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Thread: Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

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    Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    WASHINGTON (AP) - With lawmakers trying to crunch the numbers on a $1 trillion health care overhaul, President Barack Obama is leaving the door open to a new tax on employer-provided health care benefits.

    Senior senators said Wednesday the benefits tax could be essential for the complex plan to be fully financed.

    "I don't want to prejudge what they're doing," Obama said, referring to proposals in the Senate to tax workers who get expensive insurance policies. Obama, who campaigned against the tax when he ran for president, drew a quick rebuff from organized labor.
    My Way News - Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    Assuming that this goes thru, and that medical benefits are inputed as income and taxed accordingly -- does this qualify as a break in the promise to not raise the taxes of anyone making $250k or less?
    Last edited by Goobieman; 06-25-09 at 01:53 PM.

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    Re: Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    Didn't he slam Mccain for wanting to do this?

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    Re: Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Supamanu View Post
    Didn't he slam Mccain for wanting to do this?
    I dont know if The Obama slammed McCain, but McCain certainly suggested it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/01/us.../01mccain.html

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    Re: Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    My Way News - Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    Assuming that this goes thru, and that medical benefits are inputed as income and taxed accordingly -- does this qualify as a break in the promise to not raise the taxes of anyone making $250k or less?
    Well, sort of. It isn't a hike in the income tax RATE persay, so Obama can claim that their tax rates didn't go up. Especially if Congress lowers the actual RATE for people earning less than $250K.

    As for the substance of the issue, it's a good idea to tax health care benefits as normal income. This will cleave health care from employment once and for all, as we should have done long ago.
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    Re: Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Well, sort of. It isn't a hike in the income tax RATE persay, so Obama can claim that their tax rates didn't go up. Especially if Congress lowers the actual RATE for people earning less than $250K.

    As for the substance of the issue, it's a good idea to tax health care benefits as normal income. This will cleave health care from employment once and for all, as we should have done long ago.
    Explain why?
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    Re: Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenb View Post
    Explain why?
    The only reason that employers provide health care in the first place is because it's a win-win situation due to a tax loophole. No one pays taxes on it, as the law currently stands. Employers can deduct it as a payroll expense, and employees don't have to count it as income.

    However, tying health care to employment creates horrendous economic inefficiencies. It means that people are reluctant to quit a job that they suck at, or to go back to school, because they can't afford individual plans. It makes people completely dependent on their employers to the point where losing their job (and their health insurance) could wipe out an entire lifetime's savings in a few months.

    The prudent thing to do would be to tax it as regular income, since there is no fundamental difference between being paid in cash or being paid in health benefits.
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    Re: Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Well, sort of. It isn't a hike in the income tax RATE persay, so Obama can claim that their tax rates didn't go up. Especially if Congress lowers the actual RATE for people earning less than $250K.

    As for the substance of the issue, it's a good idea to tax health care benefits as normal income. This will cleave health care from employment once and for all, as we should have done long ago.
    You could eliminate all deductions and it wouldn't be an increase in the income tax rate either, but I doubt that's what people had in mind when he made a "no tax" pledge.
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    Re: Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    "President Barack Obama is leaving the door open to a new tax on employer-provided health care benefits."

    Well, that pretty much zaps his promise to not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000...err $200,000...er $150,000...er $100,000...er $25,000 now doesn't it?

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    Re: Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The only reason that employers provide health care in the first place is because it's a win-win situation due to a tax loophole. No one pays taxes on it, as the law currently stands. Employers can deduct it as a payroll expense, and employees don't have to count it as income.

    However, tying health care to employment creates horrendous economic inefficiencies. It means that people are reluctant to quit a job that they suck at, or to go back to school, because they can't afford individual plans. It makes people completely dependent on their employers to the point where losing their job (and their health insurance) could wipe out an entire lifetime's savings in a few months.

    The prudent thing to do would be to tax it as regular income, since there is no fundamental difference between being paid in cash or being paid in health benefits.
    Nah, the prudent thing to do would be to eliminate the income tax and end a huge number of money games and shenanigans related to it.

    Another prudent thing to do would be to take government out of the health care business, since it's a violation of the Constitution.

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    Re: Obama not closing door on possible health care tax

    It's kind of crazy that we expect companies to pay for our health insurance. We don't expect them to pay for our car insurance or home insurance. Why's health any different? The only reason companies do it is because of wage caps during WWII. Government intervention fails again.

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