Reid Mulls Hike in Payroll Tax To Help Pay for Health Care Reform
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reportedly is weighing a plan that would raise the Medicare payroll tax for individuals with annual incomes higher than $250,000 annually, the AP/Washington Post reports.
Democratic officials familiar with the private deliberations said that it is one of several options Reid has considered including in the Senate's final health reform bill, which the majority leader is hoping to release next week.
Under current law, the tax is set at 1.45% of an individual's income andÂ is matched by employers. According to the AP/Post, it is not clear how high Reid's plan would raise the tax or whether the hike also would apply to employers' share. President Obama has pledged not to raise taxes on people earning less than $250,000 each year.
Jim Manley, a spokesperson for Reid, said that details of the plan have not yet been finalized. Manley noted that a cost and coverage estimate of the bill that Reid submitted to the Congressional Budget Office is pending.
The bill that Reid releases would have to be merged with the House bill (HR 3962), which includes a 5.4% surtax on individuals earning more than $500,000 annually and couples earning more than $1 million each year. That proposal has drawn limited support in the Senate, the AP/Post reports (Espo, AP/Washington Post, 11/11).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.