What Does Joe Think About that TAX Increase on the Middle Class?
President Bush is expected to focus his State of the Union Speech tomorrow on domestic issues in an attempt to raise his approval ratings.
The President knows that Iraq is a disaster and that the American people no longer believe anything he says about the fiasco he created over there. Everytime he gives a speech on Iraq, his approval ratings drop even further.
So, in a last ditch attempt to save his Presidency, he is expected to announce a new health care plan for the Country and a new energy policy. We will focus on his "health care plan" today and tackle his "energy policy" in another post.
The Bush Health Care Plan Is Really Just a TAX on Middle Class Health Insurance
Unfortunately, Bush's "Health Care Plan" is really just a TAX INCREASE on the middle-class wrapped up in pretty words and topped with a bow.
Here is what Bush's plan would do -- for those of you fortunate enough to get your health insurance from your employer, Bush's plan will eliminate the tax benefits to your employer for offering the benefit AND will impose a TAX on YOU because they will consider the benefit part of your income (so you would pay income tax on your healthcare benefits).
So, rather than make health insurance more affordable for everyone, he is going to make it more expensive and less likely that anyone will be able to get it from their employer.
The result would be that those with good health care would be TAXED on their health care benefits. So the middleclass worker who gets their health insurance from their employer would see their income taxes increase.
Also, the other result is that the employers would lose a tax break for offering the insurance as a benefit and thus many employers would stop offering healthcare insurance for their workers.
So those middle-class workers that get their health insurance from their employer would likely see that benefit eliminated in the very near future.
For those that don't have health insurance, Bush's plan would give families a tax deduction between $7,500 and $15,000 for them to buy health insurance and pay co-pays, etc. Of course if you can't afford to buy health insurance today, Bush's plan will not make it any more affordable to you. Getting a tax deduction -- particularly for those that don't itemize their deductions anyway -- would not make insurance more affordable.
Bush's plan would merely reduce the number of middle class families that would get health insurance through their employers. Those who did continue to receive the benefit would be subject to an increase in their income taxes.
The Bush Healthcare Plan is no healthcare plan. It is merely another example of the war on the middle-class. The wealthy are taking advantage of the average working family. Multi-millionaire CEO's wouldn't even notice the difference in costs. But the average working family would find healthcare more and more expensive and less and less accessible.
Regarding Bush's Plan, Senator Kennedy has said,
But Kennedy said he was concerned that the tax changes could undermine
employer-provided coverage while failing to do enough to help the uninsured.
Congressman Charles Rangel, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, said
This is a dangerous policy that ultimately shifts cost and risk from employers to employees and could result in a higher number of uninsured.
What is Congressman Knollenberg's position on Bush's Healthcare Plan?
Since he votes with Bush over 90% of the time, it is a safe bet that Knollenberg supports the President's Plan to increase taxes on the middleclass and to eliminate their healthcare insurance benefits.