March 22, 2013

Crapo Attempts To Eliminate Obamacare Tax Increases On Middle Class

Senate majority claims health care law could not survive if middle class taxes were removed

Washington, D.C. - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo took to the Senate Floor today with an amendment to block tax increases on lower- and middle-income Americans contained in the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  Although his amendment failed on a party-line vote of 45-to-54, Crapo said he would continue to push for recognition of the tax increases that violate the President's earlier pledge that middle class Americans would see "not one dime" of increase in any of their taxes with the health care bill becoming law.

"Saturday marks the third anniversary of Obamacare becoming law and we continue to see that this legislation is filled with tax hikes that fall squarely on lower- and middle-income Americans," said Crapo.  "These tax hikes are just now starting to take effect, despite the President's firm pledge during the 2008 campaign not to raise any taxes on the middle class.  Opponents of my amendment did not even try to assert that Obamacare did not violate the President's promise to the middle class, which it clearly does.  Instead, they tried to argue that passing my amendment would gut the health care law.  Unfortunately, this appears to be a clear recognition that the health care law was paid for on the backs of the middle class, and that the law could not continue to exist if these middle class tax increases were removed."

Crapo asked Congress' nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) in 2009 for an evaluation on possible tax increases that could fund the Obamacare measure.  The Committee responded with a letter that mentions potential increases for lower- and middle-income Americans who don't purchase health care as the law requires; taxes on certain health plans or those provided by an employer; reductions in medical care expense deductions and penalties for withdrawing money from health savings accounts.  In all, the JCT estimates that at least 73 million American households with income under $200,000 will face a tax increase as a result of the provisions in the health care law.

The amendment was not included in the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget.  The Senate continues to vote on amendments to the resolution with hopes of completing action by the weekend.