(Billy Hallowell) For all of the debate and conversation about Obamacare’s potential impact on Americans’ wallets — and the economy on the whole — few likely saw coming the controversial health care law’s effect on family pets.
In an apparent “unintended consequence,” as CBS News calls it, the cost of medical equipment in veterinarian offices is going up, with some pet doctors reportedly already announcing that they plan to pass the burden on to consumers.
The reason? Obamacare imposes a new tax that will raise the cost of much-needed supplies.
Many vets may encounter an increase in medical devices and equipment as a result of a provision in the health care law that places a 2.3 percent federal excise tax on various health technologies. This tax, implemented to help fund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare), was never intended to impact pets.
CBS explains why the tax issue is having an impact on veterinarians:
How does this work? Medical devices used only on animals are exempt. However, items including IV pumps, sterile scalpels and anesthesia equipment, which are medical devices that have a dual use, meaning they can be used on people and animals, will be taxed. [...]
The American Veterinary Medical Association represents 82,000 vets. At this point, they don’t know how much this new tax will indirectly cost them. The organizations members are waiting to hear from more device makers.