Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Future Taxes on Health Benefits?

Per an announcement by Vice President Joe Biden, it has recently come to attention that the nation’s hospitals have decided to give up $155 billion in future Medicare and Medicaid payments in order to facilitate Obama’s desired cost of legislation.

Aside from hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, the American Medical Association, and other groups representing physicians are potential concession makers that could serve as a great push for health care reform.

This new information troubled Senate Democratic leaders who rebelled yesterday against a proposed tax on health care benefits. Many of them are opposed to this type of legislation, fearing that votes could be lost and the public made unhappy. Public polls reveal that around 60 or 70 percent thought negatively of taxing health care benefits to “pay for reform.”

Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has been working with a small group of Republicans to devise a plan that the public would find more applicable and worthy of support. A tenet of the plan includes taxing higher-cost health benefits that workers receive on the job. Despite uncertainties about the details, Baucus remains headstrong in his belief that a tax on health benefits is the most effective way to both pay for health care and also prevent the growth of coverage costs in the future.

Stay tuned for more information on health care reform, as the House and Senate strive to come to terms about legislation before the August recess.
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