The Senate’s Toxic Trade: My Tax Cut for Your Health Care

In Healthcare, Taxes On
- Updated

Lost in the usual banality of the Beltway box score this week are the moral dimensions of the plot to gut health care. The reprieve on a Senate vote, until after the July 4 recess, is momentary. Still, it gives people just enough time to consider the audacity of meanness behind what Republicans are trying to do.

There is blood on this tax cut. It’s a simple swap — taking away $700 billion from one class of people to give it to another. That swap would leave 22 million Americans without health care over the next decade, and many of them will die prematurely because they will not see a doctor in time. In turn, those making $875,000 a year would get an average tax cut of about $45,000. Those making $5 million a year would get a break of $250,000.

Americans don’t like talk of class warfare; it reminds us of those dreary, failed Marxists who seldom practice what they preach. But there’s no other way to look at this. Right now, a 64-year-old making $55,000 can afford to get health care, thanks to Obamacare subsidies.

But how is that person supposed to pay nearly half of his or her income in premiums, as Republicans propose? The bill would also allow states to eliminate minimum standards of health care. And the worst blow would fall on Medicaid, which one in five Americans depends on.

Think of it this way: Your car breaks down. You need it to get to work. Indeed, your livelihood depends on it.

You call the Republicans. They scrap the car for cash and leave you on the road.

All for a tax cut. Not a tax cut on wages, which would actually help most Americans. But a cut of taxes that are painless to the small percentage of people who have to pay them — a 0.9 percent Medicare surtax, and 3.8 percent tax on net invested income for couples earning more than $250,000 a year.

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