device manufacturers, including those who make dental braces. The tax is imposed on gross sales — even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. While the tax will be paid to the IRS by the manufacturer, the tax will be passed along as a higher cost of the product, ultimately to be borne by the parent buying the braces for their child. With the cost of braces being as high as $7,625 this new tax could raise the cost of these braces by $175.
And if you were thinking of offsetting this additional cost by claiming braces as a medical deduction on your family’s taxes, think again.
Faced with higher prices for braces and a reduced ability to pay for them with their FSA, parents might decide to deduct the cost of braces on their tax returns. Unfortunately, Obamacare makes this harder, too.
Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical and dental expenses were allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). As of Jan. 1, Obamacare imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Therefore, Obamacare not only makes it more difficult to claim this deduction, it widens the net of taxable income.
Speaking as someone who desperately needed braces as a kid, I find this to be deeply maddening. Once again, for anyone who believed that lie that Obamacare would “bend the cost curve down,” here’s your reality.