Baucus Bill Taxes The Sick


So now we know how Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) really raises money for his healthcare bill. He taxes those who suffer a catastrophic illness:

The proposal, added as part of a last-minute package of modifications to Chairman Max Baucus’ bill, would increase the threshold for deducting medical expenses from today’s level of 7.5 percent of income to 10 percent. This seemingly small change is projected by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation to cost taxpayers over $4 billion per year.

Now, let me explain how this tax exemption works.

Let’s take a hypothetical person making $10,000 a year. As the law now stands, once he–not the insurance company, but the individual citizen–pays 7.5% of his income for medical care, which in this example would be $750, he can deduct the rest of his medical expenses from his taxes. The change would mean that now he has to pay $1,000 before he gets to deduct the rest.

Now, you may say, that’s not really that big a change. But, few of us these days are making $10,000 (which I deliberately picked because it makes the math easy). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2007 (the latest year for which data is available), the median yearly wage for private industry workers was $33,280. So take the figures above and multiply them by 3 to check the impact on the average single-earner family… or by 6 to get the impact on a two-income family. We’re talking losing over $1,600 in tax deductions for a two-income family (everything over $4,992 can be deducted under the current system, but you have to get to $6,656 before you could deduct anything under the proposed new rate).

In other words, the Baucus bill raises taxes on precisely those people who need help–those who suffer catastrophic health problems, be it illness, accident, or something else.

If you don’t want that to happen, call any of the members of the Senate Finance Committee–heck, call all of them! The members of the committee are below the fold.

Democrats:

MAX BAUCUS, MT
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, WV
KENT CONRAD, ND
JEFF BINGAMAN, NM
JOHN F. KERRY, MA
BLANCHE L. LINCOLN, AR
RON WYDEN, OR
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, NY
DEBBIE STABENOW, MI
MARIA CANTWELL, WA
BILL NELSON, FL
ROBERT MENENDEZ, NJ
THOMAS CARPER, DE

Republicans:

CHUCK GRASSLEY, IA
ORRIN G. HATCH, UT
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, ME
JON KYL, AZ
JIM BUNNING, KY
MIKE CRAPO, ID
PAT ROBERTS, KS
JOHN ENSIGN, NV
MIKE ENZI, WY
JOHN CORNYN, TX

The committee’s office phone number is 202.224.4515, or you can just call the Capitol switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask for the Senator you want.

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About Conservative Wanderer

Conservative Wanderer is currently Editor-in-Chief of That's Freedom You Hear! That means anything that goes wrong can be blamed on him. Previously he was a contributor to the PJ Tatler.
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