Photoshop: Reader Rachael in Ky
I wrote on Tuesday: Get ready for health care tax-apalooza.
Well, the pain has arrived. Politico has a list passed around by Democrats last night.
Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching:
— Broaden the 1.45-percent Medicare tax on earned income to “passive income,” which could include money from capital gains, rental properties and businesses that do not require direct participation. This could raise $100 billion.
— Levy a five-percent surtax on individuals who earn more than $500,000 and couples that make $1 million.
— Tax health benefits at a higher level than had been considered. Two scenarios are in play. Taxing plans worth more than $20,300 for a family and $8,300 for an individual could raise $240 billion. Increasing the cut-off to plans worth more than $25,000 would bring $90 billion.
— Capping the tax break on itemized deductions at 28 percent, as President Barack Obama had proposed, or freezing the top deduction rate at 35 percent when the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010. The first scenario would raise $168 billion, while the second would collect $90 billion.
— Issue tax credit bonds to pay for the proposed Medicaid expansion, raising $75 billion.
— Charge fees to pharmaceutical manufacturers, bringing in as much as $20 billion, and insurance providers, raising $75 billion.
— Raise taxes on sodas and sugary drinks. A 3-cent hike could pick up $30 billion, and a 10-cent hike could make $100 billion. This one already appears out of favor: Many senators have specifically ruled out the sugar tax, and a Senate Democratic source said it was the one option that was clearly not gaining traction with committee members.
As always, more “options” are on the table. Plus: Peter Suderman points out that Sen. Max Baucus is desperately trying to persuade the CBO to cook the books and count some health care programs as “cost-savings.”
Higher taxes and government book-cooking: The Democrat prescription for everything.
Hey, did this one jump out at you:
Issue tax credit bonds to pay for the proposed Medicaid expansion, raising $75 billion.
More generational theft: Borrow now. Your kids and grandkids pay later.
A refreshing alternative: The Senate GOP Doctors have a better plan.