July 12th, 2009
08:24 PM ET
13 years ago

Raising taxes at center of health care reform debate

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/12/health.care/art.capitollight.gi.jpg caption="House Democratic leaders delayed unveiling a plan last week after a challenge by fiscally conservative Democrats."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republicans and Democrats continued to spar Sunday over how to pay for health care reform.

Some Democrats rejected a proposal to start taxing health care benefits provided by employers. At the same time, momentum among Democrats seems to be building for Obama's proposal to limit tax deductions for those earning more than $250,000 a year.

Republicans oppose the high cost of health care reform, as well as key components of Democratic proposals including higher taxes on the wealthy. However, some Republicans expressed support for taxing employer-provided benefits of the most expensive health insurance plans.

The bottom line: Little is clear as the White House and Democrats continue to press for a health care reform bill by the end of the year.

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Filed under: Congress • Health care • Obama administration
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. hypocrites_are_everywhere

    Obama's 3 checkmate moves!

    1. Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation
    2. Mullah Omar and/or Osama bin's head (by July 4th 2011!)
    3. Healthcare reform squeaks through

    Middle East's long-lasting (I.e. most stable thus far) peace will be in place! And the economy will heal itself by 2012!

    Just watch!

    July 12, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  2. Really!?

    How many more ways can you raise taxes on earners, business owners, and people actually trying to stimulate the economy by producing? Bush tax cuts will expire, capital gains will rise, health care benefits will be taxed, and tax deductions and credits for businesses and owners will be eliminated. Let's not forget that a tax or a loss of tax credits on business (and owners) comes back around to consumers. Income taxes are built int o the price of goods and services to consumers. WAKE UP PEOPLE. Taxing the middle and up only hurts the economy in the long (and short) run. Think about it for just a little bit. For instance higher taxes prosposed on electrical coal plant will increase YOUR utility bill not the profits of the utility company.

    July 12, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  3. GuyInVA

    Get used to this. I have a feeling that raising taxes is going to be at the center of quite a few policy debates in the near future.

    July 12, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. lkb

    Taxes will go up and who is going to pay for it? Me and I am not happy. 80% of our population are not contributing to federal income taxes...their money comes back to them in refunds. it is a sad state with a president whose agenda will cost us greatly expects this burdon to fall on the remaining 20%. I will retire! If you want all the programs Obama has on his agenda , then work, contribute and pass on the tax refunds.

    July 12, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  5. Gary

    Stop talking about raising taxes. We pay too much already. Prove that the government can balance the budget and live within its means first then we can talk about taxes. If they raise them now, they'll just raise spending too. We work too hard already in this country.

    July 12, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  6. B.H.

    If you can’t tax wealth what are you going to tax? This country has to start catching up with the rest of the industrialized world with shared responsibility. If we don’t, the economy will never fully recover and health care will eat us alive in time.

    July 12, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  7. Legna

    PATHETIC...all men are created equal .. They should all pay the same percentage of taxes regardless of social status.

    July 12, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  8. Mike b

    The greed from big insurance is coming to a end.

    July 12, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  9. wot90s

    Do you really think the news about Cheney has anything to do about the timing of Obamas visit to Africa? Anything that happens in the next 7 1/2 years when Obama is doing anything for the USA, the news media, and anyone else that doesnt agree with his agenda will accuse the Democrats of trying to make news by coming up with any kind of exuse they can.
    Admit it, Cheney and Bush have been doing exactly what I have said for the last 5 years at least. War criminals. Plain and simple.
    When America starrs to realize the Politicans are nothing but crooked, thieves, then perhaps we can start voting them out of office. move the White House to the middle of the country, and start alllllll over with a new breed of people who have some common sense.

    July 12, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  10. Pfft

    Tax, tax, tax and let's tax some more. How is taxing health care benefits NOT raising taxes on the non-rich? It isn't. This is just another spin of the Obamanation to try to get money out of people so they can try to fix the mess they've made of the economy. Bush is out of office, and has been for just under six months. At the election everyone was SURE that the Obamanation would have everything fixed. But then, do teleprompters ever have real ideas?

    July 12, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  11. Peter E

    People keep saying 'it's my money, the government has no right to tax me.' FALSE! You have your job, you rely on an economy, you drive on roads, you are protected by our military because we have a national debt over 3/4 the size of our economy! That means you OWE 3/4 of all you have! No, it's not the government's debt alone. YOU got your job because our whole economy was built on that debt! And you have the galls to ask for more tax cuts? Tax cuts on deficit spending are an oxymoron! They just increase the national debt, and hence because we have to pay interest on that debt actually INCREASE the total amount of tax your children will have to pay! So quit with the lie that you don't owe taxes! YOU are the one burdening your children with more taxes because YOU wanted to borrow this economy, and your job with your tax cuts!

    July 12, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  12. Dennis

    Geez–I love faux debates as much as the next guy but C'mon! How about a debate on spending our money versus NOT SPENDING our money?? We can't afford bailouts–we can't afford to be the safety net–we can't afford socialized medicine! We may have been able to afford socialized medicine had we not frivolously bailed out AIG, the Banks, the Auto Industry–but now we just can't afford it. Too bad for me I've got Cancer. Half my savings is gone in six months, but I'm not too big to drop dead like GM and Chrysler should have the first time they could not compete with foreign cars! I could only afford one education that ended up being functionally worthless. I have no new models to introduce, no new derivatives to throw at the public market fan. The best the public can do is Tea Bags??? It's infuriarating!!!

    July 12, 2009 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  13. Limbaugh is a liberal

    And exactly what is the republican's grand 'alternate plan?' A 3-page outline with NO cost estimates, and 80% of their plan is taken near-verbatim from Obama's health care plan. The only 20% difference is that the republicans want all the abusive health insurance companies to get even more money and no regulation.
    Americans pay over $2 trillion every year to these companies. And in return they get services denied for profit's sake. We need an alternative. We need quality. We need REAL competition. The current companies are destroying families and small businesses with their abusive demands and fees. They have failed us! In fact, they failed us ten years ago and since then it's gotten worse because government took even more hands off! And the GOP wants even more of that. More of what failed!

    July 12, 2009 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  14. Neilz

    Obama and Congress are trying desperately to come up with a plan that limits access but raises the profitability of healthcare for multinational insurance companies and profiteering health care providers.
    They don't want poor people clogging up the system. Treating poor people negatively impacts the bottom line. But how to raise profits without diverting much needed military expenditures and bailouts to multinational banks?
    Tax everybody. That way the poor stay poor with less access, the rich get richer and enjoy unfettered access, and profitability is sustained in an uncertain economic environment.
    It's the way God Planned it.
    Ask The Family on C Street.

    July 12, 2009 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  15. Brad of IL.

    Lets make sure that the Congress and Senate and the President all pay for there free health care instead of the tax payers. Better yet let them start drawing Social Security like the rest of us.

    July 13, 2009 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  16. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    If taxes have to be raised, they need to be raised on everyone including the present uninsured and lower income so maybe the FICA taxes raised on everyone is more fair. Why should the rich pay for it alone? Everything the democrats have proposed including the stimulous, bailouts, global warming, increase in social welfare programs, and now health care reform the democrats are relying on the rich to pay for. Which one are they really going to pay for since theyre is not enough rich people to pay for everything? The middle class are going to get the RAW END of this spending deal!

    July 13, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  17. S M R

    It's time the rich pull their weight.

    July 13, 2009 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  18. matt

    Obama's healthcare reform doesn't really reduce the cost of healthcare. He just uses taxpayer dollars to subsidize it.

    Of the 45M people that done have healthcare, over 9M make over $75K, another 9.5M qualify for current programs (Medicare...), and 11-12M aren't US citizens.

    Let's work on ways to make the healthcare more efficient (electronic medical records, best practices...), strive to eliminate waste (frivolous lawsuits, non-emergency emergency room visits...) and be proactive on preventative care (diabetes, obesity,...).

    We really don't want an inefficient government throwing money at healthcare.

    July 13, 2009 01:21 am at 1:21 am |