ObamaCare Tampon Tax Out, Mommy Tax In

Meredith Jessup

10/7/2009 2:15:00 PM - Meredith Jessup
We reported a few weeks ago about a potential tax to be imposed on the purchase of simple "medical devices" like tampons if Sen. Max Baucus' health care plan were approved.  After a strong backlash from constituents, Senators voted on a compromise that would only tax defined Class II medical devices that cost over $100 and all items defined as Class III and above. 

This compromise obviously takes tampons out of the taxing equation, but since this is Washington, you know they're going to make money in one way or another.  So what exactly is on the FDA's defined medical devices list that we'd have to pay taxes on to help pay for ObamaCare?

Washington Times columnist Amanda Carpenter has looked into the matter and found that new moms who want to use a powered breast pump to bottle milk for their babies will have to pay this excise tax.  These pumping devices, Carpenter points out, typically retail for more than $100. 

In addition, other items used by both men and women--including "pacemakers, ventilators, X-ray machines, powered wheelchairs and surgical needles--will be taxed too."
Wanda Moebius, vice president of policy communications at the Advanced Medical Technology Association said, “There was an effort to protect consumers from a tax on a $6.95 box of tampons, but what about the patients who will pay taxes on devices in surgical situations? Health care reform is supposed to make it more affordable, not raising costs, through taxes on the end user.”
So what else is on this list of items to be taxed?  Lots of things, including dentures, fetal cell-screening kits, female condoms (I'm surprised there aren't angry "feminists" taking to the streets over this one), tests for syphilis and HIV, hip, knee, ankle and breast prosthetics, dialysis catheters, mammograms and sickle-cell anemia tests.

Take a look at the list of things the government has decided are "luxuries" and will tax, increasing the health care cost burdens for all Americans who utilize them. 

And, further expanding this proposed tax burden, as they point out over at Hot Air:
Every time our health-care providers have to use these items, they will pay more for them — and pass that cost onto us.  We may see that less directly thanks to the removal of the tampon tax, but the thousands of other items needed for our care will cost us more.  We need to understand the scope of this tax before it breaks our backs.