Doug Hill's commentary (HTR Dec. 20) on the "12 Days of Obamacare" would be wonderful, if, on the 13th day, Obamacare would simply disappear. The taxes and cost of Obama's health care will unmistakably change the name of the Affordable Care Act to an oxymoron. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost to be $2.6 trillion from 2014-23.
A tax increase for all U.S. citizens, regardless of income, is unavoidable under the present economic circumstances. Within the next six weeks, there has to be addressed a new debt limit, which only means more borrowing and more spending. There are very peripheral rumors of spending cuts, which are almost impossible to imagine any time within the next four years. Additionally, the cost control of entitlements hasn't even been discussed.
Obamacare taxes and costs for 2013 and 2014 include individual health tax, employer health tax, investment income tax, tax on "Cadillac" health plans, Medicare payroll tax, flexible spending cap for "special needs" kids, medical device tax, itemized deduction increase to 10 percent of adjusted gross income, Blue Cross Blue Shield tax, and IRS supervision of payment on tax returns. Insurance exchanges start enrollment in 2013, and all "mandates" start 2014.
The $2.8 trillion (18 percent of Gross Domestic Product) health care business will be regulated by Kathleen Sibelius (HHS), the IRS, and The Independent Payment Advisory Board. Women's health, rationed care, and the massive health care bureaucracy will be a nightmare.
Last, but not least, is the Medicaid system for 20 million people. Health care providers avoided Medicaid service decades ago. Hospitals and ancillary services will lose income from Medicare, Medicaid, and disproportionate shared revenues.
To refer back to Mr. Hill, he left out the real story about Obamacare.