HUFFINGTON POST
03/13/2013 11:16 am ET Updated Mar 21, 2013

Veterinarian Warns Obamacare Could Lead To Increased Pet Care Prices

Obamacare has officially gone to the dogs.

Dr. Mike Hatcher, a veterinarian in Smyrna, Tenn., recently warned his patients that the new health care law may lead to rising pet care costs, CBS Miami reports. Hatcher told the news station that he can't afford a tax hike and plans to pass increased costs on to his customers.

“I’m extremely concerned how this is going to be a hidden tax to our consumers that is going to be passed on,” Hatcher reportedly said.

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How exactly could Obamacare affect the cost of caring for your pooch? The law includes a new 2.3 percent federal excise tax on medical devices. While the tax doesn't affect items used exclusively on pets, devices like IV pumps and endoscopes that can be used on both people and animals will be subject to the change.

Despite Hatcher's concern, others have indicated that the increased costs would be minimal. Veterinary consultant Gary Glassman told AnnArbor.com that the added tax will not affect veterinarians' decisions about what equipment to buy to provide care.

This isn't the first time that a business owner has threatened to increase prices because of Obamacare.

Most recently, a Five Guy franchise owner in North Carolina said that the health care law would increase his menu prices. Papa John's CEO John Schnatter threatened the same thing last year. And a Florida Denny's franchisee went as far as to propose a 5 percent Obamacare surcharge to customers' bills in November.

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