Higher Vet Bills Under Affordable Care Act, 'Obamacare'


By Ashley Thompson

You could start paying more for your pet's healthcare under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


A 2.3 percent federal exise tax will soon be applied to certain medical equipment under Obamacare. Medical equipment used by not only doctors treating humans but by veterinarians as well. Dr. Donald Goodwin of Montgomery's Goodwin Animal Hospital says the tax will be applied to equipment he uses everyday.

"Microscopes would come under that," he says of the tax. "Some ultrasound machines would come under that. Some anesthesia machines. Some X-ray machines. A lot times, most of our endoscopes that are used for colonoscopies and that type of thing are certainly designed for humans."

Dr. Goodwin tells us the extra tax will more than likely get passed down to pet owners but says he doesn't believe customers will see a noticeable increase.

"On certain procedures, I can see an increase in the cost, maybe 5 percent," says Goodwin. "Say it was a 500 dollar cost for an colonoscopy, it may raise it five to ten dollars."

Some pet owners say they don't think they should have to foot the bill for the extra tax.

"I think they should cover it," says terrier owner Robin Chappell. "They already make us pay for enough. I feel like that should be included also. I feel like they're health care should stay the same."

Other disagree. Erica Salter tells us she would pay any additional costs to make sure her dog, Chewy, is in good health.

"My dog is part of my family," she says. "It's just like healthcare. I would pay to keep him healthy. I guess there's no way out of it. If we want to have our pets and keep them healthy, we do what we have to do just like we do for ourselves."

Still, Dr. Goodwin says his business will take a hit from the additional tax and that the new costs must be covered.

"Every little bit hurts a business person whether it's a human hospital or a veterinarian hospital, trying to watch their overhead."

Both republicans and democrats in Congress are currently working to repeal the tax on medical devices that serve both humans and animals.

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