The New Insulin Pump Tax and Health Insurance "Reforms"

Pardon the rant, but I am simply incredulous that the health insurance “reform” bill pushed by Obama and passed by the Democrats adds taxes for the sick, disabled, poor and middle class - and of course, diabetics on insulin pumps and using CGMS systems. Some of you Obama fans may reflexively disagree and I’m sure I’ll hear no end of it here, but color me outraged.

Flexible Spending Accounts are often used by people who make middle class money, as long as they make enough to pay any taxes at all and have medical needs to pay for. Reducing the amount of FSAs to less than half of the current limit means that the sick and disabled who rely on them the most will end up paying more taxes! Even sick and disabled people and families making lower middle class incomes! And on top of that, they added a brand spanking new tax to medical devices, which will of course be passed right through to the consumers of those devices - diabetics and other people who are sick and disabled! Poor and middle class included! I use my FSA to help pay for pumping and CGMS supplies, and am well under the income levels Obama said he would not support new taxes on, and I am apoplectic that I have become the target to pay for their so called reform.

In spite of his oft repeated promise not to increase taxes on people making under $250k, Obama and the Democrats are trying to do just that in this bill, and in fact reaching MUCH, MUCH lower, right below the belt. In fact, they are taxing those members of the lower and middle class who are the sickest and/or disabled in order to pay for this huge new new bureaucracy. And the readers of this board are right on the front lines - this tax will directly affect many of you, as the costs of pumping and CGM use will no doubt rise in at least direct proportion to the new tax on these systems, if not substantially more.

I think I’m going to be sick right now.

Dave - be glad you don’t live in the socialist country of Canada - if you are thinking Obama is bad - imagine if you were like us here in Canada. If your salary is under $20K CDN - you pay less taxes - above - well - you know who gets hit . We polite Canadian middle income earners just plod away, and pay our taxes.

We are lost again in the semantics of taxation. How does reducing a tax break become a tax increase? You might as well say that when a store coupon expires on butter that the store has raised the price of butter.

Granted, this cap sucks for me for you and for others that use or could use more than $2,500 in their FSA. (Which, by the way is not less the half the current limit. There IS no current limit. However, in practice few employers offer an FSA greater than $5,000. Most employers DON’T offer one at all. Mine does. Poor people don’t have FSAs. Since I don’t complain that it’s unfair that I get a tax break that other people don’t, I don’t get apoplectic that my special tax break is reduced. It sucks but it’s not a deal breaker and it’s not a broken promise, since it’s not a tax increase.

The medical device tax, on the other hand, is a deal breaker. Stupid, short-sighted and politically expedient. I’m writing to my senator now.


Geez Anna. We Thank God we live with our health system. If our Family had to pay for every test, Drs. appointment, treatment and surgeries, we would have all been living in the street and most likely kaput many years ago.

He is our President, we can do nothing but support.
Or if you don’t want to support which is fine you can listen and live with it.
This won’t only affect you, it will affect everyone… It’s something we will have to deal with.

Hopefully one day there’ll be a cure.

Me too–if this plan passes I will loose my employer paid no deductable insuarnce (that I took a lower paying job to get—) Get taxed onm insuling pump. CGMS, hearing Aids, husbands spinal cord stimlator and mophein pump when he needs it (IF and that is a BIG IF, he can still get it)

and the list goes on—very sickening…

they could’ve just fixed what was broken instead of this monstrocity…

UGH…off to find some ginger ale…oh wait—their trying to tax that too :frowning:

Sounds like the Senate version…that has not been voted on yet. Please identify specifically were in the House bill passed last night that there are taxes on durable equipment and HSAs…thanks…want to educate myself on this as it moves forward:)

where is the i love your rant button! awesome amazing cool way to go!

I am one of the people who is HAPPY with their current insurance coverage…I took a job at a hospital that I knew had good insurance…I hope that I don’t lose my current insurance because I really couldn’t ask for more…sigh. I think this new public healthcare system will be chaos…and downgrades.

If you’re self employed you are not happy with any of this plan.
I don’t see how or why the ADA keeps telling us to encourage votes for it.
You think you have trouble getting things like CGMS paid for now…
Just wait.


Reducing a tax break is a tax increase. For arguments sake, let’s say it gets capped at $2500 and I need $3500. I now pay taxes on $1000 that I did not pay before. The tax increase is me paying a tax that I didn’t pay before.

Ah. I had an FSA at $7,000 for a while and thought that was the limit. (Was there one previously and it went away? I’ve never heard of anyone having a higher one, and I recall it being $5,000 at one point and then it getting raised. My current limit is $5,000 and I spend every dime, every year.)

And I agree with Scott, saying that reducing a tax “break” is not a tax “increase” is nonsense. The government is taking more of your money, that is a tax increase, period, and saying they could have been taking more before so it’s not really an increase assumes the money was theirs before and not yours, as if the money you earned were really a gift from them - they are taking more from people, this is a tax increase notwithstanding any semantic BS.

We have removed a couple of posts in this discussion that have nothing to do with the topic of health care reform and were strictly political in nature.

This is a very important issue to all people touched by diabetes who live in the US. Let’s make an effort to keep the discussion on topic, away from politics and fact-based. It would be useful for the purposes of the discussion to link back directly to the contents of the bill if you can, as a way to not bend the discussion to the right or to the left.

Additionally, there are two groups that have been set up (one by members, one by the Administration of the site) to discuss these issues in a more openy if you find this discussion topic limiting in any way:

This is important. Let’s get involved and let’s participate. But let’s do it respectfully and sticking to facts.

What about this example:

I made $50,000 last year. I made $60,000 this year, but stayed in the same tax bracket. Nonetheless, I paid more taxes. My taxes went up but was I subjected to a tax increase? No.

Or this - last year I paid $20,000 in deductible interest on my home mortgage. This year I paid $15,000 in deductible interest. My other deductions remained the same. Having less deductions I paid more taxes. Was I subjected to a tax increase? No.

Or this. Last year my neighbor qualifired for a tax break that I didn’t. This year he didn’t qualify and therefore paid more taxes even though his income and other deductions were the same. He paid more taxes but was he subject to a tax increase? No.

It’s easy to say that because you pay more taxes the next year you have been subjected to a ‘tax increase’ but it’s just not the same. If you’re baseline tax liability has not gone up, you are not subject to a ‘tax increase.’ Getting reduction in your taxes for the FSA does not reduce baseline tax liability, it applies only to the taxpayers fortunate enough to have the plan available to them. Their baseline tax bracket hasn’t changed. The scope of their eligibility has changed.

The attitude that taking away a benefit that others don’t get somehow amounts to a punishment or deficit is beyond me.


I know we are focused on diabetes here, but what does it do for others who have other life threatening diseases. ie heart disease. Maybe your right about it possibly increasing costs to pump users, but how about people that can’t even get test strips or insulin? How does it affect them?

Whether you support the so-called “reforms” to dramatically increase the number of government employees and the amount of bureaucracy or not, whether you think this is an inexorable path to single payer hell or not, it is critical that we all contact our senators and let them know that reducing Flexible Spending Accounts and taxing medical devices is NOT the way to pay for it!

Let them know that taxing the middle class and poor to pay for this is unacceptable and flies in the face of their promises not to do so!

Taxing the sick and disabled to pay for this is simply outrageous. And taxing insurance plans, as is in the Senate version of the bill, would be likewise - many of us chose our jobs so that we could get better insurance to cover our diabetes, and this will penalize us for that choice of compensation! I took a big pay cut to get a job where I could have better insurance, and now they propose to penalize me by taxing that plan and reducing my ability to pay for my diabetes supplies! Talk about reducing the quality of care and taking away choice - they could scarcely be any more direct.

Congressional Democrats and supporters, it is astoundingly cold and vicious of you to victimize the ill and disabled!

Let them know that this will be remembered come election time.

Well, to begin with, it increases the costs of those things! Need a pacemaker? Or a prosthesis? Well, it just got more expensive thanks to special taxes, and you can’t pay for as much of your portion with an FSA. And the number of people who can’t get insulin or strips is minuscule - there are many, many aid programs that provide those things already in County hospitals, through pharma companies, through state programs like Medi-Cal, etc. I have worked in the public health care system and can tell you this first hand.

And secondly, you’re clearly trying to distract from the point - they are paying for the bill by imposing taxes on the sick, disabled, poor and middle class, after promising repeatedly not to do so. (And if they lied about that, how can we believe anything else they say about the bill or their intent for the system? We can’t of course. But that’s not the point - whether you think that we need ten thousand more bureaucrats running our health care or not, taxing the poor and disabled to pay for it is outrageous, as would be punishing those of us who went out of our way to get jobs where we get decent coverage.)

Terry, the difference between your examples and the FSA cap example is that the tax rules didn’t change in those examples. Every case you described is not a tax increase, but they are not analogous to the FSA cap example, either

Let’s say that the tax rules changed so that home mortgage interest is no longer tax deductible, causing you to pay more. That is an example analogous to the FSA cap example. Now the tax rules have changed, causing you to pay more in taxes. That would be a tax increase, wouldn’t it?

Nobody who has a pump now will have to pay a new tax on it.

The user of the medical device will not have to pay a new tax on it.

The manufacturer will be paying tax. The manufacturer will pass the cost on to the pumps and devices it sells in the future. The cost will be paid for by the insurance companies, if covered, and by the consumer.

Nonetheless, it is a short-sighted and idotic plan that punishes the people who are providing a needed advances and reduces what they can reinvest in future development, all for the purpose of making the bill ‘revenue neutral.’ More smoke and mirrors. The money comes from somewhere. All ‘revenue neutral’ means is that it arguably won’t cost the gummint any more.



Let me clear this up for you. You gave two examples, one where your income went up, and one where your deductible expenses went down, as not being a “tax increase.” But those examples are simply inapt.

This is indisputably a tax increase because even if your income doesn’t go up, and your expenses don’t go down, you pay more taxes because the government changed the rules. It’s very simple - they increased the amount of taxes you pay on the same income and expenses by changing the tax rules. That’s what a tax increase is!

Talking about “baseline tax brackets” to the exclusion of all else is irrelevant and specious logic - your total tax liability is a function of an entire set of rules, not just your “baseline tax bracket.” Based on your logic, you would you say that taxes have not increased if they took away the home mortgage deduction, even though many people whose income and expenses had not changed would be paying hugely increased taxes on the same income and expenses.

If you don’t get that this is a tax increase, it’s because you just don’t want to, even to the point of leaps of illogic that strain credulity.