Heritage Foundation investigative reporter Lachlan Markay wrote a story last week that got people howling. The IRS recently ruled that some of the common devices used in veterinary offices will be hit be hit by Obamacare’s 2.3 percent device tax.  In response, many of the manufacturers are expected to raise their prices, which will raise pet care costs for concerned owners.

A survey in January 2012 showed that more than half  of 181 manufactures of medical devices said they would pass some or all of the tax on to their customers.  Among manufacturers here in North America, that number was even higher–58 percent. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent over $13.5 billion on veterinary care in 2012.  This could rise under Obamacare.

The tax will not affect veterinary equipment that is used exclusively for treating animals.  However, several medical devices are used in both doctors and veterinary offices, and these are subject to the tax.

According to the new Taxable Medical Devices Rule

A device intended for use exclusively in veterinary medicine is not required to be listed as a device with the FDA, whereas a device intended for use in human medicine is required to be listed as a device with the FDA even if the device may also be used in veterinary medicine.

As Markay explains, some of the dual use devices that fall under this rule include common items such as “examination gloves, sterile catheters, infusion pumps, etc.”  When you think on how many gloves alone a vet must go though, it’s easy to imagine the effect this tax will have on Fluffy and Fido’s medical bills.

What do you think about this Obamacare tax?

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