Obamacare tanning tax arrives tomorrow 

Thanks to a new tax that takes effect tomorrow, some small-business owners will get a first-hand look at Obamacare’s impact.

“The first present we get under this new health care law takes effect this week — and that is the tanning tax,” lawyer and small-business advocate Karen Harned said yesterday at The Bloggers Briefing, hosted by The Heritage Foundation.

The tax will hit small-business owners particularly hard, said Harned, who directs the Small Business Legal Center of the National Federation of Independent Business.
Approximately 19,000 “mom and pop” small businesses might be affected by the new tax — and those businesses will likely spend an average of more than $74 an hour to comply with federal tax paperwork burdens, according to a factsheet distributed by the NFIB.

“It’s really not about the big guys,” Harned said. “It’s about the little guys, and we really do think small-business owners got the short end of the stick by far with this law.”

The tanning tax is only a tiny part of the health care bill — a mere 26 lines in the 906-page law. Of far more concern is the individual mandate to buy health insurance.

“We believe the individual mandate, in particular, is unconstitutional,” Harned said. “Quite frankly, we view this as not just a health care issue anymore. I do not think it’s a stretch to say, if the government can require you to buy insurance simply because you’re alive, then, if they want a healthier society, they could require you to buy a gym membership. If they want a cleaner society, they could require you to buy a car every five years.”

That’s why, Harned said, the NFIB on May 14 joined 20 states in their lawsuit against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. She has high expectations for the case.

“We are hopeful this is a case the Supreme Court will take on to address the fundamental issue of what is the scope of Congress’ power to regulate all of us,” she said.

Korbe is a reporter for the Center for Media and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation.

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