SEARCH BLOG: HEALTH CARE
From The Washington Post:
The complaint surfaced on reader comment boards to blogs and news Web sites back in December, when it became clear that the levy -- a 10 percent surcharge on the use of ultraviolet tanning beds -- was likely to be included in the new health-care overhaul bill. Since then, it's been repeated by conservative commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Doc Thompson, a fill-in host for Glenn Beck who intoned in March, "I now know the pain of racism."Where are all of the entrepreneurs out there? I never heard of a tanning salon have you? I only know that there are Vitamin D Health Care Centers that treat serious deficiencies of that vitamin through the use of controlled ultraviolet radiation equipment [on March 24, I referred to them as Vitamin D Irradiation Centers, but upon reflection that sounds too technical for most politicians]. While some lighter-skinned individuals do show signs of darkening as the Vitamin D natural production occurs, that is only an incidental to the health care treatment... and hardly racist.
The case can seem deceptively simple: Since patrons of tanning salons are almost exclusively white, the tax will be almost entirely paid by white people and, therefore, violates their constitutional right to equal protection under the law. [image source]
But does the argument have any merit? Not remotely said Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard Law School specializing in racial conflict and law.
"There is no constitutional problem at all, because a plaintiff would have to show that the government intended to disadvantage a particular group, not simply that the group is disadvantaged in effect," he said. [full story]
If I owned one of these Vitamin D Health Care Centers, I would be seeking government payment for these very important preventive treatments as part of the new Obamacare coverage. Naturally, my Vitamin D Health Care Center would not be subject to a 10% tax since it is not something as frivolous as a tanning salon.