Obama Now Considering Taxing Health Care Benefits

After denouncing John McCain"s health insurance proposal during the presidential campaign,  which included taxing the health care benefit as income then giving individuals a $2500 and families a $5000 tax credit, the Obama Administration is now considering taxing health care benefits.

As the New York Times reports:

The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system.    

The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as “the largest middle-class tax increase in history.” Most Americans with insurance get it from their employers, and taxing workers for the benefit is opposed by union leaders and some businesses.    

In television advertisements last fall, Mr. Obama criticized his Republican rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain of Arizona, for proposing to tax all employer-provided health benefits. The benefits have long been tax-free, regardless of how generous they are or how much an employee earns. The advertisements did not point out that Mr. McCain, in exchange, wanted to give all families a tax credit to subsidize the purchase of coverage…    

…At a recent Congressional hearing, Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat whose own health plan would make benefits taxable, asked Peter R. Orszag, the president’s budget director, about the issue. Mr. Orszag replied that it “most firmly should remain on the table.”

Add this to:

  • there will be no lobbyists in the administration,
  • ending earmarks,
  • five days of public scrutiny on spending legislation,
  • a $3000 tax credit for businesses that create jobs,
  • no tax increases if you make less than $250,000

It appears the list of campaign promises and pledges broken by President Obama is without end.



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