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New taxes to fund the Affordable Care Act

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Albany/HV: New taxes to fund the Affordable Care Act
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Your doctor’s visits might actually be costing more than you think. Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone has access to insurance. But it does come at a price, including higher taxes and fees. Many of those went into effect January 1st. As our Katie Gibas reports, while you might not pay those yourself, you'll still feel the effects in everyday life.

UNITED STATES -- If you don't understand the Affordable Care Act, you're not alone. A survey released in fall 2012 revealed that 53 percent of people are confused about the law.

"Hundreds of thousands of pages have been issued," said Joseph Hardick, Certified Public Accounting.

And many of those pages are full of taxes and fees to fund the act. Many of those went into effect January 1st.

Hardick said, "It is a huge undertaking. Health care is one-fifth of our national gross product. So it is a very, very large segment of our economy. And it is making very large changes to that segment. And there's going to be some growing pains that people are going to have in regards to it."

Everyone already pays 1.45 percent out of their paycheck to fund Medicare. Employers match that.

With the new law, workers will have to pay an additional 0.9 percent tax if they make over $200,000 for single people or $250,000 for married couples. There will also be a new tax of 3.8 percent on all unearned income, like interest, dividends or rent. Tax experts say many small business owners would face those tax increases.

"Taxes, at the end of the day, are nothing more than another expense that for a business person that they have to build into the cost of their product," Hardick said.

"They're going to have less capital to work with because they have to pay taxes. They're going to probably cut employment effectively and try to run more efficiently. They're going to purchase potentially less equipment,” Certified Public Accountant Mike Reilly said. “So really, they're going to be at more of a standstill because if that money is going to pay taxes, they don't have it available to put towards other uses."

There are also a number of indirect taxes on pharmaceutical and insurance companies, plus an excise tax on the sale of medical equipment that could and likely will be passed on to individuals.

Hardick said, "The average person who is going to be seeing this tax is not going to be seeing it directly. They're going to see the trickle down, the higher taxes through higher costs of goods and services."

All the taxes and fees combined, are expected to raise more than $600 Billion over the next ten years.

For more information on the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that are already in effect and those that will start next year, visit www.healthcare.gov.

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