Theodore's World: Democrat Senator Warns of 'Big, Big Tax' on Middle Class in Baucus Bill

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September 17, 2009

Democrat Senator Warns of 'Big, Big Tax' on Middle Class in Baucus Bill

I am also adding House Minority Leader John Boehner ( Republican) reacts to Sen. Baucus' health care plan


Dem Senator Warns of 'Big, Big Tax' on Middle Class in Baucus Bill

ABC news

It's not every day that you hear a Democratic senator charge that a fellow Democrat is proposing to raise taxes on the middle class, but that is what happened on Tuesday when Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., ripped into the health-care bill developed by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mt., the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

The Baucus proposal would impose, starting in 2013, a 35 percent excise tax on insurance companies for "high-cost plans" -- defined as those above $8,000 for individuals and $21,000 for family plans.

Health economists believe a tax on high-priced benefits could help slow the growth of health costs by making consumers more sensitive to prices.

The tax contemplated by Baucus is also a big revenue raiser. It is expected to raise $200 billion, money that Baucus is hoping to use to pay for subsidies for the uninsured.

Given how much money this kind of tax can raise, Rockefeller says he understands why it is "tempting."

The West Virginia Democrat worries, however, that a lot of middle class workers, like the coal miners in his state, will end up facing "a big, big tax" under the Baucus bill because they currently enjoy generous employer-provided health care benefits which they receive tax free.
Referring to Baucus, Rockefeller said, "He should understand that (his proposal) means that virtually every single coal miner is going to have a big, big tax put on them because the tax will be put on the company and the company will immediately pass it down and lower benefits because they are self insured, most of them, because they are larger. They will pass it down, lower benefits, and probably this will mean higher premiums for coal miners who are getting very good health care benefits for a very good reason. That is, like steelworkers and others, they are doing about the most dangerous job that can be done in America."
"So that’s not really a smart idea," Rockefeller continued. "In fact, it’s a very dangerous idea, and I’m not even sure the coal miners in West Virginia are aware that this is what is waiting if this bill passes."

Wild Thing's comment.........

Baucus had earned a place next to Graham, Rudman and Hollings on the Mt. Rushmore of irrelevancy.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at September 17, 2009 05:48 AM


United Mine Workers, the actual workers, are discovering that in their contract it states if Nationalized Health Care gets implemented, they loose their union coverage and are placed into the Nationalized system. Rockefeller's state, West Virginia, is heavily mine workers.

Posted by: BobF at September 17, 2009 07:11 AM

Absolutely clueless! and these are the people we are supposed to look up to and expect to represent us? Why are we even still debating this?? It's not constitutional! Hello! All you suits who took an oath to defend the Constitution, will you read it for once??!!

Posted by: yankeemom at September 17, 2009 08:03 AM

BobF., thank you so much for that

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 18, 2009 12:20 AM

Yankeemom, HUGE ditto!

"All you suits who took an oath to defend the Constitution, will you read it for once??!!"

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 18, 2009 12:22 AM