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. bella

    This headline is very misleading. You say "House Dems to levy tax on wealthy to pay for healthcare" when in fact: IT IS ONLY A PROPOSAL!! This is one of many examples of a media blitz to mislead and confuse the American people! THE LEGISLATION HASN'T EVEN BEEN INTRODUCED YET!!

    July 10, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  2. Keith in Austin

    Taxes taxes taxes
    The democrats answer to everything. Penalize those that have been successful and likely the same people that employ the masses!
    .

    July 10, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. Willy Brown

    Here comes the tax everybody its ok we got to pay for those illegal aliens who voted twice for us democrats.

    July 10, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  4. Kansas 25

    Although I think that the pop tax was far more original and gets more to the route of the problem of the soaring health care prices. Which is of coarse overweight and obese people not health insurance companies and not malpractice laysuits. If we were as healthy as a nation as Japan then health care prices wouldn't be near as high.

    But for the sake of the national budget taxing the rich in this case will work.

    July 10, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  5. RR

    Tax and spend? Really? How about cut and spend or save and spend?

    July 10, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  6. 4 and the door

    I t was obvious after seeing Obama's popularity dive in the poll in Ohio that they would come up with a Public Relations stunt very soon.

    Up go taxes to pay for the Administrations's squandering on Saving The American Auto Industry ( yeah, good job there! ) and throwing money at Wall Street ( where DID that money go??!?).

    July 10, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  7. Ken from missouri

    This country is so sad it's like when you make a lot of money you will
    get punished whatever happened to work hard and you will prosper
    now you work hard and give to people who don't .
    There will always be leaders and followers and poor people and rich people but our president thinks that's wrong we live in a free country
    where we all have chances to make a good life for ourselves but some do and some don't but we have that choice and as far as the rich people who do you think provides jobs poor people.

    July 10, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. maria

    American should have the same insurance coverage the politicians have.

    July 10, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. tom

    great! the filthy rich have been takeing and takeing from the poor and working class. now its time they give back. if they dont want to provide good jobs with good benefits then we will make them.

    July 10, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. Jeff

    Yes, some wealthy people will gripe. Definitely yes, Republicans will scream bloody murder.

    Get over it. Seriously. Just get over it.

    It's a minuscule amount for someone with that kind of income and it's the right thing to do.

    And in our current environment, I hope the currently wealthy consider that they may not always be so fortunate. One day they may also need health care and not be able to pay for it out of pocket.

    July 10, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. Jason

    Democrats - chipping away at the incentive to work hard, since 1933.

    July 10, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. CMD

    About time! The rich would never miss a 1% tax, but the benefits of having universal health care are immeasurable. Plus, they would have a great return on their investment since a public health option would force the greedy insurance companies to lower their premiums.

    July 10, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  13. Alex

    While I think the tax levels on high incomes of the late 1930's to late 1970's got a bit outrageous, the evisceration of these revenue streams under Reagan, Bush and Bush was terrible for the federal government. The top marginal rates could easily stand a raise of 4 to 5 percentage points, and I can't think of a better cause than a true universal health care system. Of course the Obama health care plan is garbage and far from universal, so this tax may be harder to sell than necessary; if the Democrats approved a truly universal, single-payer plan, I'm sure citizens at all tax levels would be glad of the tax increase, considering the many other ways they'd make it up (in employer pay, in reduced co-pays and surcharges, and, of course, in not having to pay for procedures the insurance companies whimsically decide they won't cover).

    July 10, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. I like it

    my wife and I have a few years until we clear the 1/2 mill $ mark, so make it a temporary tax, when we reach the mark then repeal it

    July 10, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  15. Pat, CA

    Well, it's finally in the open! Wealth distribution a la Obama! Who woulda thought?

    Whoopdeedoo for the lazy!

    July 10, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. observer

    Same old liberal story ; class warfare to promote their agenda!

    July 10, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  17. Ariel

    Nothing is implausible at this moment in history–neither taxing the wealthy (again after 29 years when the top rate was 70% for the 16 years previous to that) nor investigating a republican president for felonies (again after 36 years when Nixon was investigated for the Watergate cover-up) nor examining why the fourth estate simply went with the flow (went along and got along) for the past 8 years or so while the U.S. Constitution was used to roast marshmallows by the justice department and the intelligence gathering agencies (and by the house of representatives and the senate and the supreme court as well). Yes, CNN please review this posting for appropriateness.

    July 10, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  18. Liberal4Obama

    I am happy President Obama is actually keeping the campaign promise on health care, lots of people need this like yesterday.

    July 10, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Jerry R Lucas RN, Indiana

    Oh yes lets do it and then when we see how much it really cost we will all pay the price. Don't worry CNN does not post anything they do not want you to hear.

    Our Kids future is lost because we want and want but, we do not want to pay we just will take it from some one that has more thats what our founding fathers wanted right. The home of the free right give it to me free and now

    July 10, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  20. Pfft

    I won't be taxed under this plan, but I have to ask – do the Dems know ANYTHING beyond raising taxes? Anything at all?

    July 10, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  21. dustin

    so campaign promise kept?

    July 10, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  22. phoenix86

    The democrats continue their criminalization of wealth. The result will be the gradual impoverishment of all Americans.

    July 10, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  23. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Democrats seem to be determined to either seize every bit of private wealth in the country–or to drive it out of the country. I'm leaving, and I don't make even as much as the low-end of the Dems confiscation targets.

    July 10, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  24. janelle

    First, I'd like to hear someone explain just what exactly this $500 billion in projected savings from health care reforms is?!?!?! Then, I'd like to know how the stimulous is doing such great things for me when my $26.00 dollars a month savings in federal income tax just ends up going to increased medicare taxes. Isn't that kind of like robbing Peter to pay Paul. We fulfill our promise to lower your federal income tax, but then we fulfill our promise of affordable health care by increasing your medicare tax.. So basically we've killed 2 birds with the same stone and you (the taxpayers) are in the same spot you were before.

    July 10, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  25. Carl

    Just remember that the amount of money, in taxes, that the government received via federal taxes was down over 30% year to year when it comes to your paycheck. They will do anything to make up that difference. Yet, they still claim things are fine. When are millions of Americans going to wake up and realize things will get much worse in this country.

    July 10, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6