Healthcare bill includes tanning tax, signage regulations

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - There's a bright side to business at Electric Sun Tanning Salon. Customers seeking some rays keep Sandy Sutch and her employees busy.

But that could soon change.

"You're going to lose some business in this. And, right now, we're a luxury," Sutch explained.

It's not because of demand.  The salon is busy with spring break, prom, and graduations on the calendar.

The losses could come as a result of the healthcare bill signed into law this week.

The law does address healthcare issues, but it also mandates a 10% excise tax on tanning services, starting in July.

Sutch says those costs will have to go straight to the customer.

"I think that they are going to put a lot of people out of business.  How do you tax people who aren't in business any longer? I think it's going to hurt our industry," Sutch said.

Salons aren't the only places with newly mandated regulations.

Chain restaurants will soon be required to post the calories in their food on their standard menus.  Doing that could prove tricky.

"You have to realize, meals come in small, mediums, and larges, so it can actually become quite an eye chart over there when you start to look at the different options that are available," said Jack Galassini, who represents McDonald's.

Some residents don't mind the idea.

"I think it's good. Because people are on a big health kick now, so I think that's good," explained one woman.

Others don't like the government reaching this far.

"When you see the way it was passed--and 70% of the people don't like it--the whole thing is just sickening," said Larry Webster of Mathews.

There are a lot of changes coming by way of the new law, including penalties.

Starting in 2014, the government can fine you for not having qualifying health coverage.

For more information, check out MSNBC's special "Healthcare Q&A" page, click here.

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