Monday, February 25, 2013

Veterinary Bills for Your Pets Will Increase Because of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Unintended consequences of the "Affordable Care Act" (aka Obamacare) has spilled over to veterinary medicine, leading to increased costs for treating pets.

CFA: Vet bills for your pets increasing

Tax on medical equipment passed along to consumers

Updated: Saturday, 23 Feb 2013, 2:03 PM EST
Published : Saturday, 23 Feb 2013, 2:03 PM EST
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - The Affordable Care Act is intended for humans, however, we've learned that a tax on certain medical devices for veterinary equipment may be passed on to your pets.

Because medical equipment and supplies will be going up in cost, the extra expense will be passed on to the customers. But why the price increase? It's part of a new 2.3% federal excise tax on certain medical devices that just went into effect. The tax will help fund the Patient Protection Program and the Affordable Care Act, intended for people, not pets. Manufacturers pay the tax, but a recent survey found more than half plan to pass it along, something most veterinarians can't afford.

Medical devices used only on animals are exempt, but items like IV pumps, sterile scalpels, and anesthesia equipment, which are duel use devices, as in they can be used on both humans and animals, will be taxed. Veterinarians fear higher prices could have animals owners holding off on medical care, or vets postponing the purchase of new devices.

The American Veterinary Medical Association represents 82,000 vets. At this point, they don't know how much this new tax will indirectly cost them, and they're waiting to hear from device makers.

"Congress never intended for this tax to impact veterinarian medicine and unfortunately it has, and I think that's very unfortunate that medicine is subsidizing human health care", said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig of the AVMA.

Congressional sources, who worked on the Affordable Care Act, told us lawmakers tried to exclude vets from being impacted by the dual use medical taxes, but it was too complicated.

Vets say if your pet is sick or acting strangely, don't delay care, that could just cause medical problems to get worse. If you're concerned with the cost of vet care, be sure and talk to your vet about payment plans or other financial options.


  1. These are the things that no one understands or understood about how this was going to affect many different areas in our society. People were so quick to hear "free healthcare" when DUH...NOTHING IS FREE!

  2. go figure so typical of the G.D. Obama health care bill. This whole thing is an absolute disaster when it kicks in next year.

  3. really, people are bitching about 2.3% on a piece of equipment

  4. When a piece of equipment costs $100,000 dollars, 2.3% is $2,300 yes, it's a big deal, because that money is probably coming from a loan to purchase the equipment, which means the vet will pay a bank interest on that nearly doubling it over the life of the loan. $3,800

  5. People were so quick to hear "free Autoclave healthcare" when DUH...NOTHING IS FREE!

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