Judicial Watch • Obamacare Could Tax Smartphones, Tablets

Obamacare Could Tax Smartphones, Tablets

Obamacare Could Tax Smartphones, Tablets

MARCH 05, 2013

As if the president’s hostile takeover of the nation’s healthcare system weren’t bad enough, a congressional panel has revealed that smartphones, tablets and their various applications could soon be taxed under Obamacare.

This may sound absurd since there appears to be no connection between Obama’s socialized healthcare system—officially known as the Affordable Care Act—and the electronic devices that may fall victim to the new government tax. Here is how it could happen; under Obamacare any type of medical equipment—such as surgical tools, bedpans and heart devices—will be slapped with a new 2.3% excise tax.

The tax was built into the Affordable Care Act as a way for the government to collect enough money to provide millions of uninsured with affordable health insurance plans. It’s all part of Obama’s bigger plan to redistribute wealth through a bloated government, though many Democrats believe the medical device tax takes things a bit too far.

In fact, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation a few weeks ago to repeal the medical device tax and a prominent group of Democrat senators quietly asked Senate majority leader Harry Reid to delay implementing the tax because it could negatively impact the industry and its 2 million high-skilled manufacturing jobs. A mainstream newspaper obtained the letter and posted it on its website.

This week a congressional committee reveals that the tax could be worse that previously imagined because it could also apply to electronic devices like smart phones and popular tablets. If so, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would use Obamacare to tax Americans’ smartphones and tablets, according to the panel of Republicans from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

That’s because the devices are increasingly being used to monitor chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure or health information like diet and fitness. In mid 2011 the FDA proposed regulating mobile medical apps that are used as an accessory to a medical device already regulated by the FDA or transform a mobile communications device into a regulated medical device by using attachments or sensors. If this happens, the new Obamacare tax would apply to these devices.

In a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg lawmakers on the energy committee ask the agency to clarify the uncertainty surrounding mobile medical applications and how they will be regulated. They also request that the FDA reveal any discussions or analysis related to the effects of the medical device tax on smartphones and tablets and how many mobile medical apps have sought FDA approval before entering the market.

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