July 10th, 2009
06:20 PM ET
5 years ago

House Dems to levy new tax on wealthy to pay for health care

President Obama speaks about health care reform in May.
President Obama speaks about health care reform in May.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee Friday proposed a graduated tax on wealthy Americans to pay for health care reform, to several Democratic sources tell CNN.

The new tax would kick in for individuals who make over between $280,000 to $400,000 per year and for married couples who make from $350,000 to 500,000 per year, imposing a 1 percent tax on their adjusted gross income.

The tax rate would increase to a higher percentage for individuals making between $400,000 to 800,000 and for couples making $500,000 to $1 million per year.

Individuals making $800,000 or above and couples making $1 million or more per year would be taxed at an even higher rate.

The rates for the tax on the two higher brackets are still being finalized, according to the sources. Committee Democrats jettisoned other ideas to pay for the bill, including new taxes on sugary drinks or an increase in Medicare payroll taxes.

Sources say the new tax is expected to bring in $540 billion over ten years. This new revenue, combined with approximately $500 billion in projected savings from health care reforms, would offset the roughly $1 trillion that the House Democrats' health care bill is expected to cost, they said. The Congressional Budget Office has not released its cost estimate yet on the House bill.

House Democratic leaders are planning to introduce their legislation on Monday. The committees focused on health care in the House are expected to being consideration on the bill later next week.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Wrong – and mis-leading. It IS NOT a done deal.

    Quit with the hype and spin. Do some real reporting on something of importance.

    Going downhill every day CNN.

    July 10, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    More redistribution of wealth. Obama wants everyone to share in what you worked so hard to earn. What's next, confiscating our homes to be shelters for welfare queens? Forced job sharing with illegal aliens? 2 car families have to give one car to those without?

    July 10, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. Jon in CA

    How about a voluntary system:

    If you believe in a Government option... then you indicate on your tax-return and "buy into" the program – allowing you access.

    If you DON'T believe in Government control – then you can opt out and assure your taxes won't be wasted on this misadventure.

    THUS – democrats, liberals, and those always looking for a hand-OUT can pay for it.

    July 10, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. Scott Stodden

    This would be the perfect and most complete resoulution to solving how to pay for health care, if your rich and making a substantial amount such as $280,000-$400,000 or if your married and making over $500,000 you should pay more in taxes because your making more money throughout the year. The more you make the more you should pay in taxes thats the American way not making the poor and middle class paying more in taxes and going more into debt

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    July 10, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. T Mckinley

    If it wasn't for all the greedy health care insurance executives exploiting our need for health care insurance to make themselves filthy rich, we wouldn't be in the situation we are today.

    If we really want to bring health care insurance premiums down and make health care insurance affordable, why don't we start by limiting executive compensation packages for health care insurance executives?

    July 10, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. Samuel

    Welcome to the newly formed Socialist States of America

    July 10, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. Simmy

    In addition, put a tax on internet purchases, and raise other taxes by one dollar and we've got a public option plan.....Don't tell me it's impossible and you don't have the votes......Congress needs: courage and will......

    July 10, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. David

    Why do they even bother using the word "Democrat", just call yourselves "Socalist" and come out of the Marxist Closet

    July 10, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    good.. about time the rich started to pay their share.... GOP has always protected the rich

    July 10, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. mike

    Everyone knew they would have to raise taxes to pay for it eventually but at least he is keeping his word and it is not on people making less then $250,000. Still don't see how the plan is going to save any money since they are opnly going to limit how much prices go up by and not actually lower prices anywhere. As for the idea that healthy people are going to go in and get check ups it rarely happens now with those who do hjave insurance what makes them think that is magicly going to change?

    July 10, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Libertarian

    Can someone please inform House Dems how exactly insurance works. You pay proportional to your risk, not your wealth.

    The wealthy will likely stay on their private health-care plans, so they'd be paying for insurance twice, while the person who uses that service will pay nothing. How in the world is that fair or rational?

    I understand that since they make more money, they can afford to pay more taxes, but the question is should they?

    This country calls itself the land of the free, but yet we're slowly inching our way to where what we are free to do is decided by religious and political groups and not common sense.

    July 10, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. AlwaysThinking

    Sounds like a good plan – the wealthy can afford it. Besides, having a healthier workforce means a more productive, reliable workforce – and in the end, more profits for business. It's a win-win all around.

    July 10, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. Chris - Seattle

    I'll be darned, now that's the kind of change I like to hear! We just paid for healthcare reform! Take that you republican naysayers, who would never dare take a penny from the already rich to give to the needy! I'm sure the argument that comes will be, (the rich) "I already donate to the needy causes I want to, so why should I be taxed even more? To that I say, "can I get you some cheese with that "whine"? Just make one less trip to the gas station for your Bentley and you'll recoup the expenditure! Gotcha...

    July 10, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. william gair

    Sounds good!

    July 10, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. S M R

    It's about time these tax cuts for the rich go away. Tricle-down economics only makes the fat fatter while the other 97% of the population have to pull the weight of the rich. This decision should be written in stone ,never to be changed.

    July 10, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  16. I am all for it..

    Oh Great!! how about stripping the people that are making their own living to but naked and distributing it to pot smoking lazy idiots who live on their parents' social security or kids earnings.. how does that sound!!

    July 10, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. stormerF

    Whats new about that? when you spend ,spend,spend,eventually you have to Tax,tax,tax...And you Obama supporters think the rich will not pass it along,by having one less Servants,or one less wage earner,or they will not raise the price of their products.Surely your not that foolish,Are You?

    July 10, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. Philip

    Great! I am making over $600,000/yr and I don't mind paying my share. Actually, my income is not the source of my wealth. It is my vivid imagination. But even if my income were $600,000, I would not mind paying higher taxes to help pay for health care.

    July 10, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. Zero.

    "Selfish"? Only dead fish go with the flow. Sarah said that.
    Obama is selling "Dead Fish"...l

    July 10, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  20. Andrew in Denver

    Time for the rich to pay a little more for the money they miled out of the rest of our labor.

    July 10, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. Nunya

    Taxing sugary drinks (and tobacco) would have been far better...

    July 10, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  22. Gene from Georgia

    OBAMA WANTS TO RAISE TAXES!
    Yeah, on all the oligarchs who got a free ride on the previous administration. As he said in his campaign.
    I MIGHT BE A MILLIONAIRE AFTER I GET MY GED, SO HE MIGHT RAISE MY TAXES!
    Right you are, Joe the Plumber. You are the Republican base.
    OBAMA IS FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE, SPENDING A TRILLION DOLLARS ON RECOVERY!
    As opposed to Bush's 3 trillion on his private war, financed by tax cuts for the rich.

    July 10, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  23. ib

    This tax will be like all the other new ones coming. Before long anyone making more $10,000 a year will be considered wealthy by Obama and subject to all new taxes. WAKE UP people will we still have a country left.

    July 10, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. Jeff E.

    Finally, Congress appears to be restoring some common sense and balance to a tax code that has been consistently and relentlessly tilted in favor of the rich under republican rule. Even with these changes, the highest tax brackets will return to rates in place under Ronald Reagan (before the neocon revolution slashed the rates of the richest Americans even further). This seems to be a sensible, fair way to ensure that all Americans will have access to health insurance, and I applaud the dems for tackling this republican straw dog and plowing the way for universal coverage.

    July 10, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. makesUwonder

    tax, tax, tax..............spend, spend, spend..............what this administration does best.

    July 10, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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