Doesn’t it seem sort of silly to wait until people are born before we start taxing them? I mean, that’s nine lost months! Well, leave it to Max Baucus. Yes, Mr. Baucus’s devises a way to tax folks before they are born, and it’s right there in his health care reform legislation! Ed Morrissey explains:
The plan offered for overhauling the American health-care system by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) relies in part on revenues generated from a broad tax on FDA-regulated medical devices that Baucus predicts will generate $4 billion a year. Unfortunately for Baucus, he didn’t bother to check the definition of “medical device” before proposing a tax on them. It turns out that such staples as tampons, Q-tips, condoms, and contact-lens solution qualify as Class I medical devices, which would have applied what Amanda Carpenter at the Washington Times called a “mommy tax” that would have hit women disproportionately. Baucus quickly revised his proposal to exempt commercially-available products under $100 dollars and all Class I devices from the tax.
Still, mommies – and prospective mommies – have plenty to fear from Baucus’ tax. In perusing the FDA’s list of medical devices, it contains over 2900 potential Class II and higher items on which to impose this excise tax. More than a few relate to obstetrics, which will compound costs on the act of giving birth. A few examples:
- Fetal Doppler ultrasound
- Fetal blood-sampling endoscope
- Fetal acoustical holograph
- Fetal cardiac and Doppler ultrasound monitors
- Home fetal heart-rate monitor
- Fetal cell sample kits
It doesn’t end when the baby arrives, either. Incubators will get taxed, as will perinatal monitors and neonatal phototherapy units. Babies will get a good start on life as an American citizen by getting hit with taxes even before birth. And if working moms want to raise their infants on breast milk, the powered breast pump will get taxed as well, as Carpenter notes. For that matter, so do mammograms.
So should we call this the Mommy Tax? Unfortunately, the list goes on and on, and it appears to impact seniors most of all.