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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/10/art.obamahealthcare0710.gi.jpg caption="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. GOPBslapper

    Merely doing away with the Social Security cap currently at $90,000 would more than pay for all Health care related costs. For those who don't know, you currently pay 6.2% S.S. tax, also matched by your employer. But unlike most Americans, the rich only pay on the first $90,000 of their income. So if they make $9 million a year they are only taxed on 1% of their salary. You on the other hand are taxed on 100% of yours.
    Welcome to the World of Republican Tax Policy. Republicans think this kind of Screwing the Middle Class is Good for America and will do anything to preserve the status quo. Bet Rush Limbough won't tell you this little fact! That would require honesty.

    July 10, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Tayo, New York

    Is it a curse to be rich in this contry?

    July 10, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Zach-Nebraska

    This is the simplest, easiest way to pay for the up-front costs of health insurance reform. It makes no sense that the highest tax bracket in our tax code is $250,000 and above–that's not "rich" in this country anymore.

    July 10, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. Tom in Wisconsin

    Oh boy...time for the incessant Republican crying and shouting to begin!

    July 10, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. Glen Parker, Glendora, CA

    After the the end of would war II the top income tax rate was high as 91% for the richest Americans.

    July 10, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. Phat Elvis

    I know this latest bit of news is going to get the GOP all up in a tizzy, so lets re-frame the whole situation:
    1. Let's back out $54B from defense spending and apply that money to fund health care–Swords to Plowshares.
    2. Take the the same amount of money "contributed" by wealthier taxpayers and apply it to the defense budget–since they always want an increase in defense spending this seems like a patriotic thing to do right? we'll even stencil in each donors' name on to the missile of their choice.

    See? everyone gets what they want, everyone is happy.

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

    WOW.......tax the rich to help pay for healthcare for the poor? No there is an original idea. Glad we are paying this idiots hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in salary to come up with this proposal.

    What a complete friggin joke.

    July 10, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. No one famous

    how is this not socialism? I have worked hard my entire life, studied hard, sacrificed a tremendous amount to put myself through school and find that my hard work has paid off in later life in the form of a decent salary. And my reward is to SHARE my payoff with someone who, BooHoo cry me a river, cannot pay their own insurance. I say work harder; this is America, a land where dreams still come true.

    July 10, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |


    Those who voted for him dont believe, but the taxing anti-christ is in the house and his demoncrates are in control. Next Obama will be having his demons put a 666 on your forhead and a computer chip in your neck so they can track you. Its brought to you by the socialist anti-christ Obama.

    If you are at all relgious, compare what Obama is doing to the Book Of Revelations.

    July 10, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Ron in Asheville, NC

    I can hear the screaming from the right wing now, so let me get in my preliminary two bits' worth in early. HOORAY!. 1)Taxes on folks at that level used to be a LOT higher–when we built the middle-class America that we are now trying to recover. 2) Low taxes don't necessarily lead to prosperity; there are lots of other factors that are more important; 3) yes, the new taxes will affect me . . .

    July 10, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. Arthur

    If you go to college, study hard, invest your money wisely, or lead a business that employees hundreds, if not thousands of people, then get rewarded with a very high salary, then the government will punish you by confiscating YOUR money to pay other's health care. What a crock!

    July 10, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  12. Joel

    "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!" – Karl Marx

    July 10, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. Gerry

    Lets tax the people that make over $400,000 in a year to pay for health care, and soon they will start laying off people that work for them to recover some of the losses. Good job DEM's. Ask you congress are they willing to give up there free health care and take part in the National Health Care plan that they are trying to force down your throat.

    July 10, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  14. ttofast70@comcast.net

    Wow, taxing the rich, neat idea. I thought they didn't have to pay.

    July 10, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. mike

    Looks like I will have to lay off two more employees.

    July 10, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. Neutralizer

    Oh yeah! it sounds good, isn't it? When they run out of rich people to tax to death, they'll be after YOU!

    You'll be seeing MORE people getting laid off, you have Obambi to thank for when you lose your job or your parent's job.

    July 10, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. Larry of Massachusetts

    Bad politics.If Obama tries to tax his way to more spending he will put this country into a death spiral until a Depression wipes out the middle class altogether

    July 10, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. nc man

    oh finally, finally the rich get to almost pay their share...

    "religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich" napoleon bonaparte

    July 10, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. David

    Middle class.... you are next!

    July 10, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  20. annie s

    Fine with me. Now get the Blue Dog Democrats on board or get them out. It's time for American government to put the people first – and the people need serious reform with a public option.

    July 10, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. Annie, Atlanta

    Aren't these the rich who got richer under Bush and his tax cuts for the wealthy? Some of them are also the banksters from Wall Street who had a field day destroying the rest of us financially, with their schemes. I just can't feel their pain right now.

    July 10, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Steve (the real one)

    These guys are so quick to raise taxes. I hope they understand they have to pay them as well. Whoops!! They write the laws so they know better than most how to get around the laws!

    July 10, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Leo

    Woo hoo! Wealth redistribution! "Collectivism", Socialism, Communism (as in a government based on the communal good: a la Marx), Progressive, "Enlightened". It doesn't matter what you call it. In the end, we are promoting a state where initiative and effort are discouraged, reliance on GOVERNMENT (read your hard earned wages... uh, I mean the government's essential tax revenues) is required, and those who find themselves dependent on government are told that without the wonderfulness of government, the mean rich oppressors wouldn't allow them to survive, much less succeed. Hmm... sounds more and more like I don't like what's happening to this nation. Look, I love our country, our freedom, our values. I just really dislike our politicians!

    July 10, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. jzh

    The surtax is a lazy if not a stupid idea. Beside punishing people who work hard, they would have to pay a few thousands dollars more by just earning 1 dollar more, e.g. $280,000 vs $279,999... More people will choose not to work to avoid being punished. Watching for the unployment rate to go up and tax revenue to go down.

    July 10, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. jon

    i hope the rich people dont cry or some poor ones dont cry for them after all the working poor made them rich stop hoarding money and make this world a better place

    July 10, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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