Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Obama: I Would Veto Tax On Health Benefits

The Hill

President Obama said in an interview Monday afternoon that he would veto a healthcare reform bill that mirrored Sen. John McCain’s proposal from the 2008 presidential campaign.

On PBS's “Newshour with Jim Lehrer,” the president noted that McCain (R-Ariz.) “proposed to eliminate completely the exclusion on the taxation of health benefits.” McCain proposed taxing all employer-provided health benefits in exchange for a tax credit taxpayers would receive to buy insurance.

“I had said that this would be the wrong way to go because it would be too disruptive. Essentially employers would stop providing healthcare,” Obama said. “John McCain had suggested everybody gets a tax credit, but the concern was that the tax credit wouldn’t be sufficient to actually buy health insurance on the market. So I am still opposed to that and would veto a bill if that was the approach.”

Even though the president campaigned against McCain’s plan, up to now his administration had indicated everything was on the table. The Senate Finance Committee has been mulling some type of tax to employee-provided health benefits to pay for healthcare reform, but unions oppose removing these tax-free benefits.....

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