November 20th, 2009
03:29 PM ET
9 years ago

Senate tax hike misses the mark

New York ( - The health care bill that faces a crucial test vote in the Senate on Saturday is proof that getting reform passed and getting it right are two very different things.

Both are hard. But the pursuit of votes has weakened key elements with the most promise of reducing overall health spending.

Exhibit A: The eleventh-hour introduction of a Medicare tax hike as a way to help pay for reform.

Health care reform, to succeed, must not only help more people get coverage but also slow the growth in health costs and spending.

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. andy

    DEms care nothing about getting it right. They only want to pass it because ther choosen one demands it. THis bill is nothing tax, tax, and more tax giving another free handout to those who will not work. New Orleans and freeloaders, the core of the democratic party.

    November 20, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    this bill, and congress for that matter, does not pass the smell test.....

    hike medicare tax, cut medicare benifits, and use money for another government program..............

    only congress is so lame.

    i am too but at least i'll admit it

    time to go rub one out

    November 20, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Tim

    So an individual who is married could pay more in medicare tax than an individual who is not married? And married people tend to be healthier.

    Sounds fair.

    November 20, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. S.B.

    That's why I so strongly favor the public option. A strong public option will do more than anything else to keep down costs. Even better would be a single payer plan.

    November 20, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Brian from NJ

    A Tax hike as we are coming out of a recession. Brilliant! Because as we all know nothing quite stimulates an economy out of a deep downturn like a few well targeted tax increases... sigh

    November 20, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Buck Wheat

    People go to WORK......i dont want to pay for you anymore!

    November 20, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. terry,va

    Tax, tax and more taxes is all the Dem's know. What are they going to do when those that pay, say the heck with it? I for one, have just thrown in the towel because of the 37-40% I paid. Get your hand outs from someone else.

    November 20, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Medicare tax hikes, excise taxes, Cadillac taxes, and on and on. This is the part of the health care "reform" the Dems don't want you to know about, the taxes, taxes, and more taxes.

    Even the Dems can't just print up a trillion bucks and not have it show. Someone is going to be forced to pay for this turkey and, as much as the Dems always like to claim "we're going to soak the rich for this thing too," even the terminally gullible are beginning to catch on that the so-called "rich" are going to run out of money some day.

    And, BTW, there's a huge misconception of what constitutes "rich." Most of the vindictive twits reading this think of "the rich" as arrogant boors with too many expensive cars. The truth of the matter is that US tax code make no real distinction between wealthy individuals and small businesses–most "rich guys" are people who own small businesses and their so-called wealth is really that of the business they own.

    So most of you know a fair number of "wealthy," or at least that's how they're defined by the government, people. People who own all those little stores in every mall in the country, they're the ones who are going to get hammered by all the taxes, taxes, and more taxes, and they're the ones who are going to be driven out of business by those taxes. And most of those little businesses have a few employees and what happens to those employees when the companies they work for sink under the taxes?

    Think about it, people–the Dems' health care "reform" is just one more attack on small American businesses, and one more fabulous way to make unemployment far, far, worse.

    November 20, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Robin

    Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax.

    How do you think we are going to pay for this montrosity? It will be placed on the backs of the hard working, employed americans.

    November 20, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Robert

    Public option or nothing because it can't work without a strong public option! With the public option you can cut Medicare because it will save money do to the reform Bill. You worry about the Democrats giving a free handout but that's just plain stupid. Here are the facts, the last Republican to balance the budget was Nixon and the last Democrat not to was LBJ, all the debt we have is directly on the Republicans heads. We spend less on free handouts then we spend in one week in Iraq!

    November 20, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Letter to President Obama supporters

    To President Obama supporters. (Others go on to the next post – discussion is useless).

    You were there for Barack Obama in droves during the last election. You rallied 'round the banner of change. Everything candidate Obama promised to do, he is working on, in spite of the legacy of ruin he was given. This man is human, however, and can only fight so hard, knocking his head against the brick wall of obstructionism, from BOTH parties. (Notice the visible graying that is not comensurate with his length of service to date).

    You elected your President and gave the Democrats a majority, in both houses. Some of those you elected coasted in on his political coattails and are now the reason the change you voted for is in jeopardy. One can expect a fight from his opponents, but surely not from within.

    I am a Canadian watching the current situation with tremendous interest. After all, we share a common border, and have ties that are cultural, economic and historical.

    I have no goal to meddle, but I do get awfully annoyed when our system of health care is so maligned, and a good man and his family are so vocally and emotionally lynched.

    I hope you can pull together again, making your views known to the appropriate people, and help President Obama fulfill the promises he made to you. God knows he's trying.

    You have my prayers.

    Barbara from Canada

    November 20, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. To the Moderator(s) Please read and post. Tired of being in moderation just because.!

    I understand, from other sources, that CNN is attempting to provide a more balanced approach to reporting news without opinion or bias. For that CNN is applauded. I wonder, however, how so much hatred in expression can be allowed (from both sides of the debate), when your Comment Policy seems to dictate a much more civil discourse. Perhaps moderation could/should be better employed in that regard and that, in doing so, the debates on the Ticker could be more intelligent and fruitful.

    November 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    This is NOT a tax ON medicare – it is a tax on high-paying jobs (greater than half a million or so).

    Stop letting the GOP scare you – THINK.

    November 20, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Tax cuts for the wealthy didn't work. They didn't create jobs.

    This just takes that money back from them, THINK.

    November 20, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. File under "Sarcasm"

    The Democrats don't care what's in the bill or what it does to healthcare or the economy. Add some earmarks to get this Senator's vote. Promise to restrict abortion funding to get that Senator's vote. Slap a tax on anything they can including Medicare to fund it. Offset the program benefits start by 3-4 years but kick in the taxes right away to keep the fiction that it's "deficit neutral".

    They just want to be able to say "We passed a healthcare reform bill" and hope that nobody will remember that when the system tanks in 5 years or 10 years. Then, of course, they can cobble together another 2000 page bill claiming to fix those problems.

    November 20, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. donttreadonme

    Public option is no option!

    increased spending across the board followed by massive tax increases = dems plan for a balanced budget! If you didn’t like Bush’s budget please pay back all of the tax savings you received from 2001 until now. Because everyone received a lot of tax breaks not just the wealthy!

    November 20, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. Why do Republican'ts hate America so much?

    "People go to WORK......i dont want to pay for you anymore!"

    The thing is, most people who DON'T have health insurance DO WORK! They just don't have jobs that provide health insurance. The world is not as simple as your brain is, Buck Wheat!

    November 20, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. JES

    How much more can we let these Bozo's spend more of our tax dollars.

    Each and everyone of them should be required to have the health care they are trying to ram down our throats.

    Vote everyone one of them out of office.

    November 20, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. mjm

    What makes you think there will be any rich people to tax?

    Seems like the upper tax bracket is shrinking while the lower bracket is growing.

    November 20, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  20. tarheel

    I'm all for free health care for all and no one being denied for preexisting conditions. Heck, who wouldn't want that. But then comes that pesky question of how to pay for it. HIGHER TAXES. Anybody who believes that "Free" health care for all can be achieved any other way is deceiving themselves. Unless Congress is prepared to greatly increase taxes not only on the so-called rich, but also the middle class too, then we can never have the same level health care that we currently enjoy and cover everybody at the same time. The simple truth is that the current health care package being offered will increase premiums on the majority of people who currently have insurance and will lower services for most people on medicare.

    November 20, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. D. Tree

    I agree taxing medicare dea, but its not Obama's idea and its not mainstream Democrats idea either.

    Everyone needs to settle down and support the President getting health care done or else our Country will go bankrupt. All because people were too dumb to see the Insurance companies ripping off taxpayers.

    Obama gave 95% of working Americans a tax CUT this year, yet you complain about taxes and the stimulus. I'm willing to bet you don't even realize that a big part of the stimulus spending, was spend on YOUR tax cut!

    November 20, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. D. Tree

    meant to say taxing medicare is a knuckle headed idea.

    November 20, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Proud Member..Party of No

    Coincidence that the recommendations for mammograms and cervical exams have been relaxed. Nawwww, you don't need those pesky exams anymore. The democrats would like you to get used to it because this is the future of government healthcare rationing under their plan. It won't be up to you and your doctor will be up to a government panel.....a death panel.

    November 20, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. mjm

    "As more and more plans become subject to the tax, employers will instead opt for lower-cost options to avoid the tax."

    So if you have the best coverage around, the government will tax it until it's too expensive. And in doing so discourage people from purchasing the high end insurance.

    So much for "if you like your insurance you can keep it".

    Would that increase the tax revenue designed to pay for the public option? Not so much. This will not work.

    If liberals want this so bad, maybe they should work a little harder and get into that 35% tax bracket so they can flip the bill themselves.

    November 20, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. Enough

    Another tax hike proposed by Democrats...........why doesn't that surprise me. These people would never survive in the real world, clueless how to manage money. Keep on taxing the crap out of us and we'll all just quit and hop on the Gimme band wagon. People get off your lazy behinds and support yourselves, I don't go to to work to pay for you. It's no wonder the YOUNG people are Democrats, just looking for a continuation of Mommy and Daddy to take care of them.

    November 20, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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