House Democrats Weigh Options for Funding Health Care Overhaul
House Democrats are considering an income tax surcharge on individuals with adjusted gross incomes exceeding $200,000 and couples with incomes higher than $250,000 as a funding mechanism for health reform, according to officials familiar with the discussions, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Key lawmakers also are expected to propose a tax or fee on employers that do not offer health benefits to their workers. The charge would be equal to a percentage of the worker's salary, according to the AP/Chronicle.
Some House members acknowledged that the surtax was being discussed, but they noted that the Democratic leadership and the House Ways and Means Committee, which crafts tax laws, have not yet made a final decision on it.
According to the AP/Chronicle, House Democrats previously dropped a plan to include a payroll tax as a funding mechanism for the health reform bill, but other options -- such as a tax on sugary beverages and eliminating a tax break on advertisements by drugmakers -- "remained possibilities."House Democrats are aiming to complete a final draft bill by Friday and hold committee votes on it next week (Werner, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 7/9). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.