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House Dems Consider Taxing Benefits

From a delighted Associated Press:

AP Sources: House Dems consider taxing benefits

By David Espo, AP Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON – Despite a less-than-rousing reaction from the Obama administration, House Democrats are considering a new tax on employer-provided health benefits to help pay for expanding coverage to the uninsured.

Several officials also said an outline of emerging legislation envisions a requirement for all individuals to purchase affordable coverage, with an unspecified penalty for those who refuse and a waiver for those who cannot cover the cost.

"There’s no sense having a mandate unless you have a contribution," Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Monday. He referred to the suggestion as "play or pay."

Rangel and other senior Democrats arranged to bring members of the party’s rank and file up to date at a midday session Tuesday on the effort to draft health care legislation at the top of President Barack Obama’s agenda.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt the presentation to rank-and-file Democrats on Tuesday…

The outline does not include an overall cost for the legislation, which is expected to exceed the $1.2 trillion, 10-year price tag Obama’s proposal carried last winter.

Part of the cost would be covered in the form of cuts in the government payments under Medicare plans run by private insurance companies, which receive more per patient than the cost of traditional coverage.

Strikingly, the outline made no mention of the possible tax on health benefits, or of the proposed penalty for those refusing to purchase affordable insurance.

Several officials stressed that no final decisions would be made for several days on the possible tax on health benefits.

The idea has been gaining currency in recent weeks as Congress intensifies its search for more than $1 trillion to help pay for a health care overhaul…

Obama’s top aides did not disagree, even though the president criticized the idea lustily last year when campaign rival Sen. John McCain proposed it. Instead, White House officials say Obama prefers his own suggestions: cuts in projected Medicare spending and tax increases on the wealthy that thus far have gained little favor among Democrats in Congress…

The option for taxing insurance benefits is also under consideration as part of legislation taking shape across the Capitol in the Senate Finance Committee.

As we have noted before, this is in direct contradiction to Mr. Obama’s campaign promises.

(A detail that even the AP has now been forced to acknowledge in this article. Albeit in passing, and buried near the bottom of the piece.)

Here is one of his ads against Mr. McCain on the subject:

[Obama’s campaign ad]"Taketh" features footage from the debate Second Presidential Debate in which Obama tells Americans the truth about John McCain’s health care plan, explaining that McCain pays for his tax credit by taxing your health care benefits, for the first time ever.

But, to be fair, what campaign promises has Mr. Obama kept?

As Mr. Lenin taught, language is just a tool for gaining power.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 9th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “House Dems Consider Taxing Benefits”

  1. proreason says:

    The commercial didn’t say Obama WOULD NOT tax health care benefits, it said McCain WOULD (which McCain didn’t say).

    But of course, Obamy DID promise not to increases taxes on any but the top 5% of Americans.

    Which is why Congress will have carry that water, and The Moron will be forced to reluctantly agree, since he is ever the pragmatist. And since he now carries the weighty responsibility of the POTUS, he cannot, for the good of the American people, let himself be locked into absolutes, as was his predecessor, particularly when Congress so eloquently makes the case for a tax so necessary to undo the damage done by Bushhitler.

  2. artpa says:

    Dang, again you beat me to the punch… i was writing.. lemee guess, party line vote in the house, party line vote in the senate with 3 defectors from the GOP (even mc cain will vote no) , reluctantly signed into law by the prez as the teleprompter tells us it was a bad idea but …. (insert Rahm Emanuel explanation here) ….

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    What day is this?
    Oh yeah ……blablablabblablablabla top 5% will be taxed and those making $250,000.00 or less will see no increase blablablablablablabla.

    It won’t float people…..it just won’t do it!!!!

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Charley Rangel is their poster boy?
      You know that there is way too much kool aid drinking goin’ on when Chuckles is their poster boy for a tax increase!!
      Really laughable!!!!

  4. tranquil.night says:

    It’s been six months, Democrats, how can you not get how this works? You pass the faulty unread bill, wait for it to cause a crisis, THEN tell everyone we “need” to raise taxes to pay for it!

  5. canary says:

    He said he would cut VA benefits, medicare, and medicaid during his speech moments ago, of unnecessary fluffs they get that they don’t need. He’s targeting the old and disabled now. Gives’s ya a head up of his health-care plan, kind of a starve them out. He figures old people will die younger, and less to draw SS. Old people going back to work, is another reason Obama needs to stop the illegal traffic and amnesty b.s. he’s proposed.

  6. Howard Roark says:

    OK, let me get this straight:
    We’re hemorrhaging jobs every month for many, many months, now…
    Sectors of the economy have yet to burst, and we are told this job loss is predicted to continue at least a year longer than originally predicted by the Obama administration…
    The debt we’re incurring from Barry’s stimulus packages means that the value of the dollar declines which translates to fewer and fewer foreign investors buying our debt…

    And TOTUS wants to not only tax those earning much less than 250,000/yr, he wants to harden this jobless period by forcing already-beleagured small-medium business owners to pay their employees less every two weeks, where he must consider whether to increase his employees’ salary base to compensate for their loss (health care tax) in order to keep that employee, or maintain the current salary level and risk them leaving because they can’t pay their monthly bills anymore.

    How will he hire more people in this kind of a climate?

  7. There will be increased taxes. Anyone who thought otherwise is a damned fool (i.e.: Obama voter)

    And, like most corrupt-o-crats associated with Obama’s socialist agenda, Rep. Rangel is a world class hypocrite, tax cheat, and liar – a job requirement for this outfit, apparently.

  8. GL0120 says:

    As to what promise TCO has kept, there is the matter of redistributing the wealth – from us to him.

  9. VMAN says:

    Just the first little step on the road to imputed income. Get health car benefits? tax em. Drive a company car home? tax it. Is your mortgage lower than your neighbors? tax the difference. Is your car paid for but your neighbor has a loan? tax the difference. Do you have a garden? Tax those veggies. And on and on.

  10. MinnesotaRush says:

    These continue to be very bleak and black days for America!

    I see no good ending to this movie!

  11. neocon mom says:

    OIbammy said during the campaign you’d be able to keep your private insurance–sure, if there are any in business after this.
    The smackdown has begun. We are trading our prosperity, self-sufficiency and dignity for that liberal ideal of state-rationed healthcare. Soon we’ll all receive our user guides for our state run “insurance” program in the mail, entitled “Eugenics–You’ll Get Used To It!”

  12. Confucius says:

    Oooooooweeee! Luv that pimp ring. Totally boss.

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