Democratic Opposition To Benefits Tax Growing

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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There's a growing rebellion among Senate Democrats over a proposed new tax on health care benefits.

Under the proposal, workers would have to pay income taxes on the value of their health insurance once it exceeds a certain level yet to be determined by Congress. Republicans favor such a tax as a way to slow medical costs. Without it, prospects for a bipartisan deal in the Senate could be in jeopardy. Yet Democrats are resisting the tax.

President Barack Obama is hoping to sign a comprehensive health care overhaul meaure this fall. To that end, the White House has announced a deal under which the nation's hospitals will give up $155 billion in future Medicare and Medicaid payments to help pay for the plan.

But some of the projected savings have touched off controversy within the medical community. Public hospitals and children's hospitals say low-income patients could be hurt.


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