Unhappy Senate Democrats on Thursday found plenty to complain about in the fine print of the latest health overhaul bill, particularly a tax provision they fear would hit hard at middle-class Americans, from coal miners in West Virginia to firefighters in New York.
The opposition sprang up a day after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., unveiled long-delayed legislation that would transform the nation's health care system, requiring almost everyone to buy insurance, making insurance companies cover people with pre-existing medical conditions and reining in spiraling health care costs.
The bill has given fresh momentum to President Barack Obama's top domestic priority of extending health coverage and controlling costs.
To pay for the 10-year, $856 billion bill Baucus wants to tax high-value insurance plans, those worth $21,000 for a family and $8,000 for an individual. Baucus says those are "Cadillac plans" enjoyed by a small minority of Americans. Aides said about 10 percent of plans and 8 percent of taxpayers could be affected.
But other Democratic senators fear that the tax would reach deep into middle-class pocketbooks, and labor unions are upset. Two Democrats on the Finance Committee, Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, along with other senators, say they want to limit the tax before signing off on the bill. ...
Friday, September 18, 2009
Dems unhappy with proposed tax in health care bill
Dems unhappy with proposed tax in health care bill; AP