CTJ Releases State-by-State Figures on House Surcharge Proposal as Momentum Builds for Progressive Measures to Finance Health Care Reform

From Citizens for Tax Justice:


Citizens for Tax Justice (http://www.ctj.org) has found that a surcharge proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee to finance health care reform would be paid by the richest 1.3 percent of taxpayers nation-wide. The percentage of taxpayers impacted varies by state, but not by much. The state with the largest percentage of taxpayers affected is Connecticut, where 2.8 percent would pay the surcharge. The state with the lowest percentage of taxpayers affected is West Virginia, where only 0.5 percent of taxpayers would pay the surcharge. CTJ’s new state-by-state figures have been incorporated into reports that are being released by several state-based organizations.


You can find this analysis, as well as CTJ’s other recent work on health care financing options, here: http://www.ctj.org/payingforhealthcare.htm


CTJ is a member of the coalition of organizations called Rebuild and Renew America Now (RRAN), which has been working for several months to educate lawmakers and the public about progressive options for financing health care reform. Besides a surcharge, another option that RRAN has focused on is the President’s proposal to limit itemized deductions for high-income families. Another is the proposal formulated by CTJ to reform the Medicare tax (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/health-care-reform/2009/07/new_report_pushes_two_proposal.html?wprss=daily-dose) so that it applies to the income of wealthy investors the same way it applies to the wages and salaries of workers. CTJ’s Medicare tax proposal has been a topic of discussion among some members of the Senate who are reported to be considering it as one of their revenue measures (http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/09/news/economy/health_care_reform/index.htm) to finance health care reform.


Meanwhile, state-based organizations have released reports on these proposals in Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, West Virginia, Wisconsin and several other states last week and this week. This follows the release last week of a statement of principles signed by over 600 national, state and local organizations from every state in support of a progressive approach to financing health care reform and other major initiatives.


Note: Shortly before the release of this Digest, the three House committees with jurisdiction over health care released their health care reform bill, which includes the surcharge (which passed earlier this week). The proposed rates are slightly different than what Ways and Means Committee members had earlier described to the press and what CTJ based parts of its analysis on, but the income levels at which the surcharge applies have not changed. This means that the total percentage of taxpayers affected (1.3 percent of taxpayers according to CTJ’s estimates) and the percentage of taxpayers affected in each state have not changed. CTJ will soon release updated figures on the average surcharge paid by wealthy families in each state, which will be slightly different under this version of the proposal.

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