Congress Raises Taxes on Poor to Pay for Health Care … Again

Conn Carroll /

Throughout his campaign, President Barack Obama repeatedly promised the American people: “If you’re a family that’s making $250,000 a year or less you will see no increase in your taxes. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your personal gains tax, not any of your taxes.” Just 15 days into office, President Obama signed a bill expanding the children’s health insurance program that was paid for with a 156% tax hike on tobacco. Since slightly more than half of today’s smokers (53%) earn less than $36,000 per year, Obama’s first effort at expanding government’s role in health care also became his first broken promise.

But that first Medicaid expansion was minor league compared to the estimated $1.3 trillion health care plan Congress is considering now. And how is Obama planning to pay for his health care bill? Tax hikes. Including employer health care mandates, which as Heritage scholars James Sherk and Robert Book explain, are really just a tax on low-income workers: (more…)