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President Expected to Call for Middle Class Tax Increase in Speech Tonight

January 23, 2007

            We must seriously begin to address the problem of the nation's uninsured and the skyrocketing price of health insurance. 

 Unfortunately, the plan the president is expected to outline tonight will do nothing to cut down on the number of uninsured because a tax deduction simply is not going to be enough to make insurance affordable to low and middle income workers.  In most cases, individual health plans are more expensive to purchase and provide considerably less coverage, but the administration is under the false impression that their tax deduction will provide enough of an incentive for uninsured workers to sign up.

 At the same time, the administration falsely believes they can begin to target the cost of health care premiums by taxing employee based health benefits.  This is nothing more than a tax increase on middle class workers who have been lucky enough to secure good benefits through their jobs.  Quality health benefits provided by employers should be the norm, and, as policymakers, we should not discourage it.  

This proposal is a non-starter for me, but I am hopeful that I can work with the administration to begin to solve some of our health care problems.