With the nation's attention focused largely on Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Senate confirmation proceedings, the House Democratic leadership today unveiled its plans for a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. health care system. Perhaps the most contentious issue of the debate leading up to this plan's unveiling was how the government would raise the funds to pay for it. Facing record deficits and a national economy that continues to sink, Democrats have decided to raise taxes.
Included in the Dems' proposal is
In addition, Democrats hope to levy a surtax of 5.4 percent on people making more than $1 million/year, congressional sources said. A surtax, as you're probably aware, essentially means levying a tax upon already-existing taxes. To look at the last time the U.S. government broadly levied a surtax on the states, you'll have to open up your history books to the chapter entitled, "The Vietnam War."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted in today's press conference that this measure is "for the great middle class of America." She was also quick to point out that the House will be voting on the bill before breaking for the August recess. "Inaction is not an option," she noted. Call me a skeptic, but the psychic in me is predicting another rushed bill, complete with last-minute amendments hundreds of pages long that no one will bother to read.
Phew, I'm just glad they have their priorities set and they'll have the vote out of the way so Nancy won't have to be worrying about the nation's health care while she's sipping mai tais during her vacation!
Much, much more to come on the House health care bill as details become available... Stay tuned.