Newest cost of ObamaCare: Higher veterinary bills

Why the increase? Its part of a new 2.3-percent federal excise tax on certain medical devices that just went into effect. The tax will help fund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, intended for people, not pets. Manufacturers pay the tax, but a recent survey found more than half plan to pass it along.

Some vets say they can’t afford it. Dr. Mike Hatcher is one of them. He explained, “I’m extremely concerned how this is going to be a hidden tax to our consumers that is going to be passed on.”

How does this work? Medical devices used only on animals are exempt. However, items including IV pumps, sterile scalpels and anesthesia equipment, which are medical devices that have a dual use, meaning they can be used on people and animals, will be taxed. Hatcher said, “Putting off an equipment purchase is something that can terribly affect our clients’ ability to have quality care.”