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Obamacare taxes to cover some medical equipment used by veterinarians

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David Martosko
Executive Editor

Obamacare’s new taxes will soon apply to medical equipment that’s used by both physicians and veterinarians — and pet owners will ultimately foot the bill — according to an analysis by the Heritage Foundation.

According to the conservative policy organization, the Internal Revenue Service published a rule Friday covering “dual-use” equipment and supplies. That could include “examination gloves, sterile catheters, infusion pumps, etc.,” according to the Food and Drug Administration.

A Fairfax County, Va. veterinarian who did not wish to be named told The Daily Caller that the category could also include “syringes, tubes, blood centrifuges, sterilizing autoclaves, microscopes — and even things like surgical lights, exam tables and x-ray machines.”

“I don’t know what they’re up to in Washington,” the veterinary doctor said, “but I never thought Obamacare would apply to cats and dogs. Lots of things I use in my practice will cost more.”

The New York Times reported in April 2011 that American pet owners spend $12 billion annually on veterinary care and related services.

“Under existing [FDA] regulations,” the new IRS rule reads, “a devicRAe 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 … even if the device may also be used in veterinary medicine.”

The IRS did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment about the likely increases in veterinary costs that consumers will have to pay as a consequence of Obamacare becoming law.

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