Isn’t this what Barack Obama is about to do with the healthcare travesty that he, Nancy, and Harry put together to control every aspect of your life?
With Congress on the verge of imposing a new tax on high-cost health insurance plans, skeptics continue to raise questions about who would be hit hardest and whether health-care spending would be limited as much as proponents say.
The Senate health-care legislation includes a 40 percent excise tax on insurance plans worth more than $23,000 per year for a family of four. When the legislation would go into effect in 2014, only a small fraction of all plans would be taxed, but more would be captured over time: roughly a quarter by 2019, collecting about $150 billion over 10 years. (emphasis mine)
The House legislation instead relies on an income tax surcharge on families earning more than $1 million. But centrist Senate Democrats are opposed to the surcharge, and the excise tax has been endorsed by the White House and many health-care economists, who tout its cost-containment potential.
Remember, this isn’t taxing people’s income; it’s a tax on your healthcare premium. If you work for a small company with higher premiums, you may fall into this category. Also, it isn’t indexed for inflation, so more and more people are going to fall into this category.
“It’s a very blunt instrument,” said former labor secretary Robert Reich. “It makes far more sense on policy and political grounds to tax the top 1 percent rather than sweep in so many people that are paying more for health care, not because they are getting more health care but because they’re older or working for small businesses.”
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) notes that Obama pledged not to raise taxes on anyone earning under $250,000 and that he attacked Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on the campaign trail in 2008 over his plan to do away with the tax-free treatment of employer-provided benefits. Pro-Republican groups are already turning the tables by running ads accusing Democrats of wanting to tax benefits.