Senate Finance Committee Debates Tax Source For Health Care

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's the toughest question in the health care debate — how to pay for expanding coverage to nearly 50 million uninsured people.

A Senate Finance Committee Report says that proposals to ease health care costs may work in the long run, but won't finance health care reform now.

The committee will meet behind closed doors Wednesday to debate the revenue options.

They include a soda pop tax that would apply to drinks sweetened with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or other high-calorie sweeteners. Diet drinks would escape the tax.

There are also proposed hikes in the taxes on alcoholic drinks.

Senators are also considering taxing health care benefits on the affluent and doing away with flexible spending accounts.

All of the suggestions come with considerable political risk.

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