The newly available Congressional Budget Office report starts to give a flavor of what is in this health care overhaul bill. Some section headings: "Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items at Chain Restaurants," "Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers," "Restoration of Funding for Abstinence Education," and "Reducing Part D Premium Subsidy for High-Income Beneficiaries."
The Joint Committee on Taxation has its own report estimating the effects of the bill's revenue provisions. The 40% excise tax on health coverage with annual premiums in excess of $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families would go into effect beginning in 2018. There are new excise taxes and fees on health insurers, drug companies, and medical device manufacturers and importers. There's a limit on the tax deduction for compensation expenses for "officers, employees, directors, and service providers of covered health insurance providers," to $500,000 a year -- I believe the limit in the rest of the economy is $1 million.
Beginning in 2013, there is "additional surtax of 0.9% on earned income in excess of $200,000/$250,000 (unindexed), and a 3.8% surtax on investment income for taxpayers with AGI in excess of $200,000/$250,000 (unindexed)." Combined with inflation and bracket creep, that one will be a doozy, and it is by far the biggest increase on the revenue side -- estimated at a $210.2 billion tax increase over eight years. It will hit high-income, high cost-of-living states like New York and California, whose senators support ObamaCare, the hardest. And if these Medicare sutaxes are passed, they may well set a pattern for the extension of similar taxes to pay for Social Security.
The text of the "Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute" is now posted online. It is 153 pages (amending the 2,409-page-long Senate bill) and includes an overhaul of the federal student loan program.