The 2010 Health Care Act is almost too massive to comprehend. Before I hit the lowlights, a review of what's coming at the end of this year is in order (the expiration of the "Bush" tax cuts):
The 35% marginal income tax bracket moves to 39.6, and the 33% bracket moves to 36%. The 10% and 25% rate brackets disappear entirely (so much for the tax increases only affecting the "rich"). The 15% maximum tax rate on qualified dividends disappears; dividends will be taxed at your highest marginal tax rate beginning in 2011 (and it might be higher than you think beginning in 2013). The 15% is also gone for long term capital gains. (See IRC Section 1 for all changes to tax rates.) The alternative minimum tax "fix" (joke that it was) disappears (IRC Section 55). (If you live in a high tax income tax state, pay lots of real estate taxes , have lots of kids or have lots of unreimbursed employee business expenses, guess what? It's more than possible that your marginal tax rate will increase.) The marriage penalty "fix" goes away (IRC Section 1). The phase-out of the phase-out of itemized deductions (IRC Section 68) and personal exemptions (IRC Section 151; Public Law 107-16, Section 901) goes away if you're a "high income" taxpayer.
Now for more bad news: Beginning in 2013, there's a new .9% tax on wages and self-employment income over a certain threshhold. If you're single and make over $200,000 a year, your taxes will go up. If you're married and you make over $250,000 a year, your taxes will go up (IRC Section 3101). (Think it won't affect you because you're not "rich"?; think again.)
In addition to the new wage/self-employment tax, there's a 3.8% additional tax on net investment income (IRC Section 1411). That's right; every dollar you earn in investment income above the threshholds mentioned in the preceeding paragraph will be taxed at your highest marginal rate AND at 3.8%.
Still think there's no penalty in the Health Care Act for you? (And if you think that, you're obviously ignorant of the tax status of who's employing you.) The Act adds Section 4191 to the Internal Revenue Code: Beginning in 2013, there's a 2.3% excise tax (think sales tax as this cost will be passed on to you) on medical devices. Exceptions include glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids and "common medical devices" (whatever that means).
Oh, and by the way, illegal aliens are exempt from the penalties that take effect in 2014 for failure to purchase health insurance (IRC Section 5000A(d)(3)). (More on the rest of the deadbeats who get health insurance free of charge in a future post.) Of course, that doesn't mean that they still can't avail themselves of emergency room care (it's federal law -- U.S. Code Section 1395dd -- that they can't be turned away), and stick American taxpayers with the bill.