Obama lied: Health care legislation increases taxes (HSA & FSA changes)

I received a letter today. The bank holding our health savings account (HSA) funds reminded us we will pay upwards of 30 percent more for my over the counter medications as of Jan. 1, 2011. Obama lied, he said taxes would not go up for any family making less than $250,000 per year.

We’ve told you about this in the past (multiple times), but since many readers will receive similar letters concerning their HSAs in the coming weeks, it was time for a reminder. A scan of the letter I received today (click to enlarge) includes the following reminder.

You will no longer be able to pay for over the couter (OTC) medicines with your HSA, unless you have a prescription. HSAs can still be used to pay for insulin.

I’m not going into details concerning the OTC medicines my family use every day to make our lives better, but anyway you look at this, the health care legislation will result in an immediate increase in the price we pay for these items. As noted, if we go to our physician and get a prescription for, let’s say Excedrin, the government will allow us to use our HSA funds.

Pretty stupid huh?

The Obama administration will argue this was a tax cut they could no longer afford to pay for. Nice attitude Zero.

I’ll quote from my previous post.

HSAs – before ObamaCare – allowed individuals to put aside money to pay for qualified medical expenses – including over-the-counter (OTC) medications – on a tax free basis. Frequently, companies match or at least contribute to an employee’s HSA. (Unlike FSAs, you are able to keep the money year to year and even invest the money!)

This benefit has changed. (Sec. 9003 of H.R. 3590)

When this portion of the legislation becomes law (early 2011), you will no longer be able to pay for OTC medications with HSA dollars. Since HSA money was directed into your account tax free, this means you will soon be paying 25 to 40 percent* more for Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Excedrin, Sudafed, TheraFlu, Robitussin, Sinutab, Actifed, Tavist D, Vicks 44M, Dayquil, Nyquil, Tums, Alka-Seltzer, Neosporin, Pepto-Bismol, BenGay and your Breathe Right strips (among many others) if you pay for these OTC items using HSA dollars.

The government gave us this tax break more than six years ago, and they took it away. That equals a tax hike in my book, and it’s a direct tax hike for me … we have an HSA and use the debit card to pay for some of the items listed above. We don’t make anywhere near $250,000, so Obama lied, my taxes are going up.

As a second reminder, it gets worse for many other families who have and use Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) to pay for ongoing expenses. Beginning in 2013, you’ll be limited to a maximum contribution of $2,500 per year into your FSA account. Unlike HSAs, FSAs are “use it or lose it” accounts and are well-suited for families with ongoing health care expenses during the year.

Previously, the government placed no limit on the amount of tax-free dollars you could place in an FSA (many employers did have a limit). This allowed families who may have ongoing expenses – as an example $100 per week for special-needs child care – to save upwards of $1,000 per year in taxes. That “break” is gone for these families. Gone.

These changes don’t much matter to the super-rich do they? The most serious effects will happen to families making less than $250,000. Obama lied.

How do these changes make health care more affordable?

It’s just starting. The primary open enrollment season is starting now, and employees will soon find their premium contributions will be going up at a faster rate than before. If their premium contribution is not too bad … check out the benefit reductions. This is not a choice by insurance companies, this is specifically a choice made by employers … remember that.

8 replies
  1. TomL
    TomL says:

    Steve I think your a little hard on obama, he didn't lie he misspoke or should I say the teleprompter misremembered. Never mind he flat out lied his lips were moving. I apologize.  

  2. weregettinghosed
    weregettinghosed says:

    When the fabled wolf claimed to be Grandma, if Goldie Locks did not believe him she would would been dinner. Take heed and do not believe the wolf, he lies so he may have us for dinner. The American people are wise to his lies, we will expose him for what he is. Until we can banish him from DC we need to keep him under control where he can no longer do us harm. We the People know the score. Meanwhile, we had better stock up on OTC items before the price hikes. Or send the bill to Obbie, he seems to have a lot of that stimulus money hidden somewhere.

  3. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    Ah, Nuprin.  Little.  Yellow.  Different.  Now gov't controlled.  Prescriptions for OTC meds?  Are these people for REAL?  Has anyone heard about the doctors who are retiring rather than deal with the entire overhaul of a health care system that has been working for millions?  And for prescriptions, you need an office visit…good luck getting one of those even with a GP you've been with for years.

    And anyone else with an FSA account out there:  have you noticed an increase in turnaround time when it comes to getting reimbursed?  Where it used to take maybe 2-3 days for the funds to be deposited to my checking account, it now sometimes takes up to two WEEKS.  Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but isn't that my money?  And isn't it kinda hinky about payroll asking me for more medical information for an office visit before they'll reimburse me after I've paid my GP those expenses not covered by insurance?  (HIPAA anyone?) These changes have been coming ever since this (*shudder*) president took office and started spouting off about health care.  Everyone (read: your insurance provider) has been getting their ducks in a row in preparation for health care Armageddon.   And here it comes!

    If you're shocked, raise your hand!  If you saw it comin', take a bow!

  4. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    He didn't lie exactly because he had no clue what was in the bill or the subsequent regulations. Nancy said we had to wait until the bill was passed to find out what's in it. This is what happens when an inexperienced president drives the tricycle into the ditch.

  5. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Surely you can't mean that Tim!!  The "most intelligent" leader to walk the Earth doesn't have a clue?  Surely you jest!


    Seriously though, I am wondering if ANYBODY, other than the faceless, nameless people that wrote the bill, knows what is in it and what the short and long term implications of the bill are.  Reid and Pelosi sure don't.  Nobody who signed the bill knows.  The public is in the dark.


    Thank God we have SOS to digest this bitter pill!

  6. Dom Rosa
    Dom Rosa says:

    After ObamaCare was passed, Dick Morris appeared on the O'Reilly factor and stated that the health insurance and pharmaceutical cartels had spent millions in order to obtain a favorable bill. These cartels are now being duly rewarded.

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