Wash. Times claimed Bush health plan would only raise costs of "top CEOs"


A January 24 Washington Times editorial falsely claimed that President Bush's health care proposal would "only come[] at the expense of the richest health plans of top CEOs," while allowing "millions of working-class and middle-class families [to] buy health care with pretax dollars." In fact, it is not only rich CEOs who would have to pay more in taxes under Bush's proposal. Asked at a January 22 White House press briefing what the "average tax increase" would be, Katherine Baicker, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, replied that about 30 million people would end up owing more in taxes; and that, on average, a worker in the "top quintile" of income earners would see his or her tax bill increase by one-tenth of a percent. According to the U.S. Census' 2006 Current Population Survey, in 2005, households that made $91,705 or more were in the top 20 percent, with the top 5 percent beginning at $166,000.

Indeed, in his January 24 column (subscription required), Wall Street Journal business columnist Alan Murray noted that those who would get a tax increase under the proposal include "not only highly paid union members but also the well-heeled executives of many of the nation's largest companies."

From the January 24 Washington Times editorial, "Bush's better health-care policy":

The fact is, the Bush plan slices through the thicket of policy proposals -- all of which boil down to dumping more people into state Medicaid programs -- and gives the self employed and uninsured, from the single mom who cuts hair to the electrician starting his own business, a tax break of about $3,800 to buy health care. Under the president's plan, millions of working-class and middle-class families could buy health care with pretax dollars. It only comes at the expense of the richest health plans of top CEOs. Even then, those wanting to avoid a tax bite at that level can set up a health-savings account.

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Health Care
The Washington Times
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