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Nation's Oldest Taxpayer Group Criticizes Committee Vote for Baucus Health Bill, Hidden Tax Increases
For Immediate Release October 13, 2009
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700
(Alexandria, VA) -- The 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU) today condemned the Senate Finance Committee's 14-9 vote to support the health care bill drafted by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), pointing to hundreds of billions of dollars in damaging tax increases. This so-called "moderate" health care reform bill would grow the already bloated federal budget while saddling middle class families with billions in new taxes.
"The Committee's bill massively expands the size and scope of the federal government by creating hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes, some of which are carefully hidden from the unsuspecting taxpayer," said NTU Vice President for Policy and Communications Pete Sepp. For example, one component of the bill the Senate Finance Committee passed today would boost the minimum amount of medical expenses a person would incur before they could be written off of one's income tax. Under current law, Americans can deduct the portion of their medical bills from taxable income that is greater than 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income. Baucus's health care bill changes this percentage, requiring medical bills to exceed 10 percent of a person’s income before a portion would become deductible.
While supporters of the bill claim that this tax increase would not affect the middle class, Sepp says that the math is inescapable. "IRS data shows that of the 10.6 million taxpayers that claim the medical expense deduction, all but 50,000 make less than $250,000 per year. In fact, the majority of those taxpayers make less than $50,000 per year. While there is plenty of debate about what constitutes 'middle class,' both sides can surely agree that an income of $50,000 per year falls within that range." In addition, the bill would hammer families with tax penalties of up to $1,900 for failing to comply with the government mandate to purchase health insurance.
"Instead of trimming back wasteful spending and passing common-sense reforms, like implementing fundamental tax reform, allowing purchases of health insurance across state lines, or proposing strong tort reform, the Senate Finance Committee today chose a path that would heap further burdens on one the most over-leveraged groups on Earth: the U.S. taxpayer," Sepp concluded.
NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: For more information on NTU, visit www.ntu.org or send a text message to 67292.