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Crapo Wants Middle-Class Tax Increases Removed From Health Care Bill

Files motion during Senate floor debate on Health Care Reconciliation bill

Washington, D.C. - More than 73 million middle-income American households will see their taxes go up under the health care reform legislation (H.R. 3590) signed into law by President Obama. With the Senate now considering changes to the law, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has filed a motion to commit the reconciliation bill to the Senate Finance Committee with instructions to remove those tax increases.

During remarks on the Senate floor, Crapo said his motion protects the middle class from hundreds of billions of dollars of tax increases in the health care bill. He added that Medicare payroll taxes will be extended to dividend and other investment income for the first time, another move that will affect middle-class families. Crapo noted all of these middle-income tax increases violate the pledge of the President that no family with an income less than $250,000 would see a tax increase in the bill. Analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee has projected that more than 73 million middle-income households will face an increase in their federal tax liability under the legislation signed into law today.

"While this bill increases the dollar thresholds and delays the effective date of the high cost plans tax, it does not in any way protect the middle class from facing both income and payroll tax increases once this tax does kick in," Crapo said. "Millions of middle class Americans are still going to see their insurance benefits reduced, their tax liability go up, and the net value of their compensation, after taxes, go down as a result of this new tax.

"This reconciliation bill also, for the first time, applies the Medicare payroll tax to dividend and other investment income. While it is presented as only being a tax on the wealthy, with incomes over $200,000 for individuals, and $250,000 for families, it is structured in a way that it will ultimately slam millions of middle-income households."

"There are numerous times in this process that I have attempted to urge my colleagues not to finance this massive new health reform bill on the backs of the middle class. I offered an amendment during consideration of the bill in the Senate Finance Committee. When that amendment failed by one vote, I offered a similar motion during initial consideration of the health care reform bill in the Senate in December. While that effort received 45 votes, my motion was again voted down. I again urge my colleagues to fix this bill so that this massive health care bill is not financed on the backs of the middle class."

Votes on the Crapo motion and other amendments to the health care reconciliation bill (H.R. 4872) are expected as soon as later today and throughout this week.