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. Kirsten Riley

    so this is how we reward success? Really, where's the inspiration to do well and get rich when you know youre just going to get taxed for it.

    July 10, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. NOT A FAN OF OBAMA AT ALL

    Obama and the Democrates have LOST my savings, have LOST my IRA, have LOST my RETIREMENT. Obama and the Democrates are the worst since the early 1900's.

    Obama and his leadership is the BIGGESTS JOKE and the stock market shows it.

    OBAMA QUIT TRYING TO BE THE BLACK DICTATOR AND FIX THE ECONOMY INSTEAD OF BEING A WASTE AND A LIER.

    OBAMA CANT FIX THE ECONOMY BECAUSE HE CANNOT LEAD, HE CAN ONLY TAX !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 10, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  3. Predicta

    Sin Taxes are bad for sinners. George W. Bush writes in his new soon-to-be-released book something about social darwinism, which he calls "survival of the fittest," and implies that lesser-individuals should basically breed themselves into extinction. So what if millions of people die every year from tobacco, he would have you believe they didn't deserve to live. Just an interesting tidbit of information for those such as myself that like to latch onto bits and pieces of little known information.

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

    Good. Maybe we can return the sane kind of tax code this country had for most of the 20th century, instead of the cut-taxes-no-matter-the-damage madness of the new breed of ideologically driven Republicans.

    July 10, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  5. Abe

    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
    You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
    You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

    ......Abraham Lincoln

    July 10, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    Get ready to ready from the "Whine" and Cheese crowd.

    July 10, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  7. IS IT 2010 YET ??

    But let's not call this Socialism. Call it a Banana.

    July 10, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  8. Donkey Party

    Let's hear it GOPPERS, boo hoo, it's class warfare!!! Actually, it's only fair considering how screwed over the lower and middle class has gotten all these years.

    July 10, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  9. gfoos

    Under this plan, my taxes would go up. If the health program is effective, I'm cool with it.

    July 10, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  10. xavier

    Padon me if I dont shed a tear for the poor rich having to pay more taxes. For all those GOP supporters who always bring up their religious morals do you really thinkt hat Jesus would give more money to those that already have plenty, and not use it to help those who are in need?

    July 10, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  11. Richard

    Well it is about time. Healthcare is dragging the economy down. Shame on the republicans.

    July 10, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  12. Dan, TX

    That is a no brainer. It's about time we start to put tax rates back to sane levels.

    July 10, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  13. tess

    o.k. dems – do you really believe what o'bama promised while running and trying to hide who he really is – i can't wait for all of you who think you aren't rich being taxed out of your houses! you put him there and you will suffer just like the ones of us who saw through his b.s now we will all be paying through the nose until we can get rid of him & the dems in congress and replace all the scum with people who will at least try to right the course of this country before it really is too late – thanks a lot dems – you deserve what you got but I don't – i was smart enough to vote AGAINST him and his communist policies ! ! ! ! !!!!!!!!!!!

    July 10, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  14. John ,NJ

    do we really want this new health care ?

    July 10, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  15. Steve, Columbia SC

    Wow, these democrats must be proud of themselves..........already 40 percent of Americans pay no taxes, now they want to tax the top 10 percent to pay for their new government trough.

    When is this stampede to socialism going to end MR PRESIDENT?

    July 10, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  16. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    WELL NOW thats a great idea and everyone in government should have to be in the same health program as private citizens . same coverage same cost from state elected people to federal employees

    everone gets the same coverage and take the large profit away from insurance companies ..make them charge a reasonable rate like normal businesses do . GREED is what got us into this mess in the first place

    July 10, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  17. Chris

    If you people this tax would come anywhere close to paying for the healthcare bill then you are rout of your mind. If a one percent tax raise were to be applied to generate 54 billion a year, then you would have to tax 5.5 trillion. That is 1/3 of the US GDP. The money to pay for this is not in the banks of the super wealthy, it is the wallets of the middle class. There are very few people that qualify as super rich. There millions of people that are in the middle class. Taken as a whole, the middle class control the vast majority of the nations weath. So don't be suprised when Obama comes for you. Or at least whoever is president in 10 years because in 6 months Obama spent all the money we will make in the next decade. This is business and economics, not politics. We will never all be equally rich. But very soon, we will all be equally poor.

    July 10, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. Brian Diego

    Thank you Bush and Obama for your one-upsmanship in the tax wars. Ironically the two Presidents may just cancel each other out.

    July 10, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  19. Tatianna

    Wait a minute, hmm, on campaign trail, didnt Obama tell Americans if he is elected POTUS, they will and should have same healthcare plan as congressional members? Dont believe the dem hype. Obama and dems said they will only raise taxes on the rich. They have raised taxes on cigaretts, which affects ALL Americans. Obama has raised gas prices (remember dems said Bush responsible for gas prices) which affects ALL Americans. Americans have freedom to work hard, which creates a measurable degree of earned wealth. We have people like dems who feel entitled to others wealth that they didnt help create. Obama/dems redistribution of wealth- one segment of society has the basic right to the money of other segments of society.

    July 10, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  20. Hopeful Optimist

    Whatever it takes. Just getter done.

    July 10, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  21. GuyInVA

    Stupid rich people. Making too much money... spending that money and boosting the economy... creating jobs... paying the vast majority of the taxes... buying nice things with the money for which they've busted their butts. Shame on them.

    This is how it always works. In today's society their are more takers than there are producers (givers). That means more voters are takers. Therefore, politicians must play to the takers. So what if you soak the producers in order to subsidize the takers? All that gets you is reelected to public office.

    July 10, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  22. I give enough already

    I will reduce my annual charitable donations by an equal amount that I'm taxed.

    July 10, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  23. Mick

    Why not tax sin products like Twinkies? These sugar filled creations are what is making us fatter and sicker by the year. Every state in the nation has at least twenty percent of its population above the obesity line. About six are over thirty percent. Add in high sodium and other high fat products and we would have more than enough to pay for health care. Do they have the guts to do it in Washington?

    July 10, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  24. Susan (Michigan)

    Is that AGI? If so, you'll never get them to pay. Their accountants are already busy finding loopholes and offshore accounts to get them under the minimum. Can't we just go to a flat tax that everyone pays. No deductibles, no capital gains, just a flat rate on all income! I know, too easy.

    July 10, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  25. sarah K.

    Ahhh, it begins.......the taxes will keep on coming. Add to this the additional taxes that states will be adding and spending is going to slow to a crawl. Way to stimulate the economy.

    July 10, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
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