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. Tim

    Sounds fair to me. Take from those who have more to give to those who have less. It doesn't matter how those who have more got it, they need to share. That's what I tell my kids on the playground. They get along great with the other kids.

    July 10, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  2. annie for Palin

    D oes the tax include them (doubt it)? If all politicians would go totally on their proposed health plan not their current one just the one they propose for taxpayers and stay on it for at least 3 years and if it does work and they don't cheat and use other health care than fine taxpayers will be willing to try it once the politicians have proven it works.

    July 10, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  3. Bill from CA

    Before all the Republicans huff and puff, a little perspective...1% of $ 350,000 is $ 3500 a YEAR. So people who make $ 30,000 a MONTH would pay an extra $ 150 off their pay checks. In return for a health care fix. I would gladly pay an extra 1% in taxes to fix health care, but I know the GOP puts money ahead of country so I won't be surprised when all the conservatives come out whining.

    July 10, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. The Party of NO stood calmly by for 8 year while the shrub raped and pillaged America, so, why would we listen to you now?

    I am willing to pay more taxes for health care insurance for everyone. I make 60K I would be willing to pay 1 or 2% more in taxes so everyone, including myself should I become unemployed and lose my employer insurance, would have health insurance coverage. Everyone should have access to health insurance, with a no pre-existing clause and if the poor cannot afford to pay the premiums then use the taxes to subsidize them to pay for a public insurance plan. The cost of which could be kept down by clinics that are staffed by nurses and a physician's assistant or doctor that comes in a couple of days a week. The payment amount should be added to the welfare assistance amount but go directly to the insurer, NOT the individual(s) via the welfare payment system.

    Also, the House plan does not include illegal aliens, but then they will still go to the emergency room for health care and we will still pay for it in higher rates for all us, although the cost for 12 million would be less than 47 million.

    July 10, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Gus The Willie

    Guess the Goose that laid the golden egg has been found.

    July 10, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  6. Milton

    As a young American who is a student, I see no problem in reforming health care now and paying for it with those who are able to contribute so, in the future, these taxes could be levied and would not be needed. Additionally, though, a tax on sugary drinks and unhealthy foods would send a strong message to the American people that we will change our standard of living and become a more healthy people. But, of course, I understand that this is governmet interfering with the daily lives of citizens, so that would never fly. In the end, i can't see a huge opposition to this new tax since it's the most reasonable and fair way to help pay for it at the moment. This administration is doing exactly what we most of us young citizens sent President Obama to do. Change and reform the government that we knew into the government that we need for the future.

    July 10, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. obamamama

    Nice work hard and you get to pay for those that don't! Where did my boy Barack go wrong?????

    July 10, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. Stuffit

    CNN, sorry, this isn't really news. House Dems want to raise taxes on ALL of us and have been wanting to for some time.

    I propose we just give everything we make to them since they are so wise and fiscally responsible. I'm sure they'll make sure we get enough to meet our needs.

    I just want health care and food and gay marriage. I could care less about freedoms that the Constitution supposedly guarantees me. It was written by a bunch of old crusty rich white guys anyway, what did they know?

    July 10, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |

    Most rich people I always thought wanted to help and share their good fortune, I dont understand why the MEDIA and REPUBLICANS make it out to be so dirty... They are helping the most needly , and arent we all judged one day by the good and bad , arent nations judged by how they treat their mosty needy ?
    Doing GOOD , whether it be by paying a little more in taxes or giving a little more to charities or both ...... is a GOOD THING ..... dont let some make it seem like its bad ...
    We are all GOOO, WE are all worthy ... We are all GODS CHILDREN...

    July 10, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. OldUncleTom

    We know these necessary reforms will not be without cost. If a tax must be levied on incomes that constitute "wealth", then so be it. Since it is a marginal rate increase, the tax will be levied on the last dollar earned, not the first (as our current FICA/Medicare taxes are paid).

    At minimum, we recover some of the AIG bonus money we have already paid.

    July 10, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    Well, with the Health Care Reform covering only 1/3rd of the uninsured in America, which means it will cost 3 times as much to cover the other 2/3rds since the democrats also want to cover illegal immigrants, who are they going to tax for the rest of the money? They will have to tax the middle class. Personally I think the people using the govenment ran programs should have to pay something so the system is not abused to get drugs like the Celebrity Elite have. As I have said before my son made $18,000 last year and pays $250.00 a month to cover he and his 5 year old son with good medical insurance, I do not feel sorry for anyone else who says they cannot afford insurance. They need to give up somethings to get it if they want it. Things like partying, alcohol, drugs, their cell phone and internet, their vacation, eating out, 150 channel cable. These are things my son cannot afford. That is why he has to live with his parents.

    July 10, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. I'm a TOTAL Democrat

    Yea, I'm a total democrat, always have been and always will be. I'm not actually a republican, it's just total coincidence that I've always voted for republicans and the only things I ever post are derogatory comments about democrats. No way am I a plant and completely lying about being a democrat. It's just total coincidence that I only post my dislike for democrats.

    Oh, Obama is no good, nor is Frank, Pelosi, and any other democrat. But I'm a total democrat, thats why you can believe me when I say it, because I'm not PRETENDING to be a democrat.

    July 10, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. John G

    Steal from the rich and give to the poor only works in story books

    July 10, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. Steve

    Its about time they put it. The middle class has been carrying the lower class too long. Yes the top 1% make more money then most countries combined, but they don’t get it without us little people having a need for what they have cleverly taken or swindled over centuries of lies. Look @ the wealth made by Michael Jackson, he had a product we all want and paid for and he was richer then rich. And then you have these oil companies, CEO's of big car companies, power and electric companies who make everything or buy out everyone to shush them for fear of any potential competition, These giants know we need what they have and the crank up the fee's, Well those fee's never get back to us nor dose it go down to the little people. This will be the only way to see all the money we finance the retarded rich peoples mansions and Lambo's!
    Thanks Congress and Obama!!!
    I don’t dislike the rich, I just don’t like that they can put their name on a high school or own a Long horn and never pay taxes that even the people who make 50-90k a year pay.

    July 10, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  15. mytabloids

    That totally works for me!

    The insanely rich people in this nation need to "give back" to the rest of us. Isn't that the sort of people we're supposed to be?

    Now, I realize they'll all whine and tell us that this will hurt investment and such, but I hope we're past believing that bunk!

    One less trip to Europe might actually do some of these rapacious buggers some good!

    July 10, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. frank

    no taxes for anyone
    Iam a demo and we dont need more taxes
    we need the democrats to stop gaving more money to there friends
    and big companys like aig
    then we will have plenty of money for what we need
    but until we the people take back are country we will have no place to call home

    July 10, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  17. Matt

    I will gladly pay this when I'm making it. Totally worth it.

    July 10, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  18. Rose

    That all Obama know how to do Increase TAX On Health care etc.
    To cover person like Nancy P to get BOTOX.

    July 10, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. Johnny DC

    Let the fun begin.

    Start hitting "rich couples" that earn an incredible $175,000 a year each. That salary can barely afford to rent an apartment in New York City, and now you'll be taking away thousands of dollars from said couple.

    And for what? To pay for health care for illegal immigrants, people on welfare who don't care to help themselves, and people who never put forth the effort in high school, college, or their workplace to ensure their careers and success.

    Not to mention that these people are the ones who choose to be the least healthy, statistically speaking. So the rich pay for bill for the poor.

    This is sickening.

    July 10, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. Carrie

    Great idea since it will not effect me,not with my income, I have family cannot afford insurance since they have been layed off. The wealthy have no idea what many many people have to go through just to keep a roof over head, tires and gas in an old car and food on the table, How can they afford heath care when just keeping their head above water is a full time job!

    But I know they will holler along with the rich GOP , it might put a cramp in their spa visits, vacation on the Riveria , a new home in the mountains , beach etc.or possiblly might not get that new designer hand bag, or new sports car , and an upgrade on the mansion!
    Maybe the rich and famous need a reality check on what is happening right under their cosmeticly altered noses!

    July 10, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  21. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    wow, that wasn't that hard. We need to pay for healthcare refrom, we increase taxes. What an easy concept.

    I can guess the lame comments from people who don't like this plan. First, they will scream class warfare. Guess what, there was already a war and the rich won. Over the last 30 years the rich got richer and everyone else stagnated (or got poorer). Second, all the rich people are going to leave. Wrong. There is no other country with the stability and safety of the US that doesn't already tax more then we do. Also, this assumes everyone that makes lots of money is an individualist, devoid of morals or so shallow they would leave over a 1% difference in their taxes. Lastly, I must be lazy, poor and looking for a handout from others hard work. Wrong. Both my wife and I are hard working professional workers who would gladly pay more taxes if it ment all American's would get healthcare. This is a moral issue. Just because we don't see the suffering doesn't mean it isn't happening. Lets cut the middle man out and goto a single payer system.

    July 10, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  22. roosevel brown

    what about cutting spending by 10% to help pay the health care program or setup a corporate tax for all those company the tax payer bailout during their time crisis.

    July 10, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. Sounds good to me

    It's better than taxing small businesses. This will help alot. So the wealthy may have to downgrade from the Mercedes to the Lexus. Big deal.

    July 10, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. Paul H

    Hmm another tax. I know the wealthier are being taxed more than the lower class, but if this keeps up our employers will not have any incentives to give raises, or create more work.
    When will common sense prevail here?

    July 10, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  25. DPavel

    As someone who makes this amount in a year, I'm happy to see the budget get that much closer to balanced, and doubt that I will significantly feel the decrease in my paychecks.

    July 10, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
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