Tags: obama | healthcare | plan

Obama's New Plan: Tax the Sick

Thursday, 08 Oct 2009 02:56 PM

By Dick Morris

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Faced with a need to scrounge for revenue to fund his plan for healthcare, President Barack Obama and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus have come up with a brilliant new idea: Tax the sick!

In a new amendment to the healthcare bill, they propose to limit the deductibility of medical expenses on income taxes.

Now, taxpayers may deduct any medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. Obama and Baucus want to raise that threshold to 10 percent as long as the taxpayer is under age 65.

Eight million Americans are sick enough and poor enough that they have to pay more than 7.5 percent of their income in medical expenses. And it is these folks that the liberals Obama and Baucus plan to tax. Six million of them earn less than $75,000 a year!

For a family earning $75,000 a year and facing out-of-pocket medical bills of $7,500, this proposal would cost them about $600 a year in extra taxes.

And let's remember who it is that they are taxing. This proposal affects people whose incomes are so limited and whose medical costs are so high that they exceed 7.5 percent of their pre-tax income.

Their proposal literally hopes to raise $20 billion over 10 years by taxing sick people.

The Democrats defend their proposal by saying that it would discourage health care spending. But nobody deliberately spends 7.5 percent of their income on medical costs unless they are pretty sick and needy.

Obama and Baucus have singled out the sickest among the middle class for this heinous tax. (The poor will not have to pay it because they are eligible for Medicaid). Originally, the Democrats continued their war on the elderly by proposing to tax everyone who spends more than the 7.5 percent threshold on medical costs. But they retreated when it became clear that 6 million elderly would be hit with the tax. Now they just sock it to 8 million sick, middle income Americans.

This tax, and their desire to cut Medicare and Medicaid by $500 billion, makes Obama and Baucus unlike any Democrats I have ever known. Democrats, at least when I worked for Clinton, defended the elderly and the sick rather than cut the former and tax the latter.

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