Fair Financing

We think the best way to pay for health care reform is with a surcharge on the rich. So does a majority of the public, according to a new Associated Press poll. The chart’s on page 11. The question reads:

If the government does things to reduce the cost of health insurance for some Americans or to help more people get health insurance, it would cost the government money. The government could get the money to pay for this in a number of different ways. Next, I’ll read you a list of some ways the government could get the money. After I read you the whole list, I’ll read them one at a time so you can tell me whether you would favor or oppose each one. Here’s the list…

Increasing income taxes paid by people who earn more than $250,000 a year:

Total Favor 57 (Strongly favor 37. Somewhat favor 20)

Neither favor nor oppose 6

Total Oppose 36 (Somewhat oppose 11. Strongly oppose 25)

HCAN released a new report today showing just how many people would have to pay a little more and how many people would gain health insurance as a result. The numbers are astonishing. We even raised the income level from $250,000 to $500,000 for individuals ($1 million for couples) because that’s what’s in the House health care bill now.

Bottom line: About 420,000 people nationwide pay a little more in taxes and more than 29 million people get health coverage. That’s less than 0.4% of the population that would be asked to kick in a bit extra. And as our report points out,

[t]he surcharge will raise $460.5 billion over 10 years—considerably less than the $700 billion in tax cuts these households received over a 10-year period (2001 to 2010) from President George W. Bush.

It’s got a state-by-state breakdown so check out where your state stands here.

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