Health Bill Would Add 3.8% Tax on Investment Income

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by stinkyfelix, Mar 19, 2010.


    I can't believe it! :mad:

    By Ryan J. Donmoyer and James Rowley

    March 18 (Bloomberg) -- Democratic congressional leaders would raise to 3.8 percent the Obama administration’s proposed new Medicare tax on investment income to generate an estimated $210 billion to help fund a health-care overhaul plan.

    The rate is higher than the 2.9 percent President Barack Obama proposed in February. The new tax would apply to income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, capital gains and rents for individuals who earn more than $200,000 annually and joint filers reporting more than $250,000, according to the legislation.

    “It’s a big deal,” said Clint Stretch, a tax analyst for the consulting firm Deloitte Tax LLC. “It extends dramatically the reach of the Medicare hospital insurance tax.”

    The first-time Medicare tax on investment income would start in 2013. It would push tax rates on capital gains and dividends that year to 23.8 percent for high-income people if Congress goes along with Obama’s proposal to let those rates rise to 20 percent in 2011 from the current 15 percent. It would be the highest rate for long-term capital gains since 1997.

    The nonpartisan staff of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the Medicare tax on investments would generate more than $30 billion annually, or $210.2 billion from 2013 through 2019. It would be the biggest tax increase in the bill and account for half of the $409 billion in total revenue.

    Overall Rates

    Overall tax rates on income from interest, annuities and royalties would rise to as much as 43.4 percent. The Medicare tax wouldn’t apply to income in tax-deferred retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans.

    Obama proposed extending Medicare taxes to investment income as lawmakers sought to merge the House health-care plan, which included a 5.4 percent income surtax on millionaires, with the Senate proposal, which sought to tax expensive health insurance plans over the objections of labor unions.

    The final plan announced today delays the proposed 40 percent tax on high-value insurance plans until 2018, from 2013 in earlier proposals. It also increases the cost threshold affected by the tax, applying it to the portions of plans worth more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. The Senate bill would have imposed the tax at thresholds of $8,500 and $23,000.

    In further years, the tax on high-cost plans would affect more insurance plans than earlier proposed, as the plan would reduce the inflation index for that provision.

    Union ‘Victory’

    “Clearly, unions and others concerned with high-cost plans have won a victory in this,” Stretch said. The Medicare tax on unearned income “is a compromise, if you will, between the House and the Senate on the level of high-income taxation that goes into the mixture.”

    The tax on high-cost insurance plans would generate about $32 billion in 2018 and 2019, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. That’s a fraction of the original Senate proposal to generate about $149 billion from the levy.

    The current 2.9 percent Medicare tax applies only to salaries and is split evenly between workers and their employers.

    The bill adopts a Senate-passed proposal to increase an employee’s share of that amount by 0.9 percentage points, to a total 2.35 percent, for high-income workers. That would be added to the worker’s top marginal rate, which under Obama’s other tax proposals would rise to as much as 39.6 percent.

    Flexible Accounts

    Separately, the legislation would delay until 2013 a new $2,500 cap on the amount of money workers can contribute on a pre-tax basis to employer-sponsored flexible spending accounts to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses. The Senate version of the plan would have imposed that limit starting in January. The new proposal would generate about $13 billion in revenue by 2019, according to the joint tax panel.

    Today’s proposals are “a radical change from U.S. tax policy without much debate at a time when we should shift the fundamental core of U.S. tax policy in a more pro-saving and investment” direction, said Mark Bloomfield, president of the American Council for Capital Formation, a Washington group that lobbies for lower taxes on capital.

    Democrats are seeking the biggest health-care changes in more than four decades. Americans would be required to get insurance, with subsidies and purchasing exchanges to help. Insurers such as Philadelphia-based Cigna Corp. would get millions of new policyholders and be required to accept all customers.

    Tanning Services

    The bill also would impose a 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services that is projected to raise $2.7 billion. For everyone but retirees, it would increase to 10 percent the share of income a person would have to spend on out-of-pocket medical expenses before being allowed to deduct them. The current floor is 7.5 percent. The change is projected to generate $15.2 billion.

    The legislation would limit health insurance companies’ tax deductions for pay in excess of $500,000 to their executives.

    It would prohibit paper makers such as International Paper Co. from claiming a $1.01 tax credit for producing fuel from a type of pulp-making byproduct called black liquor. While International Paper and other forest product companies said they weren’t seeking the credit, the IRS determined they might be eligible.

    --Editors: Don Frederick, Laurie Asseo.

    To contact the reporters on this story: Ryan J. Donmoyer in Washington at; James Rowley in Washington at

    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jim Kirk at
  2. watch for VOLUME to PLUMMET
  3. The Obamacare/Tyranny bill is about POWER, CONTROL, MONEY, AND WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION... (That's why it's 2700 pages). Healthcare is just the "misdirect"
  4. Bob111


    more about same shit-

    i specially like 200K cap for single and 250K for joint. man..this is totally fair for married couple...i remember times, when in russia taxes are something like 90+%
    the govt. ended up with nothing,because nobody pays those taxes...looks like they learn the lesson with 13% flat people too much and they will stop paying at all. tax them more and they will leave the country. US is is certainly on right path for recovery and prosperity.
  5. kevin107


    These tax increases won't be enough to pay for all the spending they want to do. Wealth tax is coming.
  6. etile


    though I haven't read too much of the Health bill, i only know the snippets I read here and there, it seems to be washington agenda as per usual. And what I mean by that is pick some bill and pork barrel the hell out of it.

    No congressman really cares about fiscal responsibility because as long as their special interests are served, they don't care what happens. After their done with their term their special interest buddies will set them up with a nice cush job or sit them up on some board to collect those annual director fees for doing nothing.

    The entire system is broke and what needs reform is government itself, not healthcare.
  7. <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
  8. Lethn


    When will you damn idiots learn that Obama is just carrying on what Bush started? The two parties are both as bad as each other.
  9. Ron Paul 2012
  10. #10     Mar 19, 2010