Who Else Wants Dentists Targeted for Tooth Tax?

tooth taxDo you think dental services should be taxed?

Apparently Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin believes so.

A $24 million new tax package was recently approved by the Vermont House Ways and Means Committee. They voted 7-1 on a package intended to help make up a $176 million projected shortfall in their state.

Fortunately for dentists and patients residing in Vermont, the package did not include Gov. Peter Shumlin’s plan to expand the provider tax to include dental services.

His “tooth tax” initiative would have imposed a 3% tax on the gross receipts of dental services.

Dentists in Vermont were outraged, and more than 4,500 people signed a petition with the VSDS opposing the 3% tax.

The Vermont State Dental Society vehemently opposed the tax, stating, “We believe it makes much more sense to tax items that hinder oral health like candy, soda and tobacco. Taxing health care to pay for health care is a math problem that just doesn’t add up.” The group called for dentists and patients alike to sign the petition through the VSDS website.

The controversial expansion of the provider tax to include dentists that would have raised another $3 million in revenue for the state.

Even though the increased tax would have increased Medicaid payments, dentists still believe a tax on dental services is the wrong way for the state to raise funds.

Should dental services be taxed? If you were in Vermont, would you have signed the petition?

For more on this story, see the Bennington Banner.

Dentists Believe Affordable Care Act Is Really a Tax Increase

Dentists Believe Affordable Care Act Is Really a Tax IncreaseThe recent U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on the controversial Affordable Care Act upholds the healthcare provisions that established minimum health benefit packages and state health insurance exchanges that include pediatric oral health care.

The American Dental Association fought for increased pediatric coverage as part of the Act, including how the “essential dental benefit” for children would be defined.

But many dentists are also small business owners, and while the health care law offers a tax credit to some businesses with 25 or fewer employees, it will also fine businesses with more than 50 workers if they do not provide health care coverage.

Based on these facts, The Wealthy Dentist surveyed dentists to ask if they believe that the Affordable Care Act will help their dental practice.

“It sucks!” responded one Texas dentist, “Hidden in the 2700 pages are literally hundreds of tax increases by cutting deductions, raising or lowering limits to screw us out of more money as increased taxes.”

72% of the dentist respondents answered no, they think the Affordable Care Act will not help their dental practice. 9% felt it will be good for dentistry while the other 19% believe that it is just too soon to tell.

Percentage of dentists think the Affordable Care Act will help dentistry

Small businesses, like dental practices, are responsible for more than half the new jobs created in the U.S. each year. Included in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act are funds for “alternative dental providers” along with funding for training dental hygienists, which may further impact small dental practices.

Here are the dentists’ concerns —

“Are you kidding me? It may help increase my business expenses by requiring me to cover my employees and it may help to increase my taxes in order to pay for it. While I admit there are some limited ways in which it could help me personally I don’t imagine it could help my business at all.” (California dentist)

“This will put additional taxes on an already overburdened middle class! It will limit access to care as we don’t have sufficient doctors to take care of an additional 30,000,000 people. And seniors who have paid into social security and Medicare will see their benefits cut and costs go up. (If you have paid into social security and Medicare, these are not entitlements for you, but guarantees you were given by the government who is now reneging on their promises.)” (Texas dentist)

“This puts us on a track for all dentists to soon be working as governmental employees.” (Louisiana dentist)

“I believe that the increased tax burden on all Americans that directly results from this Act will significantly reduce discretionary dollars for virtually everyone, and will eventually lead to a single payer system that will be even less efficient and more wasteful than the current system. The shame of it all is that care will be rationed and take longer, just like in Canada and Europe. People in the USA will be shocked to learn that just because procedures and techniques exist to treat their medical and dental issues, the “free” insurance will frequently not cover them. Just like every other country that has adopted a similar system, some bean counter will determine if the correct return on investment exists for the government to “allow” you to be treated. It is still true that there is no such thing as a free lunch!” (Illinois dentist)

“Please keep dentistry out of it! It is bad enough that dental insurance is attempting to dictate fees.” (Oklahoma dentist)

“People will be tuned in even more to the idea that everything should be paid for by insurance. On the other hand, the current system is broken and crazy. I hope we aren’t just trading it for more broken, crazy, and unaffordable.” (Washington dentist anesthesiologist)

“It was conceived way too fast. With very little advice from health care professionals.” (General dentist)

“The most interesting comment was that made by Chief Justice Roberts himself, when he said that the voters choose their elected representatives who pass the laws, and it is not the duty of the Supreme Court to rescue the public from the consequences of their own decisions. In other words, the Chief Justice is telling the public to grow up, take the blame for electing bad legislators, and if we don’t like what those elected officials do, it is our own duty to throw them out of office and elect candidates who will vote in accordance with the public’s wishes. We can’t rely on the Supreme Court to correct our own mistakes; we have to do that ourselves. Chief Justice Roberts’ message is a wake-up call to all of us.” (California dentist)

What do you think will fix the current healthcare system? Dentists, we’d love to hear more from you on this subject.

Dental Management: Health Care Reform Is Your Problem Too

Health care reform taxesWe’ve been talking about how health care reform could spread to dentistry, and we’ve learned that dentists are almost totally opposed to any sort of universal dental care plan in the U.S.

Most doctors feel nationalized dental care would lead to higher bureaucratic costs and a lower standard of care.

But that’s not the only threat on the health care horizon. The proposed health care reforms will have a dramatic effect on small business owners… that’s you, doctor.

It’s time to get ready for a tax increase…

They’ve proposed paying for health care changes by essentially putting a surcharge of anywhere from 1% up to about 5.4% on your personal income. Plus, Congress is looking at increasing your taxable base for Social Security.

Are you making $300K? Then your taxes will go up. Do you and your spouse pull in $1M a year? Then prepare for up to a 5.4% tax increase just to pay for other people’s health care. And the House Democrat plan would also impose a penalty of 8% of payroll if employers do not offer health insurance.

And the more successful you are, the more you’re penalized for growing your business and employing people. Believe me, I feel your pain, because I’m in the same boat myself.

This weekend, my wife Suzanne and I sat down to do a little financial planning. Between federal and state taxes (we live in the bankrupt state of California), we predict we’re going to be paying an extra 10%.

It seems to me that the American dream isn’t what it used to be. It’s getting to where the only way to make it in America is to make it BIG – that is, you’re 120% successful, or else you’re squeezed into the middle class – which won’t be what it used to be.

When people say we should “tax the rich,” I know they’re talking about me and Suzanne and other entrepreneurs like us. We’re proud of our small business. We employ a number of people, and we’ve been doing well enough that we’ve even been hiring during the recession.

But why should we go through all this work to expand our company when we’re going to be penalized 10%? I’ll tell you, folks – sometimes numbers like that make it hard to stay motivated!

What do you think? Here are some highlights from other dentists’ comments:

  • “It is really very simple—no one values what they do not have to pay for personally.” (Dr. Julian Gray, DDS)
  • “How will the young graduates of U.S. dental programs be able to pay back their educational loans if we are under a socialized health care state? Will the dental education become free under Obama’s plan?” (Dr. Mark Collins, DDS)
  • “What in the world happened to our country? Where are private property, liberty, and pursuit of happiness in this ‘Atlas Shrugged’ world the leftists are trying to create? Why does the growing entitlement class created by Democrats think they are entitled to my life’s work and energy? I feel like Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes! Good God, what are they doing to our country!?” (Denver doctor)
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