The New Insulin Pump Tax and Health Insurance "Reforms"

One source of the "43.4% pay no taxes may be this 2006 report from the Tax Foundation. It includes people who pay payroll taxes that are ultimately refunded and consists mostly of single people and heads of households who just don’t make enough money to have to pay taxes or take lawful deductions that reduces their tax burden. They have all filed returns. None of them are tax cheats if anyone is thinking such things. And the subject is really irrelevant to health care reform. Unless someone is arguing that people who pay more taxes should get better services.

Everybody in every country complains about taxes, but Americans are not ‘taxed to the gills’. The highest rate is 35%, which is hardly out of line compared to many other industrial nations (see this site for other countries tax rates). Even though tax rates and marginal rates have been going down since 2000, we still insist on complaining about how high our taxes are.

Frankly, I don’t mind paying taxes. What I mind is what I pay taxes FOR.


I think we should help all of our citizens get good health care. I’m willing to pay higher taxes to do it. I’m not willing to turn my taxes to enrich private insurance companies as this house bill does. The current plan only gets people health insurance and does little or nothing to guarantee them good health care.


If you think a single payer plan would provide lower coverage than your current plan, then by all means you should object. But why do you think it would? And would you object to it even if it provided the same or better coverage just because it’s a ‘single payer’ plan?


No, not all low income people qualify for Medicaid because the qualifications are different by state and in ours, you do not qualify even if you are unemployed = no income, if you have not pro-created (have children/dependents). Here is a link to the Medicaid qualifications…note that they say you must look at specific qualifiers per state law…yes, you must be low income but, that does not alone qualify you for help.

We agree…there are those who have incomes or resources that should require that they pay taxes and maybe more than the poor, working, and middle classes. Our tax code needs revision to allow a more progressive tax.

I would never rely on charitable giving to solve a major issue like our health care mess. It would be like having bake sales to fund the shuttle launch! I also believe that everyone is “hard working” especially those that work 2-3 jobs at minimum wage to just pay to keep the lights on…and they are not middle class.

I’d be interested in seeing the numbers on these taxes for durable medical equipment, and how that would affect the end cost of said products. Until I see that (or take a trip through Google-ville and find it myself) I’m going to with hold any kind of freaking out/assumption making, like I’ve seen on this thread so far. :smiley:

That being said - I’m pretty darn poor (as I just went through a layoff and now the husband is the only one supporting us) and we can manage to pay for our co-pays out of pocket. So, I’m not really concerned about the FSA personally.

Just to share my thoughts on this. I agree that taxing durable equipment seems to be counter-productive in reducing long term costs of care if the durable equipment investment improves health. It would be truly tragic if we had no insurance choices or regulation. Seems taxing businesses appropriately in this country would go much further…but, I guess they are looking for funding for these health care changes specifically. I would say there is a bright side though…even if they could raise deductibles or pass on the costs to patients, patients will now have a choice of insurer including a government option that is not-for-profit…read, minimum costs. This is why a govt option is a must because if the legislators will not legislate cost containment, we are at the whims of the market in a system in which we are taxed/penalized if we do not buy coverage. If Aetna raises my premiums or deductibles because I want CGMS, I can go to another insurer who does or to the govt option and get it…this is a threat to Aetna…especially if millions of patients do this. Things that are well documented to improve patient outcomes (note the HR bill provides funding for this type of research and you bet the durable equipment companies will apply for some) will be offered because they must be self sustaining economically.

Spurred by your question I spent only 30 minutes looking for data on the internet and found very little. This article is representative of what I found. This WSJ article is more recent.

The plan would tax the industry $2 billion/year for 10 years. (Originally proposed to be $4 billion/year.) It is allegedly a $130 billion/year industry. So the plan would take about 1.5% of overall revenue each year. The affect on revenue or profits will probably differ widely from company to company. The tax is a 2.5% surcharge on each device. On that very simplistic model the costs could go up at least 2.5% just to cover the tax. But that also would differ from company to company depending on what they sell, how long they’ve been around, what their profit margins are and a bunch of other stuff.

Opponents say the added tax would stifle innovation and drive away investors. But they always say that. Proponents say reforms will increase revenue by providing more customers to the companies. But they always say that. Who’s right? It’s all speculation as far as I can tell. Will the alleged increase in sales offset the increased taxes? Your guess is as good as mine. Will prices go up? You betcha. In medicine, unlike with other devices such as DVD players, the costs of devices always seem to go UP rather than DOWN.

I don’t think the gummint is stupid enough to tax an industry out of business. I don’t know of an example where it has done so before. I also don’t think the industry is run by a bunch of dummies who can’t figure out a way to make a profit. I don’t think medical devices are going to get any cheaper, but I also don’t think the whole reform effort is going to be funded on the backs of insulin pumpers and other users of medical devices. I really don’t see how this part of the proposal is going to bring down costs.


The senate version of the health bill recently voted for floor debate has reduced the device makers tax by 50%. Additionally, the onset date has been setback to 2013. This should allow the increased sale of the devices, because of the increased number of insured to help off set it. Additonally, small business that have less than $5 million in annual sales will not be taxed.
Health care spending has to be brought under control. Many issues need to be worked out. This is not easy, but as we all experience, our health care costs are very high. Many of us do not have insurance, so we limit our daily BG tests, do not have CBGM’s and exercise like mice on a wheel to reduce our BG.
We sometimes forget that we are part of a society. We help our fellow man, fellow citizen. If it costs me just a few dollars to give a fellow diabetic test strips, I am OK with that. I am sure that will inflame the Socialist cries, but many parts of our society, education, Medicare for example are Socialist programs.

Quite a rant, but like most rants, there scarcely is a fact in the mix. Have you read the bill?

Yes, I certainly have, both Senate and House versions, at least in substantial part - but it is readily apparent that you have not.

You may see my other posts citing the new taxes that will be passed on to diabetics, in all income categories, by page and section - see, e.g., This information is also easy to find on your own if you were actually interested in the facts, though based on your tone, I sincerely doubt this to be the case.