Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
July 17th, 2009
07:56 AM ET

Tax the Rich to Pay for Health Care?

The House Democrats' plan to reform health care is funded in part by a "tax surcharge" on Americans making more than $350,000 a year. Families making between $350,000 and $500,000 a year would face a 1% tax surcharge. Those making more than $500,000 would face a 1.5% tax surcharge. And those making more than $1 million would face a 5.4% tax surcharge.

According to the Associated Press, these taxes will bring in $544 billion over the next 10 years. Estimates for the total cost of the health care plan are between $1 and $1.5 trillion.

Our question to you - is it fair to tax the "rich" to fund this plan?
Post your comments below.

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (314 Responses)
  1. chuck b / coastal n.carolina

    I don't see what all the fuss is..... if your making over $500,000 you are less then 10% in taxes, if you make $ 1 million you paying less then 5% in takes. the average man,woman,child that makes between $20,000 and $ 50,000 is paying 28%+ in taxes. These rich peopele ares till getting a bigger break in taxes per income then your regular median income worker. If I made that amount of money, I would not have a problem with this, THIS WOULD BRING DOWN HEATHCARE COST FOR ALL PEOPLE.

    July 17, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  2. Jess

    YES. Isn't that the most logical sense anyway?

    July 17, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  3. Charles Kopack

    Who could afford it better?

    July 17, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  4. Lee

    I'm lower middle class and I'm taxed to pay for welfare, WIC, Medicaid, HUD, etc., etc. If that's fair, then it's fair to expect the wealthy to contribute a little more.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  5. Floyd Rumohr


    July 17, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  6. Dan Leahy

    If CNN ever talked about the immense gap between the wealthy and the rest of us Americans, 90% of the people would demand higher taxes on the wealthy. But we all know whose side corporate giant CNN is on. Just listen to the slanted coverage on health care reform. Any item that makes the presiden't plan look in trouble is highlighted. Where is the mention of the AMA coming out in favor of the House plan, complete with public option, yesterday? That was a huge part of the story, but it's buried by CNN.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:15 am |

    i think it is more than fair. If the poor and young are expected to fight and die for this country the least the rich amongst of should be taxed to pay for universal health care. the military in Iraq have received nothing from this country and the rich have gotten everything from it

    July 17, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  8. Marie Allen

    I think the rich would not be hurt one bit if they were, I think they would probably fair better if health care is available to all.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  9. don

    HELL YES. tax them. You know the old saying you can't get blood out of a turnip. well folks 95% of us are turnips and are out of blood (money) so look somewhere else.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  10. walt laramie

    Taxing the rich at higher levels is unfair, unconstitutional and will depress the economy and drive more manufacturing and wealth out of the country. History shows this is true and so I must conclude the goal of the democrats is to do just this and gain power at the expense of increased suffering of the people.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  11. Lucy Isaacson

    I think it IS fair to tax the rich to pay for health care. We have to do something to cover the many people who are uninsured and this a fair and equitable way to do it! I also believe in a public option as a way to reign in the high cost and the unfair practices of the insurance companies.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  12. Pat

    Whatever happen to "Am I my brothers keeper." of course those that can help, should help. I think the wealthy can afford to give up one trip to Paris per year to help promote the health and welfare of their fellow citizens.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  13. Ann Kropp - Wisconsin

    Heidi, No I don't think the wealthy should be taxed for the health care reform financing–they already pay for enough. I don't know the answer, but I do believe there is a TON of waste in Washington and many programs should be eliminated until they are self sufficient. The FAIR TAX should be implemented which would bring the non tax filers into the system. The FAIR TAX would greatly reduce the amount of tax filers not paying their fair share. If everyone would do that, I don't believe we would have the deficit that we do.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  14. Wise Thinker

    Taxing the rich is Discrimination. Consider the outrage if an ethnic group was singled out to pay extra taxes. You should pay moere tax than me, because you are black or hispanic. Jesse Jackson would be in the streets. The rich have become a "love to hate"
    minority and are now being herded into an economic holocaust.

    When the rich don't have any money left, they will stop buying Your goods and services. Then your job and standard of living go away.

    Wake up congress, these are the same people you are going to have to see to raise money to get reelected. You tricked us once, but will not find an open hand.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  15. Paul

    How many different programs can we expect the "rich" to fund? I fully support some type of change for health care, but it's getting ridiculous how many programs congress expects to have paid by taxes on the "rich". Also, whatever happened to cutting spending? If I ran my personal finances like congress runs the government I would be living on the street........oh wait, we can tax others to keep me off the street!

    July 17, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  16. Sam Haffar

    As a succesful small business owner that works 10 hours a day and employs 30 people, I feel that I am penalized for my success by these outrageous surcharges.I guess one way to makeup for the extra taxes I have to pay is for me to layoff a few people?? Isthis how we boost our economy??

    July 17, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  17. Susan

    The rich already pay the lion's share of taxes in the US. I don't think it is fair to tax them even more. BTW, I am not among the rich. Since everyone would benefit from health care reform, I believe everyone should help pay for it–not just the top 2-4% of taxpayers. I think a small tax on unhealthy food would be fair–some sort of consumption tax. This would also make it so that the many people who are "working under the table" contribute. Right now they're getting a free ride.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  18. Gerald R. Everett

    We should tax the wealthy to pay for health care. For decades ordinary working people were told that the vast gap in incomes between ordinary working people and the elites was justified because they were better educated and that accounted for our national wealth in which we all shared. Now this has been exposed as a self serving middle class illusion. Yes taxation of higher incomes needs to go back to where it was 30 years ago.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  19. Tired of Lagging Behind the Rest of the World

    Posing the question of fairness is rather silly. Our federal tax structure is already based on the premise that those who have more income have the ability to and should pay a higher portion of the tax burden. Taxing wealthier Americans at a higher rate to pay for some or all of a national healthcare system, doesn't introduce a new concept. Why is this even being debated?

    July 17, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  20. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Heidi, Of course the RICH should be taxed to cover some of the horribly high cost of health care in this country! The rich in this country have found and use enough loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. As a result of insurance companies, hospital and doctors having inflated health care costs over many years this country is in a very critical situation. There must be an alternative, such as government coverage. We are so very sick and tired of being manipulated by insurance companies. Rich people have had the very BEST coverage, why can't the middle and lower class benefit too???

    July 17, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  21. Frank Dallas, TX

    The minimal amount of tax that the rich will pay to subsidize the President's health care plan will never be felt by them. Missing a payment on their summer house in the Hamptons or postponing the redecoration of their penthouse apartments is a small sacrifice compared the the billions they don't pay in income tax loopholes each year. It's their duty as patriotic Americans to insure the health and well being of their fellow citizens.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  22. Bill Monroe

    I think it is fair to tax the rich becuase rich people have been gettin rich off thelittle people for along time and poor people are usually the ones affected by everything. It would not hurt any rich people to be taxed since it wont break them. If we can use money for health care why not use some of the money that is available from those who have it and not from thsoe who dont have it. Rich people can afford healthcare all the time so I feel they should help in this plan to make things fair for people who cant afford healthcare.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  23. Phil, FL

    Do NOT tax "the rich" nor employee benifits, nor any other type of "class" tax. Tax everybody by enacting a Federal excise tax on "unhealthy" goods and services such as cake, candy, cookies, chips, soda, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. and most fast food restaurants.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  24. Susan

    Yes. Entirely fair. The divide between rich and poor has widened in a staggering way. It's one of the problems. And since good health care including health maintenance will ultimately reduce costs of health care, it's like stepping up to help the situation as a whole, a kind of public service. Were I rich (and unfortunantely not) I would happily pay this to help make a better health culture in this country.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  25. JD Hamilton

    A goodly percentage of the Uber-Wealthy got that money by Uber-Overcharging the system for health-related services and products. One example from 1978, a nasal cannula for delivering oxygen to the nasal passages, a 25 cent piece of plastic tubing, cost the customer $7.00. That was then, I shudder to think what it would be in today's dollars. We need to COMPLETELY scrap the whole system, Ins. Co.s at the front of the line. The whole system needs to be re-built from the ground up.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  26. Angela Castro

    It is very fair since this policy will not "tax" the rich but simply restore equity in our tax policy which provides lower tax rates and more deductions for higher earners.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  27. Mary

    A federal sales tax would be a more fair solution. Everyone would be contributing.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  28. Christopher Quesenberry

    I believe that it is perfectly reasonable to apply additional taxes those making above $350,000 in taxable income, but I do NOT believe that employer contributions to health care benefits should be taxed. It would add an additional tax burden to both the company and the employee and remove the incentive for employers to provide ANY kind of healthcare benefit, particularly in this economy. There are other options such as a $.05 tax on carbonated soft drinks and sugared "juice" drinks that are really nothing more than sugar water with flavor added.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  29. Kay

    It's not fair to punish the people who have worked hard to earn that money.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  30. Tom Burke

    I don't think it's fair to tax anyone to pay for new programs. Our govt. should cut spending on wasteful programs and use those savings to pay for new programs, such as health care reform. What will health care reform mean to hard-working middle class families like mine who spend nearly 15% of our annual income on health care? Will the working middle class be able to take advantage of "free health care"? Or will the rich simply be paying health care costs for the poor and non-U.S. citizens while the middle class continue to pay the never-ending rising health insurance costs?

    July 17, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  31. Rehana Wolfe

    I totally disagree with the rich paying for this plan. Why is the gov. trying to offer a plan it simply cannot afford and disrespecting the "rich" or disregarding the position of these folks by simply assuming that they can afford to pay higher taxes? What happens later when these taxes trickle down to the middle class? Is it fair for anyone to pay for universal healthcare while also paying for their private healthcare? Universal health care will not work. It will become another big government blunder as everything else it touches.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  32. Dorothy, Kentucky

    As a healthcare provider for more than 30 years, I most certainly think it is a good idea to tax those a little more that have been benefitting on the backs of those that can't afford it all these years. It is the reason we are in this mess to begin with. If those making all the money would have been willing to pay their share like the rest of us, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    I know what I'm talking about because I predicted some of this long ago when at one time it was acceptable to purchase insurance that paid the individual and physicians that were accomplice by admitting patients that had no medical needs but rather "needed rest"

    So yes I know first hand how badly the system is broken and how much those with the most contributed just because they could.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  33. Patrick

    I think it's fair because that's our obligation to man kind. The more you have the more you should give back. Very few people are going to open up and give to those in need, those who are underprivilaged. Since not enough people are willing to give there is little other alternative but to increase taxes. Those who are paying increased taxes should feel good about helping to provide health care to thousands of Americans. However I think the government should find a way to give back to those who are giving more.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  34. maryann

    A tax on those who make over $350,000 seems fair to me. These folks have enjoyed a long vacation from taxes. Some have even contributed to and benefited from the economic crisis we find ourselves in. It is time for an equalization of conditions for the 'haves' and 'have nots' in this country. We should not be a nation ruled by a wealthy class while working and working poor Americans suffer. Not to mention those who are unemployed or economically distressed for whatever reason. I do, however, believe that small businesses should not bear the burden of more taxes. They employ a large percentage of people and are the source of most innovation and many provide benefits for their communities.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  35. Wendy

    In a moral country, would this question even be voiced? It is because some of the people (physicians, insurance execs, pharmaceutical company execs) who are making this kind of money annually are the ones who stand to lose if we reach out to help our less fortunate, that the President's healthcare plan is in question.
    Our current system is broken. Our senators should grow some cojones and act regardless of what the lobbyists are telling them. Not all of us can afford to travel to Washington and have our voices heard! We are stuck working trying to pay off our medical bills!

    July 17, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  36. Dovie Desirey

    Yes. A public health care is over due in this country and the poor have been paying their share of taxes for years. If the table was turned I would have no problem paying my portion. I have been paying taxes already for years with much less to live on. We need a public option for health care in this country. We are long over due. I would prefer a universal health care.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  37. David

    so health care fails when they die? or can't earn enough? or business shuts down? everyone needs to pull their own weight by even taxing. Only special needs people/ children/ disabled vets should have government health care. It should be 100 % free for them and it needs to be the same coverage th law makers get.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  38. Joshua Reese

    The majority of Americans want Universal Health Care, but the notion of taxing employee benefits was politically dead on arrival.
    Remember McCain & Obama trading jabs on redistributing America's wealth? Well, here it comes. Couples earning over $350K will have to pony up a 1.5% increase... life will go on. American sick need insurance. If employee-tax-revenue isn't the way to go, surcharging the wealthy is the next logical move.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  39. Rodney Hytonen

    Absolutely! There are many possible ways to fund it, including taxing insurance companies initially (though the Industry must eventually be nationalized.)

    But the currently proposed "Public Option" with its "Exchange" and Fines will not work. Only "Medicare for All" will work, and work well as long as there's a lockbox.

    The "Option" NEEDS to be SINGLE PAYER. Dems do have the clout and the support of the people to do that – and should.

    For-profit providers and middlemen (Insurance etc.) will never negotiate with a competing government plan in good faith and prices will not go down as drastically as they should, and MUST.

    The profit motive has to be removed from health care and other systemic "Industries."

    July 17, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  40. Tom

    I think it would be fair for all Americans to help support the healthcare of those who are truly indigent. The question is – how many of the 50 million Americans without insurance are truly indigent – as opposed to those who choose wide screen giant TVs, lavish vacations, cars, and other luxuries over their healthcare?

    July 17, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  41. Frank

    It's absolutely unfair to institute a tax surcharge strictly based on income.

    With car insurance, for instance, the amount of money you pay into the system varies with driving habits and history. If the government today wanted to reform car insurance (instead of healthcare) and take it out of the private sector, individuals of a certain income level would be faced with a tax surcharge to fund insurance for their more reckless counterparts who routinely run red lights and drive aggressively.

    Although that line of thinking doesn't transfer 100% to the matter at hand today, the point is that the wealthy people who live an active, healthy lifestyle shouldn't bear the burden of funding healthcare for their more at-risk counterparts simply because they earn more than $350,000 per year.

    Someone who smokes, uses illicit drugs, makes poor dietary decisions and leads a sedentary lifestyle is much more likely to require use of the healthcare system than someone who abstains from those behaviors, thus making it fundamentally unfair to tax an entire income bracket regardless of behavior and quality of lifestyle habits.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  42. William

    The question to ask is not if it is fair to tax the rich to cover health care expenses. The real question is; What's more unfair, that hard working people can't afford health care not even to cover their children, or that people that make more than a quarter million dollar annually contribute 1% of their earnings to cover health care costs. I think that society as a whole will benefit with the second option.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  43. Mary Lapeta

    YES, tax the "rich."
    Since this whole topic started up again, I've added up all the places I currently spend money on health INSURANCE. Not doctors and hospitals, not wellness and healthy living. Just insurance.
    My list so far:
    My family must purchase our own health insurance – $15,000/yr .
    Private insurance is purchased with after-tax dollars, so add in every time I'm bumped up into a higher tax bracket.
    A portion of my auto insurance.
    A portion of my homeowners insurance.
    Workman's comp.
    Medicare and Medicaid that we cannot use.
    A percentage of everything I buy that pays for other people's employer-based health insurance.
    A percentage of everything I buy that pays for business liability insurance.

    I expect that I already pay over $20,000/year for health INSURANCE. And we are not a wealthy family by any measure that mainstream media and politicians are currently throwing out there.
    Call it whatever you want, but give me a strong public option. Tax everyone the same, and that means taxing the health insurance benefit other workers receive. And return to the tax rates that were in effect when this country was working. The "good old days" that everyone remembers came with high tax rates for extremely rich people. They enjoy substantial benefits living in the United States, and they can pay for the priviledge.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  44. Jesse

    Not only is it not fair, but it is just another in a long line of "rich tax" proposals from this adminstration. Wealthy people will always move money off shore, get creative with their taxes, and business owners will cut jobs and other expenses when faced with increased taxes. These are jobs that the working class cannot afford to lose. The Rich will not suffer like the "poor" who ultimately pay the price for legislated "rich taxes".

    July 17, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  45. Bob from Texas

    We are all already paying for the skyrocketing costs of health insurance. The tax surcharge on Americans making $350,000 and above is the initial step in providing affordable/quality health insurance for everyone. In the long run, rising costs will come under control without sacrificing quality health care. The time is now!

    July 17, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  46. Steve

    I own a small business and will have to lay off works to cover that discriminatory tax increase....I'm sure the liberal Congress won't give up their free health care coverage to help the less fortunate..

    July 17, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  47. kelli, virginia

    So disappointed in your coverage of healthcare. As an RN and an insured family, I have a very big interest in how this reform turns out. I am having to watch FOX NEWS to get the other side of the story (not a network I normally watch) You guys have become too biased. My one question is-maybe you can verify-I keep hearing that if/when this legislation passes-if you are not already enrolled in a private insurance plan-you will not be able to. In reality then, eventually eliminating private insurance. Have your Josh Lev's start reading the House proposal and gathering the facts!

    And in answer to your question-how is taxing an income of 300,000 dollars or larger going to generate jobs and encourage spending. Taxing the "rich" is not an answer to everything.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  48. lee

    I agree with,at least, 5.4% on earnings of a million or more dollars.Entertainers or ceo's of corporations should be taxed more.I believe the gap between rich and poor is the cause for crime and the condition of the u.s economy.Those gaps need narrowing,if a better society is desired.

    Statements of opinion unless factually proven.

    Citizen of virginia,

    July 17, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  49. Andrea Vaughan

    Yes! Absolutely tax the rich! During the Bush years they were given too many tax breaks. Now, they should step up to the plate, quit crying poor, and do their share. Perhaps they will have to give up their weekly spa treatments or their yachts. However, if the ordinary citizen had to face one more tax, he might have to give up putting food on the table!

    July 17, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  50. Ann Kropp - Wisconsin

    To Chuck in North Carolina... I don't know where you get your facts from concerning what the wealthy pay in tax. They pay at least one-third of their income in income taxes. I am a CPA and prepare income tax returns and see these numbers. These are also the people that employ other people. If you tax them more, they may have to layoff more. These people aren't really any different than those that make less money other than they already pay 80% of the total tax bill in the United States. Doesn't seem fair. How many of the lower and middle income people give thanks to these people for paying for their programs and tax credits?

    July 17, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  51. Grace Reville

    NO! These "rich" Americans most likely already have health care and our not the ones requiring governmental aide, so why should they pay for it? Why is taxing the wealthy always a scapegoat for our governments financial trouble? This is an American problem that should not have its burden placed upon a select few Americans, especially since they were not the cause of the issue. Too often we use the wealthy as a quick fix but we need a solution that will last and not catalyze a coup.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  52. shop77

    Does the CBO include and or account for savings in services that cannot possibly be scored? why did he go public without acknowledging that there was no way of scoring savings which may bring down the total ... such as:
    the savings for getting folks insured who we all pay for everytime they go to emergency to get services, does he include the cost savings of digital instead of paper...or the inclusion of monies from the 2 health related entities? and rolling back the tax on the top 2%
    don't know what the savings would be but it has got to be something ... no one said it would be easy but it took this crisis for Americans to see what has been going on for far too long ... Doctors and insurance companies will make money no matter what plan we get ...

    July 17, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  53. kelli, virginia

    everyone keeps saying "tax the rich" Do you really think that 350,000 dollars for a small business owner makes them rich? please people!

    July 17, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  54. Sharon


    July 17, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  55. Joan Stewart

    Regarding negative advertising, about Canada's Health Care system.. My husband was admitted to the hospital in June 2008/Thursday pm and after tests he had surgery on Saturday night as it was urgent. He paid $18.00.
    My brother in law in lives in Florida and pays $900.00 per Month, yes per month for health care. This amount was increased after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer!!! They cannot save for retirement.. They are not rich..
    The wealthy Canadians can cross the border for health care but the majority will never lose their homes, because they fell ill. It's disgusting that the USA does not have affordable health care.
    The Ad on CNN is not fair and should be removed. That Canadian woman is a TRAITOR. We do have waiting times but it sure beats the care for the middle class in the USA.
    Let Mr Obama help have affordable health care.
    Joan Stewart

    July 17, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  56. Sean

    Once the Republicans get in, they will keep the entitlement, but will shift the tax to the middle class. No congress Repub or Dem, has been able to eliminate an entitlement once passed. but they always change the tax code or borrow money against your children.
    People, don't be fooled. this program will cost much much more than $1.5 trillion. Medicaid ended up costing 12 times more than the original estimate. Who ended up paying for it? the middle class.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  57. Patrick

    People make me laugh. Im just reading and watching everyone point their fingers at this person or that person. Doesn't anyone actualy care? Of course some people do because they are there they see the little boy/girl that's struggling to survive because mom and dad can't afford health care. I know what it's like i was there my little brother died because my dad and step mom couldnt afford to take him to see a speacialist so the took him to regular doctors. My brothers dead now he died at 16 years old. 3 months after my brothers death my mom's boyfriend paid for me to see the speacilist that my brother did not get to see. He died of a serious heart condition the same heart condition that I have. He may be alive today had there been universal health care.
    So ask yourself. "Do I really need all of this?"
    You know you dont need it you may want all your fancy things but you can give something in order to save a life.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  58. Larry

    Everyone is looking for a way to finance health care reform.......STOP THE WARS. BRING THE GUYS HOME.

    In June a $106 billion dollar funding bill was passed to fund the wars from June to September. That's $400 billion/ year and $ 4 trillion over 10 years. How easy do you want it?

    Those wars should have never been started and they're destroying our economy. How much longer are we going to throw good money after bad?

    July 17, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  59. JELENE-- GA.


    July 17, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  60. Bill Castello

    Yes! Tax them. Tax us all, if necessary. We must have a national health care plan – a 100% plan. Our VA system is super, proving that it can be done.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  61. Jane - WI

    The "rich" should absolutely not be levied a surcharge to pay for health insurance for all. President Obama has said that ALL need to have skin in the game, and many of his supporters back this health insurance proposal. If that is the case, those who supported Mr. Obama, rich or poor, need to open their own wallets to pay for it. Mr. Obama has many uber rich supporters such as George Soros and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. I suggest they put their money where their mouths are and voluntarily start paying for some of this stuff that they think is so necessary. Or, better yet, since Mr. Obama seemed to be able to raise to much campaign money on the web, maybe he can convert his website to a collection point where people can donate to pay for other people's health insurance premiums.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  62. Richard

    YES! The rich benefitted the most from the tax cuts of the last 8 years, and what did it lead to . . . greed & corruption.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  63. Tom from Philly

    Where we made our mistake was in 1981 and in 2001 35% is an unrealistic level of taxes now the rich think its their "entitlement"

    They told us everything would be better if we dismantled the unions and deregulated. Better for a few but our country is now in economic ruins. The weath didnt trickle down it concentrated upwards. Now that unrealistic rate of 1981 was followed in 1982 with a social security tax increase then that surplus was used to justify the low rate on the weathly under bush. PEOPLE MAKING UNDER 100K/YR PAYING INTO SOCIAL SECURITY SUBSIDIZED THE 35% TAX RATE FOR THE WEATHLY. THEY HAVE BEEN TAKING ADVANTAGE OF US FOR 30 YEARS THE TIDE IS NOW GOING IN THE OTHER DIRECTION

    July 17, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  64. Chris

    NO! People calling on the rich to be taxed have a distorted view of what that means=. Not everyone making $350k+ has a yacht, burns $100 bills to light cigars, and has a private jet. Get real. Some of us work hard for that money, the "rich" aren't this unlimited pool of money to tap into.

    Perhaps a small rollback of the Bush tax cuts to help fund health care would be fair, but find other means to fund it. If everyone benefits, everyone should pay!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  65. Soji

    When uninsured people use the emergency room, everybody is taxed. This tax is unfair to the "UNRICH" because it's not progressive. It'sunfair to keep characterizing these tax hikes as taxing the rich without drawing a full picture.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  66. Blanche, fl.

    absolutely the rich should have to pay, we the middleclass have been
    carrying their butts for years, with all their loop holes.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  67. Leslie


    We cannot continually ask the rich to pay for the vast majority of government benefits. The cost should be distributed equally among receivers of the benefit.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  68. Mary Belyea

    God, yes! The rich have had a free ride for decades. And if you make $500,000, your tax will be a mere $1500. I live on SS and would gladly pay that amount if we could be assured of an effective health care program for all.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  69. Lee Allor


    The wealthiest among us have been on the gravy train for the past decade paying a lower rate than the rest of Americans. It is time that the playing field be leveled whether it is for health care or whatever it is.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  70. Kris

    yes, it is acceptable to tax the rich in order to offer at least some help to those who work for them and still cannot afford health care. how much, when and in what way – that has to be worked out very carefully so that the process is equitable and transparent. on the other hand, US must cut down on nuclear arms spending and huge military expenditures. More health, less war. Then, perhaps, all those who have become super-rich through the defense industry will not be so rich to fall into the category that now will be taxed more... go green guys.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  71. todd smith

    YES YES YES And they can cut the congress women/men pay like the real world is doing to us and a freeze on the pay too ((( LOOK AT THAT AND IS THE MONEY MADE)))) THE $ IS THAT .. WELCOME TO THE REAL PEOPLE THE AVG. PERSON .

    July 17, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  72. fred johnson

    Yes. There is lots of money justified for taxation in the $250000+

    July 17, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  73. Paul

    Let's not forget that the rich already pay higher taxes. In addition the rich already account for >40% of all taxes paid. Where does it stop? Let's get a fair tax system in place instead of this convoluted program we currently have.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  74. Susan Yabumoto

    It is my understanding that the majority of Congress would fall under this tax. If they represent the country, why not initiate the tax? However, it is naive to believe this would be the only source of revenue for health care–all of us should and will share the burden. "He ain't heavy, he's my brother."

    July 17, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  75. Kristie Mullett

    I'm NOT rich and I don't think the rich should be taxed to pay for healthcare or anything else for the masses. Everyone in this country needs to be taxed at a flat rate or we need to have a national sales tax to pay for our citizens' needs. We all need to contribute unless physically or mentally incapable. We are teaching our citizens to be victims. Why are we punishing the successful? That's wrong.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  76. ASJ

    That's a misleading question. Everyone is taxed and everyone is paying for healthcare. We might talk about increasing taxes on the rich, but their tax rate is at near historic lows. We're talking about restoring that tax rate to something more reasonable. And it's not like that revenue will go directly into medicare care for the poor, it will go into the pot of federal dollars used to pay for an enormous number of things, like DOT dollars for maintiaining the roads they drive, etc., and if some of it goes to pay for the Medicare which is the only health insurance offered to some retirees because their employers increased profits by cutting benefits (and what if the rich we are taxing happened to own stock in and profit from those companies) then the circle is made complete when the gov takes just a little more of the very top to provide a safety net for every American.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  77. Jojuan

    Of course it is....why do you think that the top 1% has most of the worlds wealth...Republicans always pro business want to have the rich get richer and the poor get poorer...its time to have a spred the wealth and have people SHARE....isnt that what they teach in the 1st grade.....??? As we have all seen trickle down economics doesnt work the rich always had tax breaks....its time to pay.... 😉

    July 17, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  78. Rich

    Absolutely!!! Not only do they have an inordinate share of the wealth, but they 'earned' that wealth by using the skills and efforts of middle class workers (workers , who byt, where mostly educated at public expense). So its clear that not only health care but education and every other public service ought to be funded by the people who benefited most from it.
    I DO NOT favor heavy taxes on corporations. Just the rich beneficiaries of those corps. Whether stock holders, board members or CEOs. Individuals need to be taxed according to how much they are taking from our system.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  79. Betty in southeast Arkansas

    I do not consider it fair to tax the wealthy to pay for the plan. I'm one of those American's that has high health insurance premiums with a $5000 deductible. But even I can realize that taxing the group which helps keep the "wheels of commerce" going is unwise. All of us have been "Taxed Enough Already".

    July 17, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  80. Roy Fouts

    I will be one of those taxed. It is appropriate and the added burden is one of the personal responsibilities that all higher income individuals should embrace. The concept of proportional contributions to our society are the American that we should be proud to shoulder.

    Roy Fouts
    Wadsworth, IL

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  81. Robert

    Of course, they are the only citizens who can afford it.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  82. BB

    Yes, I think it's the most responsible approach to our country's problem of health care for all. 1% more isn't that much, when you're making that kind of money. Providing a health care program, especially for those who can't afford any coverage, must be a priority.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  83. bill king

    No, the rich should not be taxed to support health care.
    Those, so called rich, are the very ones I and many others work for. I do not want to lose my job, because their taxes are increased to pay for health care for those who are not creating jobs.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  84. Philip Pomerleau

    Of course we should tax the rich. People making over $350,000.00 a year should be taxed at a higher rate then someone making $40,000.00. As it is now people use emergency rooms for common doctor visits and do not pay for those visits. This affects us all in the form of higher taxes. Health care needs to be available for all Americans, not just the wealthy. Every life is precious and we should be ashamed as a nation that it's taken this long for us to provide health care for all.

    Make it happen, Congress.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  85. anne harrigan

    I absolutely think tax on the rich should be initiated, after all, if not for the workers that made them rich ,they would not have the wealth that they have. It's time that they gave back to these same workers that made them wealthy.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  86. Kyle

    A small tax on the extremely wealthy won't hurt but who really needs to be taxed is the CEO's and business owners that shipped all our jobs overseas. That's a big reason why we can't afford healthcare, our jobs keep disapearing. If the middle class job's keep disapearing it's going to be more than healthcare we can't afford.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  87. D McGee

    NO.... The so called "RICH" are those folks who have worked their way up to being wealty. They deserve to keep what they earn for themselves and their families. Stop punishing successful entrepreneurs. The common folk dont know that they will be taxed as well

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  88. JCCC

    Heidi you are the best! Tax drug dealers and all those who continue to break the law through fraud, crime and abuse. Tax the rich after they are all in jail...

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  89. Joe

    The wealthy in America get their trash picked up , police protection,Farmers growing with Truckers delivering the food and being quite comfortable while all these services along with protecting this wonderful country are done by our "middle class"
    If they cant help us with paying for health care then they are not true Americans !

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  90. Mel Gowin

    I don't feel that taxing the rich is the answer. I believe if the government should reign in all the pork that they pass each year. Balance the budget. Put party politics aside and do what is right for our country. How can congress give themselves a pay raise each year. It should be the American people that decides if they get a raise by a vote. If they were my employees, the whole lot would be fire.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  91. Sheldon G. Bardach

    Dear Heidi:
    You ask is it fair to tax the wealthy to pay for Medical insurance for the poor? The aswer is absolutely Yes! The rich can afford the charges, and it benefits the country to have all of its citizens insured for medical health. The insurance will change the way all of our citizens have looked at medical care. It will stress well care. Further, assure doctors and hospitals of being appropriately paid for the medical services they extend. If the American Medical Association has expressed its support for the Obama plan, do you have any doubt that the medical profession supports universal medical coverage?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  92. Maggie

    The answer is no.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  93. Norma

    The president ran on the idea of taxing those making over $250 ,000 per year. He won the election didn't he?! Soooo... taxing those making over $350,000 is MORE than fair.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  94. anita

    the prior administration gave so many tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations and left the average person to bear the brunt of their legacy...yes, it is time for the rich to pay their share as many of them have benefited economically while the average person has to decide whether or not they can afford to pay their electric, phone, car insurance, food bills and still have enough left in a dwindling paycheck to pay for child care....the rich have no fundamental understanding of that scenario, neither did former aristocrats of France and you know what happened there!!!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  95. Sara

    Rich is a inflammatory term used by Obama to steal away freedom, tax the rich, who is rich? that keeps changing!!! He is great at motivating the minority to take freedom of choice from the majority.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  96. Sher Nelson

    No, once the government gets hold of any of the peoples money they
    abuse it and spend it unwisely. Just look what has happened recently.
    The educated people of the USA know how to fix health care but we are not being asked. Too many lobbyists are having input so as to insure their financial future.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  97. Egberto Willies

    Taxing the rich a bit more for healthcare reform actually helps them in the long run as a healthier population unconcerned with their healthcare will likely be more productive. Additionally the way social security is billed the rich’s effective tax rate is less than the average person so simply taxing to par would and redirecting that to healthcare should solve the revenue problem. America should realize that we have a country where structurally the rich cannot help but not only get richer but proportionally take a bigger byte of the entire country’s economy. No one need feel sorry for the rich. During deficit spending for their lower taxes they make income on the government bonds they purchased. When taxed more they make it right back by and economy buoyed by a more balanced budget and spending.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  98. Lori Lent

    Yes, it is fair. Those in our society who benefit the most from living in this country have a responsibility to support the society that they profit so greatly from. They should welcome the opportunity to do so.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  99. michael geer

    heidi, Taxing the rich is ok with me, but I think if you take all other government healthcare options like ( VA medical, medicare, medicaid,
    champus) and any other money the government spends on healthcare because universal care will replace these programs. Replace the Medicare Payroll tax with a healthcare tax. maybe this might be enough to pay for this. also, as far as taxing the healthcare benefits employer give, they already get taxed by the ins companies with user fees, I cant believe the congress is having such a hard time with such a simple problem.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  100. Susan

    Absolutely never have the government be the decider of both your health care and your social security. It will be obvious that certain
    health procedures after a certain age will be denied! Just check out
    the health benefits and the plan given the retirees from the U.S.
    military once they are over 65. Their plan is unfair depending on where they live and just as bankrupt as Medicare/Medicaid/Social
    Security. If the government can fix any of those three plans first,
    they would have a chance at credibility. And Joe Biden wants to spend
    us out of bankruptcy?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  101. mike

    I hope all you people that make over $250,000 are happy with "hope and change". Your march towards socialism is going the cripple this country forever change the concept of freedom and liberty laid out for us by the founding fathers. Oh, sorry, that founding fathers thing was sexist and gender biased. I'll go remove the part of my brain that came up with that. I don't watch CNN for many reasons, just stopped on it while surfing when I saw this very attractive red head. I think, if CNN was fair about it, they would find news readers that look like Sonia Sotomayor. Hey, you think Congress is going to have the same coverage they're putting on all of us?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  102. Rev. adrian cook

    Absolutely. Yes.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  103. Steven

    It is important for people to learn how to support themselves and their families when necessary. This includes working and getting your own health insurance. In emergencies, the current medical system accepts you as a patient, and you will be taken care of. The system, taxing the rich, will simply STOP the attempt of many lower income families to support themselves for reasons of needing health insurance. Why work when food, money, and now even health insurance is handed to you?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  104. Tom from Philly

    If that didnt do it WAKE UP! they freak too much, they are both complaning about a 45% tax rate but they are also resisting the limitation on deductions that makes you pay an actual tax of 28%

    My marginal rate is 50% 35% + 15% self employment tax where do i go to freak out. we designed and structured our tax system around giving breaks to certain people whe grease the politicians hands, wake up.....

    Lets talk about fair. Some people have more than they need (way more) some people die because they dont get medical care or medicine..

    Ok Jesus is a one man supreme court: I am praying to get the drugs to keep cancer at bay, you are payng to protect your income above 350k/year WHAT DOES JESUS DO?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  105. Andrew

    Raising top marginal tax rates to exceed 50% is tyranical. Economic productivity will decline, job growth will not occur, and on top of that, the revenue procured will not come close to paying the bill!

    This group of people already pay 90% of all taxes collected.

    Government should cut spending, reduce the deficit and debt and live as lean many Americans are forced to.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  106. Victor from Paradise Valley AZ

    I donated to Obama’s campaign and am very concerned about how he plans on funding the heath care plan. The assumption that the wealthiest will roll over and pay the additional tax is unrealistic. At what point will wealthy US citizens change citizenship and move to somewhere like Costa Rica? With the ability to work and manage remotely, our wealthiest people will have the capability to move and no longer pay into our system. If you look at trends within the US, many people live full time or part time in low tax (or no tax) states like Florida and Nevada to avoid paying higher taxes. What’s to stop them from moving out of the country? What is Obama’s plan if a good portion of our wealthiest citizens are contributing to our tax system? I don’t think he is thinking ahead and may want to respect the small group that pays 95% of the costs of running this country.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  107. Adrian

    Is it right for a business owner to pay all their employees min. wage, and not provide any health benefits? The employee works their but off for the employer, yet live from paycheck to paycheck. Meanwhile the business owner travels around the world drives a nice car and lives in a too big of a house! Meanwhile their employees are struggling to make ends meet. While the employee struggles, the owner is on easy street, able to drop thousands of dollars on some stupid toy.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  108. Dixie Eklund

    I can't believe I am hearing this from Americans. – TAX the rich? That is class warfair at its finest. I am not rich, but I work my butt off and guess what, I hope some day if I"m ever "rich" I can benifit from he rewards of my efforts. REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH IS at best socialist and worst communistic... READ AMERICAN HISTORY AND THE VISION OF OUR FOUNDING FATHERS AND YOU WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  109. donald sperling

    Robin Hood budgeting is not the American way.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  110. Tom

    Not just yes, but "about time yes!"
    The gap between the rich and the poor just keeps getting bigger. This is because the rich just can't get enough! Most of them "inheret" their wealth, and try to just add to it.
    In many cases, they are taking it from the poor. they buy politicians and big news shows, and just expect we poor people to take it!

    We give billion to the banks, who use it to give themselves millions in bonus money for robbing the poor of this country.

    Then the banks hire H1-B visa programmers to replace Americans, although my congressman tells me this is not possible.

    We want stimulus money? Have the banks hire American programmers. All thise H1-B's send our tax payer dollors back home to India! This stimulus for the banks is actually hurting us because the rich bankers are not American! They are like all the othe rich .... just RICH!

    Yes, tax the rich until it hurts!

    Jim, unemployed programmer, because H1_B visas took my last 3 jobs! How can they "not" be taking American jobs, if I, the American programmer, was "layed off" due to being replaced by cheap programmers from India?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  111. Ruby P

    Why don't Obama leave us alone. Spend spend spend us to death.Then who's going to need healtrh insurance? Our country has gone to hell sence he took over. I'm a (D) thats sick of the people in Wasgington getting rich off of us and wanting us the working people to pay for their trips to see some slave place .

    July 17, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  112. Douglas Slate

    No I do not think that you should just tax the rich to pay for health care.
    I also do not support the new health care plan of Obama or the Demarcates. I do not wont my tax's to go. My income is under $13,000 a year and I know that there is no way that my tax's will not to have to go up also.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  113. Chris B., Kansas University

    "You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich."

    -Abraham Lincoln

    Why should the wealthy continue to be punished for their successes? The wealthy already pay most of the income taxes in this county and would receive no benefit from this new "health care plan." So why should they foot the bill? It is easy to say "tax the rich" but really, 350k a year? Those are not people with yachts who take yearly trips to Paris. These are hard working professionals and business owners who would have to cut back, maybe by letting off some employees or cutting back on their donations to charity. Does that sound like a good idea to anyone?

    Several other posts say that the wealthy should pay just because they can, or because it is their duty. It should be the freedom of every citizen in this county to decide what they should spend their money on.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  114. Jody

    The rich should NOT be taxed more. They pay alot of taxes already and should not be responsible for paying more. The rich create jobs, buy goods and services and donate alot of money to charities. Once that goes away we are all in trouble.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  115. Mary Murray

    I believe that it is exactly the right solution to ask the rich to pay more taxes. For lots and lots and lots of years the rich paid so many more taxes than they have now. It has been just the past few years that they have paid such little taxes. They still pay 35%+ on their earnings, but they also get professional accounting services to find all the loopholes. Also, remember that at this time they only pay 15% on their capital gains taxes. Why don't we bring up the capital gains taxes to a reasonable amount equal to what they would pay on other earnings (a lot of us pay 28% on their ordinary earning). We all as Americans have a certain rights, the right to a free education (K-12 when we are young) for instance. We also have a right to health care. And yes I also believe that it is okay to tax juice (where there is not much juice in it anyway) and sodas (and to tax other things that we really don't need as a staple in our diet anyway).

    July 17, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  116. Joan

    Why not? For decades the rich have had obscenely generous tax breaks and have taken advantage of loopholes in tax laws made just for them, while the poor and middle class have borne the brunt of federal and state taxes during the same time. When the rich commit white collar crime, they don’t receive the same justice that a poor person would: the rich receive a slap on the hand while the poor would be sentenced to decades in prison for the same type of crime. That all with the exception of Madoff recently. Yes, the rich should be taxed and they should like it – small change for the financial raping of their fellow citizens. Also, a deduction from the wages of all, based on salary would be fair, as they do in Europe. It would cost far less than current private insurance premiums. Also, those scare ads against public healthcare are just that – the only difference between having your current insurance company refusing to cover a procedure and a government run healthcare plan refusing coverage would be that the insurance company doesn’t care whether you live or die, they only want your money, whereas a government run option would have your wellbeing as its main function.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  117. Judi

    NO, NO, NO! The health care bill should be euthanized ASAP. Clinics need to be set up for the poor (staffed the way doctors for the military are recruited), Medicare fraud and abuse needs to be stopped, and tort reform passed to help lower mal-practice insurance. Government employees waste money faster than taxes can be collected.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  118. mother

    "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift."
    "You cannot help small men by tearing down big men."
    "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong."
    "You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer."
    "You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich."
    “You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.”
    "You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred."
    "You cannot establish security on borrowed money."
    "You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence."
    "You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

    written by Reverend William J.H. Boetcker in the early 20th century

    July 17, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  119. Howard Howson

    Yes the rich should definitely be taxed to help pay for healthcare. Why because among the rich are the insurance company, pharmaceutical and hospital administration executives that have made healthcare in America about maximizing profits. Often this is by denying proper treatment, overpricing needed drugs, marketing unecessary drug dependence or conspiring to have laws passed in their self interests rather than that of the people.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  120. Suzanne Leuthner

    Yes, that is one rational way to find the necessary funds. The Republican argument that "that will cost jobs" is specious at best; the wealthy received a disproportionate benefit from the Bush tax cuts – and look at the mess we're in now. I can't see that they have created many jobs with that money – or that any of it has "trickled down", for that matter. The huge disparity between the very rich and the rest of us has increased dramatically during the past several decades; it is not "Socialism" to ask that ALL people pay a proportionate share of costs that benefit society as a whole.

    I further think that taxing employer-provided health insurance should be put back "on the table". That also gives an unfair advantage to one group over others. And we need to become much more aggressive in reducing health-care costs by preventing the huge costs associated with preventable chronic disease. If the "carrot" approach doesn't work – as it obviously doesn't – it is time to get out the "stick", and make those who persist in maintaining unhealthy lifestyles pay a fair share of the increased cost of their choices to the system.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  121. Pete

    I am currently among the many unemployed, but I still have to pay about $1200 per month for health insurance for my family. My wife's on COBRA, and her insurance alone is nearly $700 of that. Still, I think Congress' proposed health plan is way off the mark. I do not think it's fair to impose a greater tax on the wealthy to pay for it; I think they're greatly underestimating the cost and greatly overestimating the effectiveness of the outcome.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  122. sallylee

    I think its okay to tax the rich to pay for health care for the poor,GOD says the rich should give to the poor.
    Its really a low class that a country like United states dont have health care and they call themselves number one in the world,even poor countries have health care,President Obama is doing a good job for helping the poor and i think this law makers who already have insurance covering them and their families should not be selfish and stop playing dirty politics and help people who are in need.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  123. Violet

    No. Absolutely not. I am not rich and am not A republican, but I disagree. That would give a wrong incentive to everybody. Wrong!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  124. June Ewing

    Yes- It is fair and essential to tax the wealthier folks to fund health care. I would be glad to pay a tax so that others can have the wonderful health care I get as a retired federal employee – I have no medical charges, not even a copay except for medicines. I. can't be happy knowing of the suffering of the uninsured, and having untreated people increases health risks for all of us.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  125. wesley

    Yes,if that bottle of fine expensive wine you just bought ,will feed the average american family of four for a month WHY NOT !!!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:19 am |


    July 17, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  127. Cindy

    I agree that taxing the wealthy on Health Care Benefits would be necessary to fund the New Health Care Proposal. Where else would the funds come from? We know plenty of people in the middle class that are just making ends meet from day to day. How can they afford to purchase Health Insurance, if required?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  128. UKnight

    There are a few truisms out in the health care debate.
    1. No matter who you are, you should pay SOMETHING for your own health care. Yes, even the poor should have some nominal investment in their own health care.
    2. Government is rarely the answer to any problem. I don't think anyone even knows how much the "Health Care Privacy Act" costs, or takes away from the dollars that would go to treatment instead of handing out "privacy policies" that no one reads. And if we go to a single payer system, is there anyone who really believes they'll have any privacy left?
    3. Waste and fraud are rampant already in the two government-run healthcare systems Medicare and Medicaid. Do we really want to raise yet another tax before we've cut out the government waste "fat"?
    4. Small businesses should NOT be disproportionately punished in order to achieve a utopian ideal of universal coverage.
    5. Yes, the very wealthy can be taxed again. And again. And again. But what kind of tyranny is it when we resort to a form of mob rule to take away from the wealthy what they have earned, even to achieve a worthy objective, especially when a profligate government can never guarantee that what is taken will be spent with any degree of fiduciary care?

    We should all be enraged and on our feet, telling our elected representatives to start cutting their own outrageous spending on staffs and travel, to put themselves into the same kind of health program they advocate for the rest of the population, and to stop taking money from influence peddlers of ANY STRIPE. We should demand all this before this Congress that can't read what they vote on enacts one single more law governing our laws, regardless of whether we are rich or not.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  129. Sadie

    Taxing the rich to pay for America's health care moves us closer to communism, Mr. President! AndFor those of you who think only the poor fight for the freedoms of this country you obviously have NEVER SERVED in the Armed Forces! If want Governmenthand outs go LIVE SOMEWHERE ELSE and report back in 50 years!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  130. Brian

    Our healthcare system will never get fixed as long as we have two corrupt parties (Democrats and Republicans) running this country, they hate each other so much they won't even sit at the same table and work out this nation's many problems. Democrats only want to throw money at the problem by taxing the rich and people's healthcare benefits while Republicans have this idiotic idea of healthcare savings accounts that absolutely won't work, and Republicans are only looking out for the corrupt insurance industry as usual. It is because of these two corrupt parties as to why this country is in the toilet financially, a crumbling infrastructure and until lobbying and special interest groups are banned and outlawed, we will never have a government that is truely representitive of the people, the American Taxpaying Citizen! WE NEED A NEW GOVERNMENT, FREE OF LOBBYISTS AND SPECIAL INTEREST!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  131. Seneca Godamunne' , Jacksonville, FL

    Yes! If that is what is necessary to get the approximately 50 million currently uninsured Americans (men, women and children) a basic level of health care.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  132. Jane - WI

    It's amazing to see some people posting on this site who still think that President Bush's tax cuts were for the "rich". ALL who pay income taxes got a cut. Those on the low end were even totally removed from the tax roles. This myth of "tax cuts for the rich" seems to be perpetuated by Democrats and their allies in the media. If Democrats want to repeal the "Bush tax cuts", then they should repeal them all. Obviously, if they say they only want to repeal those on the upper income earners acknowledges that there were Bush tax cuts for all brackets, and they aren't willing to take those lower brackets back to the Clinton era levels.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  133. steve

    To debate the "fairnes" of an increaed tax on the wealthy for health would be futile; we are already taxed according to our earning level. The question is, "How huge, all-encompassing and devastatingy wasteful does our gov't have to become before we realize the damage that is being done?"

    July 17, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  134. alberto

    Because of the gross disparity that arose during the last term of the Bush Administration, i.e., where the difference between the middle class and those of means grew SUBSTANTIALLY...and many in the middle classs moved into the realm of poverty, at least for certain, they became impoverised medically (losing, MANY, ALL of their health care benefits): it is PAST TIME that the pendulum swung back: that some form of health care return to the marketplace, other than ER care, expensive, NOT because of reckless behavior of the previously insured, but....with a child, running a fever of 104 for days: it makes absolute sense to get that child to a doctor.

    Community Health Centers staffed with General Practitioners, is what will, in the end, make legislation on the Hill worthwhile, and, more importantly, give families a "viable" means to deal, in a timely way, with the 104-degree (febrile) child.

    As a Hospital Business Office attorney/consultant, I know that nothing less is NOW required: and that such will, indeed, SAVE BILLIONS !!!
    For taxpayers, for familes best of all, and for acute care hospital providers, whose ER's, almost never make it out of the "red".


    July 17, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  135. GR

    Of course it's not fair. Most people here only think it's fair because they're angry or bitter. Forcing the top few percent of Americans to pay for services for the rest of us is not fair simply because they can afford it. What would be fair would be something which forces more personal health responsibility on the people – how about raising taxes on people who are obese? THAT would be fair.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  136. Ann Dodson

    If a person works hard and makes the lives of the wealthy pleasant and easier shouldn't they be allowed at least basic comfort and security (health care included)? If we all got paid a decent wage and could afford our own health care we wouldn't be having this debate! It sounds like I'm petitioning for slaves. Am I the only one that sees this?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  137. Tim

    It is not fair. Please research what countries ever successfully taxed their way into prosperity. Many of us would like to know.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  138. Priest F.

    I feel this is PREJUDICE. Webster defines prejudice as; To affect injuriously or detrimentally by a judgment or an act. This is totally an act that is detrimental and injurous. To those of us that elect to WORK harder, get less sleep, and sacrifice time with our families in order to provide a better life we are being penalized – we are being singled out and punished financially.

    This administration is basically saying to us that you should NOT work hard to achieve a better way of life and if you do we will punish you. It is not a matter of having more so therefore you can afford to give more – its a matter of I worked harder therefore i EARNED more. It just so happens the harder you work the luckier you get. Hardwork is nothing special, its not magic or a trick – everyone can do it. But everyone doesnt. And this administration is ANTI success. It promotes laziness, its basically saying to society dont work hard because we are going take from the rich and give you their HARD EARNED money. We are in the age of the Robin Hood Congress.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  139. Brian

    By the way, isn't it long overdue we have truely fair taxation in this country where everyone regardless of wealth pays the same percentage on the dollar? FLAT TAX IS A FAIR TAX, and taxing the rich to pay for a government program is class warfare. Idiot liberals and NeoCons are ruining this country.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  140. Mark Parsons

    It is not fair for the wealthy to pay even more taxes for healthcare reform. They are already unfairly taxed and should not be burdened with another unfair tax. I've been working for the U.S. Government since 1986 and I can assure you that the last bunch you want involved in your life is the government. I am confident we'd all be better off if the government would stay out of healthcare altogether.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  141. Leonard Richardson

    With the way the tax structure is set up people making $250,000+ have so many deductions and so forth to use that they are not paying their fair share of the bills. So it is fair but what would be more fair is to get rid of some of those deductions/ loopholes and that alone would probably fund healthcare, maybe more!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  142. gloriana villasante-wells

    Taxing the rich is discriminatory and unconstituional! We pride ourselves on the concept of the "American Dream" however if you are very succesful at the pursuit of your goals, the Government punishes you but making you pay for their inadequecies. This very thought perpetuates divide by fostering the concept of the "evil" rich. Let's just encourage our children mediocrity and entitlement, that's what the Government rewards!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  143. Susan Wagner

    It would be better to tax fairly, everyone pay 10%, no loop-holes or deductions. That would save the money we need. If we keep taxing "rich" people for funds, more money will be "hidden" , that is jus human nature. My dad is retired military and he pays 18% from his retirement....

    July 17, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  144. william locker

    Absolutely! The people who receive this income do so because of the efforts of people lower on the food chain. It is morally correct to expect these people to at least insure the health of those who help them earn their riches.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  145. amanda

    I think anything that treats everyone's income the same across the country is unfair. I make $350K per year, but I live in New York, where rent on the average one bedroom is $2500 a month. In North Carolina, what kind of mansion could you get for that? Food is so much more expensive here (the same box of cereal is $7 here and $3.49 in NJ). I am already in a 38% tax bracket. With the other tax increases proposed in congress, I'm to jump to 42%. Plus, add the income tax I pay to the city, and the state, and the fact that both of those are jumping 1%+. I will be at a 50% tax bracket, with a cost of living far exceeding most of America.

    I have no problem paying for health care reform–but I want to know that costs are going to be reduced, and there won't be an incentive for employers to drop coverage for employees, thereby increasing the bill I have to pay. Even though I do think it's unfair to have 1% of the population paying for the other 99% without taking into consideration that my money goes a lot less further than most Americans, I am OK with forking over real dollars for healthcare. Because we'll all be stronger if it's done properly. But the non-tax surcharged Americans shouldn't get it for free–note that CNN also just reported that over 1/3 of America is morbidly obese–not merely overweight. The inference was that we needed better healthcare. What the real inference is–we need people to treat themselves better so health care costs come down. Then we won't even need to have this discussion. I'll pay for your pre-natal care, your child's immunizations–but I absolutely shouldn't have to pay for your treatment when your disease is directly caused by your own behavior. PUT THE DONUT DOWN AND I'LL HAPPILY PAY FOR YOUR DOCTOR VISIT.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  146. melanie Zach, AZ

    Yes the wealthy should be taxed for this new feel...Oops I mean new deal. They have had 8 good years of getting away with not paying their share…OH what am I in America the wealthy have NEVER paid their way. The middle class has had to carry this great country for way to long (you know those who make too much and have great tax attorneys and those who don’t work AT ALL and live off of the middle classes) If the wealthy don’t like it…well they can move, say to a place where they are taxed 50% or even higher. The grass is not always greener on the other side…but please be my guest. The wealthy need to remember what Napoleon Bonaparte said about the rich and the poor….Don’t know what he said… "Religion is what Keeps the Poor from Murdering the Rich" - Napoleon Bonaparte

    God Bless

    July 17, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  147. Theresa, Upland.

    Yes, to better serve the community and the world at large. The wealthy came to this world with nothing, and they shall leave woh nothing. More health coverage prevents widespread diseases in the world by encouraging more preventive medicines. Also it helps in reducing crime due to despair and emotional distraught among the less fortunate.

    Remember late Michael Jackson: help to make your world a better place!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  148. Michael


    Taxing the rich is useless, they always find creative ways to off set it anyway. Like the old saying "he who owns the gold makes the rules".
    To me the most branches of gov,t are just glorified clerks to the
    ruling class. This health plan according to the public stations are a
    bandaid which still does not solve the problem of private healthcare in this country.
    They always look to the middle class to solve their problems.
    They have ads out saying how in ineffective socialized healthcare is
    in other countries. Maybe it does have flaws, but nobody is addressing
    how we can take this type of healthcare and make it better,
    cost wise and how to make the services more timely and effective.
    One way to help pay for is a small charge to the stock transactions
    for day trading not for large funds like pension fund etc..

    July 17, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  149. scruffi

    Absolutely not. We must consider that, in an effort to remain wealthy, "the rich" have used a significant portion of their income to make investments; investments that they will not be able to afford if asked to pay for other people's health insurance. At a time when we are all suffering from economic losses, asking the few people in the country with significant amounts of disposable income to forfeit more of their hard earned money will lead to a declines in investment and consumption, and will lead to further deterioration of OUR economy.
    Perhaps in the future it will be prudent to ask people with excess money to fund projects like free health care, but it is not a good idea now.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  150. Azad

    Charity begins at home! Those who are in need we try to help them. We give the world when they are in need, it's about time we take care of business at home.

    "This is what America is all about."

    Yes, It is about time. The lower & middle class helped them to become wealthy. It's about time they compensate them in one way or the other in a positive manner.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  151. D Ford

    I just love it when people like you talk about fairness. Is it fair that some are born beautiful and some are not? No? Well, let's fix that inequity. Everyone must be made beautiful or at least attractive, OR everyone must be made ugly or at best plain. Otherwise, its just not fair! We'll call that "appearance justice."
    Is it fair that humans are born different colors/races? No? Clearly, then, something must be done. "Color justice."
    Is it fair that some are born with conditions beyond medical help and others are born healthy? Clearly not, so what's to be done about it? "Genetic justice."
    Is it fair that some are born in the U.S.A. and others are born in China, Mexico, Africa, Europe...? No? "National origin justice" is the answer.

    Instead of asking whether it is "fair" to tax the "rich" in order to pay for "universal" healthcare, why not ask if its smart, right, or likely to improve healthcare. The answer to all three is "no."

    Ask yourself when and where in the history of the world has redistributing "wealth" worked?

    Whether one uses the term "socialism" or "economic justice", the meaning and result are the same: by government fiat, my hard-earned money is taken and doled out to those who haven't earned it and who, in most cases, have done nothing to help themelves. And why should they – the "rich" are working for the benefit of all! (Ask yourself what will happen when the "rich" tire of supporting everyone and stop producing jobs and wealth. What will Big Brother do then?)

    Karl Marx must be soooo pleased at the direction our Republic has taken. Things are becoming so much more "fair."

    July 17, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  152. Cliff D.

    Taxing the "rich" to pay for health care is the most blatant example of class warfare yet from the Oboma-ites and the Dems. Health care is a purchased product, not a right under the Constitution. Some people chose to buy it; some chose not to by it. Some people chose to buy expansive coverage; some chose to buy minimal coverage. If the Oboma-ites and the Dems want to provide coverage to those who can't afford health insurance then they should provide minimal insurance only for those people and not become involved in the rest of the health care industry.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  153. Don

    Here’s a thought: in general the rich are Republicans, right? The current Republican party are supposedly such good Christians, right? If they are such good Christians then why are they complaining about loving their neighbour, helping the sick, feeding the hungry and helping the poor? It’s scandalous that such a wealthy country has one of the worst health systems in the world. If the rich have a conscience and love their country as they so often claim they do, then why don’t they show it? They should be proud to help their country and their fellow man. They shouldn’t be thinking how they can profit from them.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  154. Pete

    Maybe the rich would be more willing to pay higher taxes if they were more convinced the government could demonstrate that they knew how to spend it wisely. I'm certainly not among the rich, but hey, I haven't seen the government prove they know how best to spend our money for ages!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  155. Jack

    The so-called "rich" are already paying the bulk of the taxes in the US. The "rich" are people that have invested to build businesses, hire employees and create wealth that get reinvested to build more or taxed so the government can distribute. No – it is not right to go after the "rich" for more money. Small business growth and personal investment will be negatively effected at a time when the economy is in shambles. The government cannot "fix" health care.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  156. Gerald Saxon

    The amount the rich would be taxed is so small compared to their high incomes it seems very fair to me to employ this tax for all the benifits it would provide for the poor and middle class. I also feel hospital fees should be rduced. In general health care costs are way out of line compared to other services. Over the course of my lifetime well over 50% of my health care costs did me no good whatsoever.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  157. Joe B. - Florida

    Wow! It's amazing how many people on here talk without have a clue what they're talking about. When people hear the term "rich" they picture the few ultra wealthy elite who have a net worth of hundreds of millions and live in absolute luxury. Would this extra tax hurt them? No, not really. But look at those income thresholds – $350,000, $500,000, $1,000,000. Most people who earn somewhere around these amounts are NOT rich. As a tax accountant, I have done hundreds of tax returns for these so called "rich" people. The surprising thing is, most of these people are struggling just as much as the guy who makes $30,000. Here's the thing, these guys are not sitting around working a 40 hour week and recieving a bi-weekly paycheck. These are the people running businesses and creating jobs. Their tax return might show that they made $500,000, but most of that money is tied up in their business,.It's used for growing their business or paying off principal on loans. Here's the problem, these guys don't get money witheld from a paycheck to pay their taxes. They have to cut a check to the government. This is what happens, thier tax return shows taxable income of $500,000, so the government says "write me a check for $150,000 to pay the tax on that $500,000." But they don't have $150,000 sitting around because most of the money the made is tied up in their business. These so called "rich" struggle to pay their taxes and it hurts the growth of their business which in turn hurts the growth of our economy. One of the WORST things we could do for our economy is raise taxes on the "rich."

    July 17, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  158. todd smith


    July 17, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  159. Mark Coslov

    In any discussion about taxing the rich, no one mentions the 50%+ tax cuts they've gotten over the last 30 years. Why not?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  160. Deb

    Yes it's fair to tax the rich. After all, they are the ones who are profitting their investments in the medical industry. They are the ones who are fighting to keep the costs high in order to maximize their profits. The blood of every person who dies because they can't afford medical service is on the hands of these selfish rich who love their money more than anything else.

    As for this bill reducing costs – any idiot could have figured out that it won't. Al it does is provide access to insurance. It doesn't take a genius to understand that Insurance does not drive medical costs. If you want to reduce costs you have to go to the source – pharmaceutical companies, doctors, hospitals. There is money to be made by keeping people sick and treating their symptoms for the rest of their lives. Finding cures means no return business. So the medical industry doesn't work to cure illness, they work to treat symptoms. But when is the last time CNN actually reported on that?

    Forcing people to pay more for soft drinks doesn't address the fact the high fructose corn syrup in nearly indigestible, but is subsidized by the government to make it cheap to use in EVERYTHING, thus creating a nation of obese people who end up with dread diseases that fatten the purses of the medical industry. It's a vicious circle that keeps medical cost high, investors rich, and people sick.

    This insurance bill is needed because people are dying without it. But it isn't going to reduce costs, it's going to provide help to the victims of a medical system that is designed to keep costs high and make lieftime customers for the industry, so that the rich get richer.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  161. Will

    Absolutely!! Tax those making this kind of income and more, they might have to miss an expensive lunch.
    They’ll get over it.

    But not just those making 350 thousand dollars a year!!
    How about the billionaire hedge fund managers?
    How about those folks living off of day trading?
    These people are siphoning off billions of dollars from the economy without producing a thing! The rest of us are carrying them! They are getting very heavy!!

    How about the Corporations that used to manufacture their products in the US and have moved their manufacturing to countries with near slave wages? They are a MAJOR cause of the economic collapse we are now trying to survive.
    Didn’t this used to be called “Dumping” and it wasn’t this illegal?

    How about the Insurance Companies? Their greed and their lobbyist are a major reason the country is facing the healthcare crisis we are in now!
    People are now DYING because of the greed of the Insurance Companies.
    This is truly obscene!!

    But, being realistic, until we outlaw lobbyist, and jail the legislators that accept their bribes (campaign contributions, consulting contracts, etc), it will be difficult to correct any of our issues.

    Thank you.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  162. Elwood Carson

    Heidi, isn't this a common practice? We do this in skin graphs, organ transplants, stem cells, and in many other areas of life. The country is ill, take from the healthy (their riches) and heal the country. Come on! Some people have so much money, they could never spend it all in their or their children's life time.
    Heal the land!!!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  163. beverly mikuriya

    I would have no problem paying additional taxes for health care , but all other possible sources need to be exhausted first. An uncomplicated , easy way to decrease the cost of health care by $124 billion per year is to implement medical tort reform. The cost of defensive medicine must not be minimized.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  164. Gail McKenzie

    No, we should not further tax the rich, we should deny coverage to illegal alliens. Why should US citizens pay for illegals health care? It just doesn't make sense. I'm being punished because they came here illegally.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  165. Jerry Morris, PsyD, MBA, MSPharm, ABPP, ABMP


    Below is a posting I did on a national blog today that I wanted to share with you. For those of you who are econimically trained you may find it innovative. For those who are Progressive you may find it philosophical compatible. For those of you who are conservative, you may wince at limiting profits, using the Government to set price trends downward and provide competition with tax dollars, and taxing profiteers in an industry and sector! That's ok!
    We need all perspectives.

    I might remind us that if we weren't doing these very techniques in the transportation sectors we wouldn't have the Interstate Highway System, the Electrical Grid and System, The Airline Industry, Varous Farm and Commodity Programs, The American Public Hospital System (largely built with Hill-Burton Act Grants), The American Broadcasting and Telephone Systems, The American Cargo Rail Systems and Interstate Trucking Systems that make markets work and keep prices down, The American Land Grant University System (recognized as the best education system in the world), Rural Primary Care Clinica (most built with specialized Government Grants that paid for buildings, recruitment of the first several years of medical staff, and gave low cost loans), The American National Parks System, The American Airport System and accompaning Air Traffic Control Terminals and Terminal Control Zones and their maintanence, etc.

    There are some things too important to leave to capitalism, the private sector, or entrepreneurs. Shouldn't healthcare and medicines be up there with other essential national assets that need collective development and mangement so that they are not ruined, stolen for the public assets, used as tools to fleece the public?

    (see blog below)

    "Gang, Healthcare inflation is driven by three major elements: 1. Hospital Cost increases (related to corporations runing public assets as management companies-using our assets to make profits scam), 2. Drug Costs (largely using our university and Government grant money to do the basic science and then taking it from there to make new patented product), and 3. Insurance and Managed Care Company corporations skimming off the top and making huge profits (leaks in the healthcare economic system). See my paper on Caring for the Poor at! To pay for healthcare reform we should do the following: 1. Provide a Government option that puts price pressure (choice and competition into the market) downward on insurance and MC companies and drives pricing down, 2. Tax any non-profit hospital or health facility that uses a private management corporation and siphens off profits and huge salaries (encouraging local-real non-profit management that puts fund balance/profits back into reduced costs and more service, 3. Shorten drug patents to 10 years, shift funding to Universities to find improved drug alternatives and then make them available in the public sector (price pressure downward and quality pressure upward in the private drug sector), and limit drug company profits and executive compensation by incremental taxes on high levels of both.

    We have always know what is driving healthcare inflation, but we have lacked the political will to take on the Hospital Corp lobby (even high leaders in US Congress families have owned the big ones), Drug Company Lobby, and Insurance lobby. We do not have a difficult healthcare problem. We have a lack of political courage and a political problem!"

    Dr. Morris

    July 17, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  166. Glen Norman

    Definitely. It always amazes me that people who are not wealthy would even think it is unfair to tax the rich. Who else is more able to pay more to help others if not the rich. The middle class are already strapped because of the greed of the wealthy. The wealthy will not even miss the additional money they will pay in taxes since they have more than they need. Why should we show more compassion to the wealthy when they have benifitted more than most from our great nation? The wealthy often complain that they are being punished for being successful. So is it OK to punish those who are not successful by denying them the medical care they need to live a long and healththy life?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  167. JB

    What I'm not the fact that health care expense, like most products, have built into their charges an amount they feel relates to attrition, loss, etc. If I don't pay my hospital bill and the hospital eats it, where do they get that money from? YOU. by charging everyone a higher price they offset the losses from the ones who can't/don't pay. If everyone had access to affordable health care and therefore assuring health care providers that they would receive payment...then it seems to me the next logical step is to mandate that they reduce their costs accordingly since they would no longer need to have the attrition/loss factor built in?? AND they wouldn't have to artificially inflate their charges so they would be where they really want to be for a service after discounts by the health insurance industries. Everyone has coverage; everyone gets paid a FAIR price for their service; costs are reduced across the board.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  168. Dan

    MISSING THE POINT HERE- If we go to the public option it will slowly put all other insurance out of business. My wife is Canadian and just lost her mother mainly because the PUBLIC health care system would not do anything for her because "she was too old",. She was 77 years old and she laid in a bed and died. Her dad waited seven moths for a heart cathader after his heart attack. If you do not want to wait in line like you do at every government agency, then you better start opposing the public option. Why can't we better regulate the insuirance companies and then we could subsidize the system for the poor. Our system is not broke, it just needs better oversight. Where will you go for health care if this public system fails you? Everyone else comes to America, so where do we go if we have no choices. The public option is only the first step to a single payer system. It is the exact path that Canada took. They started with the public option, now they are a socialized system with NO choices.
    Think very hard what you wish for!!!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  169. Janet

    All you folks who are saying "yes, tax the folks" are scaring me. What is the world makes you think that this will not trickle down to you eventually. Point blank this is class warfare. If you make over 40K I would not be supporting any plan to tax the "wealthy". What has been found to be truthful these past 6 months? Saying it is OK to tax the weathly makes it sound like you agree to nationalized healthcare. This would be the biggest mistake that could ever be made. Don't you heard about what happens in Canada and Europe?

    Before I support any type of national health care I would have to see a tort reform law put into place that requires a looser pays or limits being able to sue doctors. Law suits are out of control, but our lawyer politicians don't want to do anything to hurt their lawyer friends. Medical care costs so much because the insurance doctors have to pay is our of control.

    There was a bill that was brought around in congress that stated that the congress members would have the same health care they are trying to shove down our throat. Not one democratic member would jump on board with that. These folks think they are better than us, and shame on all of you to allow them to keep thinking that.

    You are responsible for you. Stop looking to the government to do everything for you and give you everything. You are looking to change everything that made this country great by becoming a bunch of whiners and crybabies.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  170. Patrick

    What is wrong with people? Just because a person is middle class or lower class doesnt make them any less important as an upper class person. It doesnt make an upper class person smarter. Everything is about opportunity, and the lack of it. Not everyone can take the same avenue.
    Just because an upper class person makes more money doesnt mean they have all that money they make to burn. They should be able to reward themselves with their achievments in life.
    My last point is that the upper class did not get where they got alone they needed the middle class and lower class to get there. And the lower and middle class would not have a job if it werent for the upper class.
    We are all equals start acting like it we all need each other learn to work together.
    Grow up people!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  171. CCMueller

    Yes. The rich have had their share of tax breaks over the past administrations, now is the time for sharing the load.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  172. Brenda Shreve

    No, I don't think it is fair to tax the rich to pay for healthcare reform, nor do I think it's fair to tax employer provided health benefits. My husband has been out of work for four months, so we're not wealthy, & have no health care plan to tax.

    What I think would be fair to everyone is a !/2% to 1% NATIONAL SALES TAX on everything except food & health related items. My plan would be spread over the entire population instead of targeting any one group.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  173. Dorothy, Kentucky

    Of course the wealthy should not be getting all the major tax beaks.That is part of the reason we have this economic problem we have now GREED. Why not have those who are making the wealth on the backs of those they don't see the need to help pay more.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  174. Shawn

    Yes! The rich should pay more taxes. I'm a 45 year old man,who have made many people rich. Working hard and receiving very little. Co's reap the rewards of under payed workers constantly. Managers ask employees to do things that my even be dangerous. I've been injured several times doing the work of two. There's times company's ask for suggestion for improvement. Saving and increasing profits for the company and yet we don't receive the benefits. They offer Insurance that takes more then 35% of our pay checks. And still we can't afford to go to the doctors. I have insurance, but when I go to the doctors. I'm told from the insurance company reasons why my insurance don't cover my visit. I ask all of you too think who payed for you to get where you are? If your honest, you'll see you took from the working class, too get were you are. We need reform .....

    July 17, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  175. Bill in Northeast PA

    Heidi, I wouldn't object to paying 1% of a $350,000 income to fund healthcare. That would amount to $3,500. The avg American is already paying approx 34% in taxes. What is being done with the $119,000/yr I am already paying in taxes based on 350,000 income? This is what makes my blood boil!! How much more can they shake out of our pockets? We need to trim government waste!!! Too many fat cats are loading their pockets!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  176. Dick

    If congress wants to tax medical insurance as if it were income, we should DEMAND that ALL campaign contributions be taxed at 50%.

    Both houses of congress should fall under whatever plan gets approved and recieve coverage just like the rest of us. This would produce a better plan for all.

    Tax the rich to pay for health care ? Absolutely !! It took millions of people of all incomes to make a few people obscenely rich. If 'Joe the multimillionaire' makes $50,000,000 (after deductions) and the IRS takes 39% to 42% for taxes (I'll use 40% here), 'Joe' gets to keep $30,000,000. Another 1.5% ins. tax and he has to pay another $450,000. Now 'Joe' gets ONLY $29,550,000. Poor ol' Joe !!

    I say hit all the Joes for 60% and let them scream. I believe these same 'Joes' would pay around 70 or 80% if they were in England or some other democratic country. Don't like the tax rate in the US-LEAVE !! Our tax rates hit near 40% at the highest incomes now....lets add 5% more if you make over 10 million a year...another 5% if you make over 50 million and another 5% over 100 million a year.

    How do you get employers to continue providing health coverage ? Allow business to deduct 25% more than they actually pay to cover employees. (A tax break for the repubs to rally around)

    July 17, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  177. MildApplause

    Country was built on achievement, not entitlements.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  178. JM

    If the government raised the tax rate to 99% we still would not have 100% universal health care. Many people have lost their healthcare when they lost their jobs, but the bottom line is that we all must be accountable for our own well-being. The government cannot fix this problem no matter what the tax rate becomes. I pay $2500 per year for healthcare with a $3000 deductible. Why should my taxes be raised to help pay for someone else's healthcare?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  179. David Hancock

    Absolutely! This, the self proclaimed greatest nation in the world is being ruined by these greedy captialists. This has become the country of me and not the country of we, which is the very first word of the US constitution!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  180. Sharon, Sparta NJ

    Absolutely! With more millionaires now than ever in this country, it is time for America to do the right thing for ALL its people. We DO NOT have the greatest medical system in the world as people like to believe – why? Because it only serves the very wealthy. Everyone else is denied what is available when the insurance companies play their "pre-existing condition game", that saves them money and costs people their lives or livelihoods. And the millions who cannot afford health insurance at all, are left on their own in their most difficult of times. America is one of the wealthiest nations, yet our healthcare is similar to a third world country for most people. We have to do better. The super rich have had it too good for too it's time to give something back.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  181. Bob Johnson

    Yep tax those nasty rich guys-did you ever work for a poor guy?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  182. tim

    The rich benefit from many tax deductions, losses, write-offs and such that the rest of us working poor don't get. Of course they should pay.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  183. Joshua Barlow

    Why Oh why please tell me is there no talk of controlling health care costs by capping mal-practice law suits? It is the greatest contributor to costs and is curiously absent now. Is it because most politicians are lawyers?

    July 17, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  184. Barbara Kennedy

    NO – I think that social services already takes care of those who can not pay for services. This healthcare plan is irresponsible. It will break the back of the economy to aid no one but the left whose mission is to grab power and cash out of the system.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  185. Henry Frederick

    Tax the rich to pay for healthcare. Since tax breaks for the rich didn't "trickle down" this may be one way for trickle down to work.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  186. Phylis

    I don't mind a tax on the rich since they have been the only ones who got a tax break the last 8 years under George Bush.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  187. jerry

    It is time for the wealthy to give back...anymore the only money they spend is offset by tax credits and deductions. Businesses will not be penalized if they offer healthcare to their employees. The ultimate goal of reform and getting everyone (mandated) required to have Insurance, healthcare cost will descrease with less catastrophic and continued Uninsured Emergency losses.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  188. Ed Maines

    The only way to pay for any new spending is to cut out the porkbarrel spending that is simply legislators' legalized (for them) way of stealing from the Treasury. Cut out pork !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  189. Jim VanKirk

    Absolutely Heidi. I would go further and levy Hcare taxes on the profits of the entire Health Care industry including dividends paid to share holders.
    Jim VanKirk

    July 17, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  190. Wade Boyles

    Yes, the tax code will go back to the way it basically was before King (President) George Bush II's rule. The country went into huge debt under the Bush Administration due to his tax cuts on the rich & the war. If I remember correctly during the Clinton years the nation prospered and there was not such a divide between the rich and poor. Let the rich pay what they did, that's what will basically be happening. Stop listening to the scary Republicants! It is decades past time for our nation to catch up to the rest of the world on health care! We need a strong public health care option for the millions of Americans, including folks like me, who cannot afford heath care!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  191. Bonnie

    The healthcare system is completely out of whack, and has been for decades. I have a chronic ailment and can't go to the doctor because I'm unemployed, paying big $$$'s for COBRA and still have a $3000.00 deductible and co-pay to consider. My employer is the reason that I'm in this fix. I gave many devoted years of service, and was terminated without notice so that he could feed his own personal greed. He built a 2 million dollar cabin in the mountains and I'm in foreclosure. He brags that he doesn't pay any income taxes as he spends each waking hour 'fixing the books' to look as though he makes nothing. I don't have that luxury.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  192. Deborah Fulton

    Dear Heidi,

    Of course, the working man and women helped the very rich to get richer, so its time for a big change on our priorities. Let us take care of our children's health, teach them well, and learn to give back.


    ps, Its sad the Republicans don't like to be working on Fridays, but most working class families work everyday, including Sunday to feed their children. Keep working for us, we hired, we will fire...

    July 17, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  193. Dan Coogan

    How about one of those commercials " for only 61 cents a day you could provide health care to a fellow American in need " .

    July 17, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  194. Marianne Robbins

    Heidi, is this really about money ? At the end of life do we look back and say gee I wish I hadn't shared some of my prosperity with others.......if most individuals could look at it from this perspective, perhaps there would not be a need for debate......
    Thanks for the chance to share,

    July 17, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  195. Frank

    Normaly i would say it's unfair to have one group pay for another group in anything. I feel the people saying no to this should ask themselves this question, do you believe that all americans have equal access to the same level of education that others have. if you ask me this whole health care system needs to be re-done but then again so does our whole system of doing things. in this economic downturn i see more and more people doing things for trade and barter. seems to work and everyone is forced to take a part or they have to do without.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  196. Nancy Biggs

    Democrats plan is a real concern. WE DO NOT WANT OUR HEALTH CARE TAXED AND WE DO NOT WANT A PUBLIC/GOVERNMENT HEALTH PLAN. Taxing the rich to pay for health care moves us closer to a socialist government. I believe there are many other ways to reduce the cost of health care. Ask the doctors for examples to reduce health care costs. The new plan discourages students to enter the medical profession. Less doctors and the added millions of those the government will insure will result in a plan similar to Canada's, e.g. long waits, and illnesses becoming terminal because of the long waits.
    Those supporting the plan give Medicare as an example of the success of government managed programs. I have not had the problems with private health or other private insurance companies that I have had with Medicare, i.e. lost claims, requests for additional information that was included in the original claim, different responses from Medicare agents regarding coverages and denial of information in writing (or Internet access) regarding specific medical coverages. Did llinois develped a "Work for Welfare" program which was never implemented? The government needs to stop giving out benefits without some return. For example, require volunteer type work for those receiving government benefits. Did an Illinois health covered program to insure children open up to their parents when the program had a surplus of funds, money that could have covered lower income patients.
    Seniors paid for medicare coverage during their working years. Now the government wants to reduce benefits to cover those that have never paid into Medicare or who have been on welfare most of their adult lives.

    Thank you for the opportunity to express my and many of my friends concerns.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  197. Karen Miller

    Yes, yes you should tax the rich to pay for medical care for all; this type of society with the gap between the rich and the poor will end in revolution.

    Corproations have complete control of this country and the one thing this government should do is provide health care to all.

    Anti-intellectualism is responsible for the fact that American's are not screaming for free medical services for; the proganda of fear.

    They can give it up or we can take it from them; either way, this is going to happen.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  198. Mary Ellen Stinski

    We have a graduated imcome tax, why not a graduated health care tax? Everyone pays a standard percentage of their salary. For those who don't have jobs, their tax should be in community service.
    Mary E Stinski

    July 17, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  199. Sabrina

    The rich complain about being taxed. They should want to give back.
    I give them credit for launching their ideas to become successful business owners. However, they seem to be forgetting the most important engines of their success – God and the employees. They did not achieve this success by themselves. They need to be thankful they are in a position to be able to help their fellow citizens.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  200. Shelly

    I live on a retirement from Ford Motor Company and make ends meet living on 2600 a month and yes I believe the gov. should tax the rich more! I pay 38% in Fed. tax and the rich don't! I believe that the gov. always makes the middle class pay and the rich just keep getting richer!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  201. dbburk

    Taxing the "rich" to pay for everyone's health care is a good idea. However, $350,000 a year is not "rich" in my opinion. It depends on where you live. The cost of living in New York City is 100x higher than Birmingham, AL. So, someone living in NYC making $350,000 lives a much humble lifestyle than someone making $350,000/year in Birmingham, AL. How does Congress take into account cost of living and other situations that a person may be facing. What is someone making $225,000/year has no student loans, and then someone making $350,000/year has $150,000 in student loans??? If you are going to tax the "rich" it needs to start at $750,00/year.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  202. David

    Yes. By all means tax them!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  203. suzanne hoffer

    I think the taxes for the wealthy will amount to something like $2700 more per family per year. If you're making over $250,000 it's like someone like me payiing an extra $20.00 per year. For the rich people of our country to complain about kicking in to cover the health care costs for those without....How greedy and disgusting! Shame, shame on them!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  204. Barbara Stanford

    Yes. Taxes have been going down on the rich for years and the difference in income has been rising. Our current health care rations care to the rich.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  205. Jerry DeLemos

    its about time the rich paid their fair share. yeah, iknow they pay more taxes,however, they should. It has been said, you can tell the greatness of a civil society buy the way they take care of the young and old. The right continues to put out over the air waves how Canadians, british, and so on hate their health care. This of course is false. 80% of Canadians like their health care. I went to a nursing seminar and my lab partner was Canadian. I asked her what Canadians thought of their healthcare. Her reply was:" most Canadians wouldn't have it any other way." As a OR Nurse with 35 + years in the profession I find it incomprehensible and irresposible that a world power like the US let 47 million people fall through the cracks, However, Lets waste 1 trillion $ on an illegal war in Iraq with over 4 thousand promising Americans were killed needlessly. Not to mention the untold lives of the Iraqi people. ( I am a Veteran)
    America is down on its knees, and our politicians better wake up and take care of the business for which they were elected for. Otherwise America will be another banana republic. Wake the hell up America.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  206. judith

    As long as we support a progressive type tax system, I believe it is fair to place a surcharge on the very wealthy. Currently, we should remember that medicare taxes are capped at what is a fairly low income, and that effectively places a higher percentage tax rate on the poor. Taxing all in a progressive tax that is not capped to benefit only wealthy is the only fair way.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  207. Brian

    Sounds a bit like socialism to me. Of course this will benefit the hard working poor. But what about the poor who just ride the system or the millions of illegal immigrants in this country who account for 95 percent of the uninsured increase. FIX THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM FIRST!!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  208. Bonnie

    The "rich" didn't get "rich" doing things honestly, that's a given. To be "rich" you have to deceive the people who work for you and the government to build the wealth that makes you "rich." This country has become the "rich" and the "poor" without a common ground. What happened to the days of paid healthcare by your employer? Pensions after years of devoted service and dedication? Loyalty that you have a place to work each day? It is time to put things back in perspective and to hire and retain good employees, the "rich" should be required to give them the 'essentials' that are necessary to live healthy and without fear.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  209. Gal Anonymous

    I am wealthy and I know that it is more than fair that I pay larger part of my wealth so less fortunate can have decent life.
    By being wealth I utilize more of my country's resources, it takes more soldiers to defend my wealth and there is more earthly possessions of mine to protect.
    And I also wish to walk safe streets between healthy people and I do not want to be mugged because people need food or drugs and I do not want to spent hours in the emergency room because unfortunate people have no place else to go to get well.
    As to health insurance – please force congress to allow itself the only the same insurance they vote or voted for the rest of the poorest people in the country – this will get their attention.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  210. Liam

    Rather than tax HNW/income individuals for healthcare, why not eliminate a tax deduction that they or their business would receive for their healthcare expenditures. I got mine attitude is ok as long as long as it doesn’t come with any “and by the way” government sanctioned/created benefit.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  211. Aretemis

    We all paying the TAX already! The tax is called price inflation.

    Inflation is the worst kind of taxation and that is what we get when we've had conservatives in leadership.

    We're far paying more now than any other country in the world and it is a tremendous drag on business. We cannot compete internationally now with these outrageous costs !

    Our current private system is anti-competitive and anti-business, therefore anti-capitalist.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  212. George Robertson

    Of course they should pay. Because they were born into a wealthy class, had the right contacts or were a member of the good 'ol boy system does not mean that they should not ante up their share to remain part of the 10% which controls 95% of the wealth in this country.
    Before the "Reagan Revolution" and the Cheny/Bush fiasco tanked the financial system by almost force feeding taxpayer funds to lost causes and already wealthy individuals and families, this country had a progressive tax system in which everyone paid their fair share and could live with dignity. Now all dignity and pride in our system is lost. Especially by the financially "rich".

    July 17, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  213. Joan M

    Ask one segment of society to pay for everyone else? I don't think so. NO, its not Fair

    July 17, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  214. Psalm is not fair or good for our economy to tax the rich to pay for health care for the poor.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  215. Douglas Meredith

    While I am not "rich", I do not agree with taxing the rich for specific apportioning like health care. I don't believe it would hold up to constitutional challenges regardless.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  216. Jim P- Michigan

    It's the rich who make up these tax laws. I'm sure there will be a loop hole, so they wont have to pay anyway. Nothing will change-the rich whine & the poor pay.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  217. Todd

    As a resident of Ontario, Canadian [OHIP] I would like to officially welcome our American friends to a Universal Healthcare system. Some of the benefits you will be able to enjoy on your new system will be longer waiting periods in emergency rooms and doctor offices; patient quotas; and oh yes, a drain of medical professionals from your states. And yes, paying for it intially comes from taxing the more affluent, however over the years as Universal Healthcare becomes more expensive, the costs eventually trickle down to the middle and lower classes. Good Luck and Good Health!

    July 17, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  218. Vince

    the question(s) is/are really one of what benefits should we derive from the formation of a government? should we expect police protection? should we expect fire protection? should we expect emergency services? should we expect an education? we all pay taxes. our taxes subsidize health care for many people and groups who could otherwise take care of themselves. we give away part of the money to other countries who generally give away medical care to their people. shouldn't medical care be part of the basic necessities we allow for in our citizenery? do israelis or egyptians have to pay for their health care out of pocket? why should a worker/taxpayer in the us have to provide for them before he gets to provide for himself and his own family? why should he fund a rich congressman's health care before his own? why should a business in the us have to account for health care costs for their workers when the foreign competion does not?
    that's all

    July 17, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  219. Victoria

    Americans must understand the opportunity cost of attending medical school, and then participating in a residency program for 3-7 years. Med school costs on average $300,000 total for tuition, fees, and living expenses for the four years. Coupled with making a resident's salary during the post-graduate education, most of us are in serious debt which takes a very long time to pay off. Not to mention all the personal sacrifices we all made during those years of study and grueling long hours in the hospital. This administration's answer of taxing the "rich" is leading to a re-distribution of wealth, and a form of socialism. If you look closely at many European countries with this sort of health care system, you'll realize that the incentives to work hard and pursue advanced degrees is greatly diminished because such high taxes lead to such reduced income. It's better to not work and live off the government. Americans also need to realize that those of us making over $250,000 currently take home 50% of what we earn.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  220. Bonnie

    My husband has a congestive heart condition and I have breast cancer and suffer from OCD and depression. Though we both continue to work, we are living as the "poor" in America. My husbands employer terminated my husband after 4 years of service. We not only sold our home to move to another state for his employer, we signed a "contract" that isn't even worth the paper it was written on so that we could guarantee our livelihood and medical benefits. The rich control this country as they can outsource our jobs to illegals and there isn't enough personnel to prosecute these white-collar thieves. We have to forego medical procedures, appointments and prescriptions to be able to eat and have a place to sleep and raise our children. All we are asking for is the opportunity to get help and the very people who put us in this position should be responsible.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  221. Michael - Boulder, CO

    Absolutely not. Tax the better off to pay for healthcare. Tax the better off to close the budget deficit. Tax the better off to save Social Security. Tax the better off to improve schools. Tax the better off for whatever the latest proposal is.

    This is idiotic.

    You can't keep going to that same well over and over and over. Why do you think so many hedge funds and investment funds have moved to the Caymans or Switzerland? Because the better off have the capability to move their assets and incomes when the tax burden becomes too great. It's already happening - check out the Swiss government's stopping of the release of UBS' client data.

    Everyone should pay taxes. I don't care if you make $500 or $500 million. Unless you pay taxes, you have no interest in how the government spends our money. Tax those who have been successful to the sole benefit of those who have not shifts the burden of the costs of everything to a select few.

    If you want to tax the better off for everything, I have 2 suggestions.
    1, I get to tell the idiots in line at McDonalds or buying cigarettes to eat a salad or go for a run since I am paying for their healthcare.
    2, change the election process to only give the vote to people who pay taxes. It's our money being spent.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  222. Curtis

    I don't know that it has ever been about what is "fair". When it comes to health care, it is about what is necessary. We have a moral and ethical responsibility for our own...and the resources have to come from somewhere. Taxes, in theory, are society's contribution to helping its own. I believe in that. However, when society continues to take responsibility for fixing that which is broken by raising the taxes of those who work to excel, it almost serves to discourage high achievement and only exacerbates an already troubled system. We need to fix the broken processes...not continue to cater to its symptoms.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  223. Jim P- Michigan

    It's the rich who make up these tax laws. I'm sure there will be a loop hole, so they wont have to pay anyway. Nothing will change-the rich whine & the poor pay.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  224. P.J. Romero

    It is ludicrous to tax the wealthy so as to provide Healthcare for the poor.
    That is not what this great country was founded on. Simply put, You cannot rob Peter to pay Paul . Should this accur , it will be the downfall of the great United States. What ever hapened to work for what you get? Do our Congressmen really believe that the wealthy will tolerate this. We will lose job's by the thousands, thank;s to our great Goverment.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  225. Jimmy Leo

    I see no reason to tax anyone just bring those millions of dollars home that we send each year to countrys that hate us. Just last month the Hillary (Aka the Hill) gave 112 million to Egypt, now Oboma is promising one of the brother countrys in Africa big buck, (Billions) to change their life style. We need to change our live style before we change those that hate us. If you use that money in the U.S. health program no one would have wo worry about S.S. or Medicare going broke use our money for us.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  226. Gerald Saxon

    The amount the rich would be taxed is so small compared to their high incomes it seems very fair to me to employ this tax for all the benifits it would provide for the poor and middle classes. The rich have benefited excessively from the Bush tax cuts. The Obama tax increases would be in line with his campaign promises.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  227. Bonnie

    The "proposed" healthcare for America IS NOT socialized medicine, it is Universal Healthcare.......the opportunity to actually get help when you need it instead of waiting until it's too late to save you. Over 50 million Americans work hard and cannot afford the ridiculous rates charged by insurance companies and are refused medical attention if they can't pay upfront. There is a crisis for men, women and children who cannot pay thousands of dollars required for the simple but life saving "preventitive" attention that is required to stop the progression of any disease or condition. If you are illegal, or refuse to work, you can get medical attention at any hospital.....that is the law. If you are a US citizen, of the working poor (making less than $100,000.00 a year with a family), you can be refused medical attention just about anywhere in this country.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  228. Kathryn Thomas

    This country was founded on the belief that everyone has the same right and freedom to go as far as they want. It was not founded on the beliefs of socialism which is where we are headed full steam.
    It is not fair to continually take from the rich just because they are rich, and that is what our congress does. If they are going to tax the population for this health plan debacle then it should be across the board. If everyone pays the same percentage it stands to reason that the person making a million dollars will pay more than the person making thirty thousand. Unfortunately, our government is working for a redistribution of wealth so that we will all be the same. Our forfathers have to be spinning in their graves.
    Just for the record. I would not be affected by the surtax.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  229. Ed & Brenda, Portland Oregon

    Heidi, the rich should not be taxed for healthcare coverage for the nation. I have read about half of the comments, and some of them make reference to "I'm not wealthy but if I were I would gladly pay a tax to help others." In my first year of marriage in 1990, our gross combined income was $13,069. In my second it was $16,100. It took me 10 years to get my bachelor's degree from the time I graduated high school. I own a business now and employ 15 Oregonians. My gross income before expenses is approaching $300,000. I tell you this because it is human nature for those without to say "If I do have, then I wll gladly give." Yes, I give 10% (an honest 10%) of my income to charity every month. We've done that since we were first married. And giving and self sacrifice has helped us have the right attitude to attract customers and great employees. But what these self proclaimed non-wealthy don't understand is that as a person's income moves up, they make financial committments based on the receipt of that money to ensure that they and their family have the best protection from the storms of life: Maxing the ROTH contributions, pre-funding education, paying for preschool (and fo some, private school), contributing to other retirement plans (This is so that we don't have to depend on taxpayers in our retirement years), and a host of other commitments. Yes, we may live in a safer neighborhoood, may drive safer cars, and have a better hope for the future. But we worked for that. Do not take that from us by taxing us at a higher rate. Everyone should pay. Just as a young family earning $13k/year paid their taxes (Got most of it back though) and contributed to charity, so should everyone else.

    Frank, in Dallas, TX wrote, "It’s their duty as patriotic Americans to insure the health and well being of their fellow citizens". Joe Biden said something similar during the campaign: "It is the patriotic duty of every American to pay taxes." That's right. Every American. I may be off on the quote a bit, but that's the gist of it. Let's change that, to be fair, to "It's the patriotic duty of every wealthy American to pay taxes." If that is the case, (and there is an argument for economic patriotism in these tough times and years ahead) then it is every non-wealthy American's patriotic duty to not accept a single dime from a government program, including welfare, WIC, food stamps, the earned income tax credit, and the free lunch program at schools until they have first done everything they can on their own to take care of themselves, then turned to their family, then their church, then other social non-governmental organizations and THEN the United Stated government. And when they do turn to the government, they must open their checkbooks to show that they have nothing more than basic cable, one cell phone, basic landline phone service with no voicemail, caller ID, 3-way calling, etc, no newspaper or magazine subscriptions (that's a good use for the library) or any convenience foods (Yes, on a daily basis, oatmeal, grits and cream of wheat are healthier and less expensive than Capt Crunch and Fruit Loops.) If they have done all they can do to reduce their expenses and turned to themselves and others first, then the government should step in.

    A classic point to the attitude of the typical American is that when they do get that pay raise, they are not thinkiing, "Now I can pay for healthcare or contribute to my retirement or kids education" (My hat is off to every disciplined American who does do that, though), it is, "Now I can get that big screen TV, or go on that vacation, or trade in my two-year-old car for a newer one.

    So, no, the wealthy should not be taxed at any higher rate for healthare or any other reason.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  230. BearMarketNews

    Wealth is either directly or indirectly obtained from the efforts of the larger population. There would be no wealth without public effort. The lifestyles of the wealthy are far more destructive to the planet. They live as if they had the resources of 60 to 100s of planets. Their wealth must be taxed to compensate for the ecological damage they do to the planet and for making their wealth (or the karma of inheritance) off the bent backs of the public.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  231. jill

    As I understand it, the tax is applied to those making $350,000 adjusted income. After all the write offs and loopholes, a person keeping $350,000 of adjusted gross income can easily afford a higher tax rate and still maintain an extreemly comfortable lifestyle.For anyone to argue that such a tax tax will force them to lay off employees is ludicrous. If they create more jobs and fall below $350,000 they won't pay the tax! If we don't fix health care for the rest of us,,,the other 99%of Americans, we will become a nation of two classes: healthy and wealthy or sick and poor.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  232. Bonnie

    Not everyone without healthcare is poor. And, could someone please explain WHERE is this wonderful healthcare system in America that we are afraid of losing???
    Can anyone remember the days when your wealthy employer was
    thrilled to bring you into their company, giving the greatest incentive called healthcare and benefits. And instead of a "pink slip" when you became ill they sent flowers to the hospital and awaited your return with anticipation.
    Our previous administration has concentrated on helping the wealthy while the middle class disappeared and the poor don't have a prayer.
    Finally, we have a president that is more than just TALK, he is willing to fix things and we have so many that are afraid of losing their yachts, their jaguars and their 8 bedroom homes to helping a fellow American.......that same person that they employed and is responsible for them making this wealth.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  233. Karen Z

    Everyone should have a surcharge percentage of income to help pay for health care. You cannot just single out one segment of society. By having a set percentage .....say 1% the wealthier people would naturally pay more. You have to fix the way Doctors are compenasted to really deal with your problems.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  234. Lamar from Lakeland, FL

    Since Bush cut the taxes on the rich causing our country massive defecits, Obama must cease these tax cuts because the poor and middle class can't afford health care or higher taxes to pay for it.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  235. Ann Dodson

    Hey, I have an idea. I suggest that all of the people that are not being paid fairly (basic comfort and security, health care included) just quit their jobs. Who is going to fuel the businesses of the wealthy people then?

    July 17, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  236. michael holzgang

    If the rich no longer are rich, then who pays the bill/tax? If you need medical care then YOU pay for it. I don't want to pay for it. Perhaps the gov't should give low interest loans, you need a liver, take out a loan and pay it back. Health care is NOT a right, it is ONLY a privilege. Already the undeserving: criminals, drug addicts, self abusers of all kinds, get FREE medical care. A wounded criminal gets free medical, free legal counsel, free court and legal expenses, gets taken care of and provided for in prison perhaps for life, he can even BARGAIN with the law with law, criminals have rap sheets (why? do they get an award if they have so many raps?). Our society is indolent, and in simple terms just STUPID. One important element missing in the senate, congress, and the executive is a gross lack of LEADERSHIP. No one can make a decision. The health care package in no way explains who IS illegible and who is NOT. Over costs are a result of wasteful meaningless spending. Why are so many people so ill that they need an endless array of drugs and hospital care? What is the health care PREVENTION plan for America? There isn't one. This is like the public education problems in American, there is NO long term plan simply because if there is a chairperson I don't even know his name or have seen him on TV explaining such a plan to improve the education system. WHY???

    July 17, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  237. JUDY

    Why don't the government put heavy taxes on the insurance and pharmacial companies. They need to regulated by the government to what the people should pay to the doctor. Today doctors are not helping the people, but the insurance giants. When a hospital charges $5.00 for one tynelol are $3.00 for a toothbrush is out rageous. What gives the insurance the right to what type of care we should have.
    I fought Liberty Mutual to have a new implant on my knee, they refused for four years to give me the surgery until I emailed Sen. Kim Brimer and Lt.Governor Dewhurst. With their help the insurance finally approved the surgery. I had to fight my own personal insurance Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan to get a lap band surgery done.
    I fought them for two years, finally got that approved with the help of my doctors. The insurance company can not say it is for the research of that care, the research has been 10 times over.
    It does not hurt to tax the wealthy to help our health care, this does not include illegal aliens who does not pay taxes, these people are paid cash which is sent back to Mexico. The money should go back into our economy. Our citizens need universal health care, if Canada can do it, so can America. We already have to wait weeks to see the doctor, and then have to wait 30 minutes or more at the doctor office.
    I believe in universal health care, the middle class is already taxed, so it is time for the wealthy to be taxed.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  238. Paul

    President Obamas administration will set up an "independent panel" that will determine health benefits,(who gets what and when)! If this is not socialized medicine then nothing else fits yhe description. Also, how can this be "deficit neutral" ? What is the cost of eletronic record keeping? Anything that the goverment does ends up costing many times what we were told up front. We don't another entitlement program! If we tax the "rich", the "rich" will go where they are welcome.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  239. Greg F

    We are the richest nation in the world. Why is it that the governement always has plenty of money for weapons, and the rest of the world, but to provide basic healthcare for it's own citizens we are having a hard time?

    July 17, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  240. Margaret Canniff

    The wealthy don't seem to mind a cap on their Soc Security contributions, so why should they mind a surcharge for healthcare? If that's a problem, let them pay Soc Security taxes on all of their income like I do. I'm sure that would amount to more than 1%.

    July 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  241. Jaycie

    Here's another thought for those of you who think that the rich already pay enough taxes: according to Robert Reich, in 1980, the wealthiest 1% of us took home 9% of the income; today that same 1% takes home a whopping 21% if the total income. This means that our once vast middle class is being pushed into poverty and the already poor fare even worse. The rich hve made out like bandits under Bushonomics, and we need to go back to a more equitable tax structure such as we had under Reagan, for instance.

    July 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  242. JonyRkt

    The wealthy have benefited for years with the Tax Code giving them the majority of the deductions and "loopholes". it is a fact that the Middle Class is shrinking, and a fact that the wealthy have made their money on the backs of the middle class by promoting consumerism.

    We are now feeling the affects of that "consumerism" philosophy in the economy in that the Middle class doesn't have the funds or credit to support it anymore. Isn't it a problem when consumerism is 70% of a country's GNP? I think it is. Start saving, don't give away your hard earned money to support this outdated philosophy.

    July 17, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  243. Sharad

    YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, .........

    President Bush gave too much tax break to the rich people by misleading Americans that Tax Break to rich people can create more jobs.

    In the absence of linking tax break to # of jobs created, all of them swallowed money and/or invested in other countries (created jobs in countries other than USA with the tax money from common americans)

    Congress & President, now, should recover all those tax-savings to Rich People by doubling the tax or taxing them 2 times the tax break they received during the last 8 years PLUS a surcharge towards healthcare for un-insured Americans. Also, tax the Healthcare Insurance companies for exorbitants profits made by them at the cost of Americans' Health.

    July 17, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  244. Dawn-Atlanta

    What's wrong with everyone paying the same percentage, like 10%, regardless of your income?

    July 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  245. SGU

    I think this tax is more than fair when weighed against the number of adults and children in America who die from inadequate health care. People who are wealthy are fortunate to have lived in a country where it is possible to grow wealthy as a result of their efforts. It is not unreasonable to expect them to give back to the society that made their wonderful life possible.

    I am so tired of hearing about the poor, unfortunate wealthy who might have to give up their second $100,000 car, or their fourth home overlooking the ocean, whatever, so that thousands of lives can be saved or improved...

    What has happened to compassion for those in need in America?

    July 17, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  246. Mike

    Why aren't you talking about Senate Bill S.334, by Utah Senator Robert Bennett? It's called the Healthy Americans Act and the CBO gave it's preliminary finding and found that in it's first full year, it is budget neutral and every year after will save money.

    July 17, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  247. abby

    Jesus Christ gave as an example of a good neighbor the good Samaritan who gladly and liberally gave of his own money to help an injured person on the road to Jericho.

    Please tell me what is worth more - your excess money or a human life?

    Health care is a basic human right - not a privilege.

    I personally would be more than happy to pay more in taxes to know that my fellow human beings are able to get the health care they need.

    I am my brother's/sister's keeper.

    July 17, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  248. Ann Dodson

    An important option for everyone to think about is the fair tax which is a tax imposed only on new goods and services and eliminates the IRS altogether. It just makes sense, you only pay taxes on the amount of money that you choose to spend. We all get to decide how much we want to pay in taxes. There are no loop holes. It is the same tax rate for everyone. I'm willing to pay the same percent of taxes on new goods and services as everyone else on the things that I choose to spend my money on. I have a feeling that the tax money brought in from such a program will be more than enough to take care of health care for all Americans and many other programs that will improve the quality of life for all. I don't know about you but wouldn't any decent human being want that for everyone?

    July 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  249. Chris columby

    Congress should force the Bush Administration to PAY BACK the
    5.6 Trillion Dollars they stole when took office in 2000, or face JAIL TIME. They can't account for it because they still have it.
    All these Greedy people that stole all the money are just hording it.
    If they were spending it , there would be no collapse in the economies word wide. Greed it a Deadly sin , remember?

    July 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  250. Misty Wells

    When are we going to get tired of the government punishing people for being succesful? I do not think it is OK for us to keep tacking on more taxes so this government can have every program it wants. 5% of the population of the US already pays 50% of all of the taxes the government collects. When are people going to start asking that everyone contribute, not just one very small group.

    July 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  251. Pam From Iowa

    Talking about Health care. From my understanding Congressmen do not pay for their health care or taxes. If this is true why don't they pay for their health care and pay taxes like the middle class. Why not them the congressmen or the rich keep getting thru the loop holes when it comes to paying taxes. I'am pretty that they make way more than myself as a small business owner and my husband that is a disable veteran. We pay around $1200 a month for health care for pre-existing health care.

    July 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  252. marys

    Why don't we all insist that Congress, the Executive Branch and ALL government employees be required to switch to the plan they come up with? That will make them improve the bill immediately!

    July 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  253. J

    We should tax our leaders who have elected to do nothing over these past few decades. They know who they are! They are one's who have maintained business as usual for decades. They benefit in some way to keep things the same way. In all fairness, those who have spoken up against these poor learders...we still believe in you.

    Go Obama! Yes we can!!!

    July 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  254. Jesse

    haha.. i love all these "yes! tax them because they are fat cats and can afford it!" comments. What ignorance. So just because someone can AFFORD to pay more taxes, they SHOULD? You people need to read through your history books and see WHY our Country was founded in the first place!

    Here's a thought for you spread-the-wealth-socialists: Why stop with healthcare? Why not tax the Rich at 50% to eliminate the national debt? Why not 60% to rebuild the national infrastructure? Heck.. lets tax them at 75% and put swimming pools in everyones back yard! After all.. THEY CAN AFFORD IT, RIGHT?

    I've got news for some of you. They Rich are Wealthy largely because they are SMART and they WORK HARD. They will not stand for they money to be effectively stolen (legislated) away from them. You can try, but it wont happen (or wont last).

    THEY WILL MOVE THEIR MONEY OFF-SHORE (guess what? now we, the people, get NOTHING!)

    THEY WILL LAY YOU OFF! (you think they are just going to eat their losses?)

    THE WEALTHY POPULATION WILL DECLINE (continue to disincentives the Rich to be rich and they will go away and then who will fund your government projects? you?)

    p.s. I am a working stiff and NOT wealthy. This tax will not burden me at all, but at least I understand the cause and effect for this moronic thinking.

    July 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  255. cary

    I have been watching with great interest the coverage on Health Care. I am on disability on the wife is unable to find work. After the Government subsidy for COBRA runs out we will be uninsured. common sense tells me the more complicated this is made the more expensive it will be.
    We already have two Government Health Plans, Medicare and Medicaid. If the goal is to insure everybody including those that cannot get Private Insurance then why can’t we use these plans? At this point they are for different things but that will no longer matter if everybody is to be covered. It seems to me that if everybody that was unable to get Private coverage was rolled into one plan then a fortune would be saved by having one Agency.
    It also seems to me that trying to pay for this with taxes on the more well off and taxing health care benefits won’t work and is unfair. There is only one way to pay for this to me. A National Sales Tax. The plan will benefit everybody so everybody should pay. That seems to be a much simpler thing to do and manage.

    July 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  256. Paul

    Lets tax smokers but wait, if they quit that money goes up in smoke. Lets tax those who drink, but if they cut back, that projected amount of money won't be there either. Lets tax the "rich" ,but if they leave the country or put their money and assets elsewhere the rest of us are left holding the bag. Again, where is the fire? Why is this such an emergency? Why are certain people afraid of careful examination of all the facts. Is it because they will lose momentum and this be exposed for another govt plan that's short on specifics and broad on promises! Right now we are being promised huge potenial savings but the CBO says we can't afford this plan. Empathy and compassion have a place in our lives but this must be approached in a objective manner by rational people.

    July 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  257. TR

    What I find amazing is that when liberals speak of the obligation to help others, they feel that government should be the one to force that. What many fail to understand or even consider is the economic consequences of raising taxes on the so-called wealthy. Many of these individuals own small businesses and will be forced to lay off employees. I guess the saving grace will be that they have healthcare...they won't be able to pay for their house or eat, but dammit they will have healthcare paid for by the evil rich that laid them off! The concept of universal healthcare is flawed because costs will increase and eventually taxes will spread to lower income earners. Consider the sales/service reps in the pharmaceutical industry that may potentially lose their jobs because government installs a formulary that restricts branded medications. These companies may find that those employees aren't needed and mass lay-offs will ensue. That spells lost tax revenue to the government. Open your eyes and think! It is a bad idea. There are other alternatives that are just being dismissed...

    July 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  258. TR

    Those who think universal healthcare is the answer are mistaken. Costs will be underestimated, pharmaceutical innovation will stop, care will be decided by a panel of politicians that have no knowledge of patients individual circumstances. Rationing will occur, no doubt about it. We do not need universal healthcare, we need more individual control of our current system.

    July 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  259. Thomas

    My wife is retired and on medicare and has to pay for it . Plus she has to have a rx supplement ,plus a supplement for medical and now the price is going up and they are talking about paying for the new health plan from medicare . My wife only gets a small check as it is and I think it is a shame that our retied have to pay for people that are to lazy to get out and work . I under stand that things are bad right now , but it has not been this way for a long time.

    July 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  260. Robert

    Why can't the Health Care reform be based on a sliding scale. Look at it the people that don't have Health Care are people that can't afford it. From what I see the goal is to get all people the Care that they need. If people were making over a certain amount of money it would cost more to be on a government run program and there for not encourage change from private Insurance. This also prevents adding undo stress from other insurance companies as private Insurance would always be the peoples first choice.

    July 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  261. Rudolph Hrubala

    Dear Heidi,

    Taxing the rich to pay for this ridiculous healtcare plan is absolutely UNAMERICAN! These folks earned their money by taking huge risks that the vast majority of Americans wouldn't even consider taking. Their creative and imagination brings us new products and services and helps to make our lives easier. Why shouldn't they reap the benefits of their endeavors?? To Democrats and Liberals being wealthy is a crime and should be punished!!

    July 17, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  262. Maria Bingham

    You are asking if it is fair to increase the taxes for the richest in America earning $350,000.00 or more a year. Obama wants to raise taxes just as high as they were in the Reagan years. I want to cite a quote from the Bible which is the book the majority of Congressman trust absolutely.

    Acts 4 :34-35
    "Those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need".

    I have never heard a preacher or a priest or a Morman or any religious leader to focus around this Bible verse, so compelling to create "a christian conscious" in the world. It would be good to remember that Jesus constantly spoke about His passion for the poor.

    July 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  263. Patriot

    In the past 8 years, the wealth of the top 1% has grown from 9% of the nation's wealth to 21%!

    While at the same time working families have seen their purchasing power plummet. Wages have remained flat which puts money into the pockets of the rich. Prices for everything including health care have skyrocketed, which puts money into the pockets of the rich.

    Their wealth has been both created and multiplied on the backs of working people.

    Don’t believe me? Try creating wealth on a desert island cut off from the rest of humanity. Can’t do it! Even if you dug up gold, it would be worthless without others.

    It is time for the rich to pay their fair share and contribute to the rest of society. They’ll be ensuring the welfare of the very people who make them rich!

    July 17, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  264. Diana

    How much if a human life worth?

    Health care is a fundamental human right according to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    As a UN member, the US is obliged to recognize this and yes, pay for it.

    If people are worried about money / taxes, they should be telling congress to go with Universal Single Payer health care (Medicare for All), which is proven to be the most cost effective means of delivering high quality health outcomes.

    Universal single payer costs half what we're spending.

    The only reason we're not going that way is because congress is trying to give money to their corporate masters.

    July 17, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  265. Michele

    We are not fooled.

    Many wealthy pay only 15% tax (on unearned income) or no tax at all by hiding money in the Caribbean, Switzerland, etc.

    Don't speak of fairness. There is no fairness or justice as things are today.

    July 17, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  266. Kay Lynch

    Absolutely not! I am 68 years old, my husband 71. We have worked
    very hard all of our adult lives. We have medicare and a supplement.
    We are not in the category to be taxed and penalized, but I do not
    feel that the government should tax those people just because they
    were smart enough and worked hard enough to be in that tax bracket.
    We have always given of our time and talents to the less fortunate,
    (although we were never rich) and 99 percent of those that are in the
    "rich" description do the same already!

    July 17, 2009 at 9:29 pm |
  267. David

    Sounds like a steep tax. 1% of 500,000 is 5000. What percentage overall of income will those in the upper income brackets have to give to the government? What will be their overall tax load? You have to look at that. Another way to put it, is how will this actually work out in the real world? I think this is a fair question to ask because if you endlessly crank up the tax rate on people in the upper income brackets then you are taxing away their safety cushion. In the recent gyrations and scandals on Wall Street people in every income bracket lost their hard earned money.


    @Wendy, you have a point about this question not being asked if this were a moral country. Helping those who need healthcare is in some ways an easy "yes." The question is how best to do it.

    @maryann I agree about equalizing the conditions of the "haves" and "have nots" especially as that bears on access to health care and education. But I am not sure those making above 350,000 a year have enjoyed a tax vacation over the last couple years. Where are they taking that vacation? I thought folks in the upper income brackets paid the lion's share of income taxes. It's a lower percentage of their income but they pay the largest amount.

    Having said all of that, I think it would be good if patients and physicians didn't have to spend much time thinking about how much money is being spent or paid for services but could focus on everything they need to focus on to be sure that physicians are giving and patients receiving the best quality medical care.

    July 17, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  268. Ann Dodson

    Fair Tax! Fair Tax! Fair Tax!
    There are people on this forum that think the concept of universal health care is flawed and a bad idea but suggest no viable alternative. I would like to suggest the Fair Tax! The Fair Tax is an alternative to the income tax. The Fair Tax is a consumption tax and you would only pay taxes on new goods and services. There is a flat tax for everyone, wealthy or poor, no exceptions, no loopholes! With the Fair Tax you as an individual get to choose how much you spend on taxes by the purchases you make. Only those who choose to or can afford to consume will pay taxes. Except for the purchase of the basic necessities for survival we can all be as greedy as we want. If you don't want to pay taxes then don't spend your money. The money generated from such a program will be more than enough to help those who don't get paid what they deserve to afford just the basic necessities for a decent life.
    Not everyone has the mental, physical or emotional capacity to get decent paying jobs nor do they qualify for assistance programs. They have fallen through the cracks. Such people do whatever jobs they can to make ends meet with no real quality of life, they just struggle to survive. I don't think that anyone begrudges a wealthy persons right to a decent life, but if that lifestyle is acquired at the expense of another human being then there seems to be some injustice there. Unless that wealthy person is a one man machine then some other human being's blood sweat and tears helped to achieve their wealth, fund their health care while being unable to afford their own. If we don't take care of those who take care of us how long will the good fortunes of the greedy last?

    July 18, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  269. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Seems to me to be the perfect solution, the rich did not care for this situation long time ago. Politics as always did not care for the solution. How can I feel sorry for people who clearly did not care for the majority of the population based on the label of good for nothing or expendable and even whiners? How can I feel sorry for a situation that was patronized even by the administration of George Bush and so many other presidents? The Democrat House plans to reform health care funded in part by a “tax surcharge” on Americans making more than $350,000 a year and families making between $350,000 and $500,000 a year would face a 1% tax surcharge and even those making more than $500,000 would face a 1.5% tax surcharge and those making more than $1 million would face a 5.4% tax surcharge. We need to come up with a solution which has being neglected by many presidents administrations and many congress. This is not a situation which was created over a day. It was allowed and those who did not have a medical health care are label expendable. I cannot feel sorry for them. I am a widow to a World War II Veteran who used to be an accountant, auditor and tax preparer. He died in 1998. I am left behind with my 15 year old child who suffers from ADHD and GAD. I suffer myself from a chronic condition of Multiple Sclerosis. Where is my chance to spell the beans for my story? Where is my chance to speak out my situation of being with a Chronic Condition and being discharge from a famous hospital in Miami, Florida at 2:00 am without no medications and no medical care. I had to move back to Puerto Rico to get the Health Care and answer that the Continental United States Health Care System denied to me because I have Multiple Sclerosis. Whiners and the other labels are not the answer to my child. I need to exist for her. I still need to take care of her. The government will not do that. Mr. Obama and Mrs. Obama will not do that. They have their obligations. Now we have to think of the citizens because the economic situation will last longer. I was married to an economist too. I think that the rich have to pay for their indulgences too.

    July 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  270. Isa

    YES, YES, YES, I strongly believe that they should be taxed. I can understand that there may be some who believe that because they have achieved the pay they get that they should not give up their taxes, However I find that letting the govt. take your taxes for the welfare of their country should be looked at as helping out and NOT as a rip-off! Until things are back in order.

    July 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  271. Jamal Banks

    Why is this made out to be so complicated? This is why the rest of the world thinks America's not the brightest bulb on the tree. The other developed countries have all moved beyond this issue and already have public/private partnerships and mandated national insurance that works quite well I have to say FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE! The reason this debate exists at all is because Americans know nothing about the world outside their borders...or inside for that matter (Canadians know more about American history than Americans). But my catch-all position on all of these hot-button topics facing Americans, such as marijuana, gun rights, gay marriage, and healthcare is real simple.....try it and if it doesn't work, go back to the way it was. Why is that so difficult for people to process? Why are Americans so timid and scared and wimpy?....oh no, the unknown!...I'm scared! Rather ironic when you consider how they pride themselves in being so tough and brave. All this indecision and debating is doing is putting money in the pockets of the media outlets (sucking off the drama), the politicians (play acting like they really care about anything other than their golf handicap), and the lawyers circling the bloody chub-by Americans. But no, the brain-dead Americans sit on their couches sucking Cheetos while getting programmed by the special interest groups (insurance companies!!) to think 'a Washington bureaucrat' is going to make their healthcare decisions rather than them and their doctor....rather than the way it is now where a health insurance company bureaucrat makes those decisions!!! LMAO!! But guess what!.....Americans fall for the foolery because the ads are narrated by the familiar Miller beer commercial pitchman...the same cozy rustic 'good guy' sounding pitchman who narrated George Bush's propaganda!!!! WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!! CAN'T YOU SEE HOW YOU ARE GETTING TAKEN FOR A RIDE BY THESE SOCIOPOLITICAL AD CAMPAIGN GURUS?!?!?!

    July 18, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  272. Cris

    Sounds good to me...or better yet, make all companies pay for health insurance for all employees instead of a tax...that's the way it used to be....and funny thing about that is that that's when insurance premiums were low....coincidence? I think not. When insurance companies figured out that they could screw over the little guy and help out their buddies on the golf course...that's when this country started to go to Hell.

    July 18, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  273. Cris

    I'm also sick and tired of hearing the small businessman whine about paying taxes.....because they create jobs, yada, yada, know what kind of jobs you create? Minimum wage,...maybe a little more....don't contribute to employee health care...or maybe a little bit...and if the small businessman dies or gets divorced and has to sell the business to buy out his exwife, everybody loses their job. I work for one of America's wealthiest corporations, I have always worked for either a government agency, a utility company or a university. I make great money and have great benefits. I wouldn't work for a small business EVER. When I hear small business men complain about the cost of doing business. I want to ask them "well, why don't you quit?" cause they don't want to have to put up with the crap of having a boss, that's why...they want to be able to leave Friday afternoon early, they want to have the Hummer in the parking lot, that's why!

    July 18, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  274. Cris

    Instead of taxing people, why not cut costs? I suggest getting rid of the FCC. Seriously. People are dying of cancer and the government is worried about someone saying "poop" on TV. Get real.

    July 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  275. David

    Ann Dodson, I think you ask a good question at the end of your post, but do you want to implement the Fair Tax and Universal Health Care at the same? That's a wild combination, I think. Don't you think that would up end the whole economy? First of all. Secondly, I feel the healthcare discussion needs to be opened up a bit more. It should be in front of everyone. It seems rushed at this point. Also, the present tax system is fine in my opinion. A 1% additional income tax on people in the upper income brackets is not that bad an idea as long as we don't keep boosting and boosting the tax rate for those folks who have earned their money like everyone else. I would hope the idea in this economy is to encourage people to provide well for themselves and their families and not penalize then when they finally manage to do so.

    I do believe though that the excellent health care that we have in this country should be accessible to everyone who needs it. The President's plan as I understand it strikes a good compromise, but a more thorough discussion is needed.

    July 18, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  276. Ann Dodson

    Thank you Dr. Jerry Morris for you comment. I hope the right people are listening.

    Ann Dodson

    July 18, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  277. erica

    Doesn’t anyone actualy care? Of course some people do because they are there they see the little boy/girl that’s struggling to survive because mom and dad can’t afford health care"
    Stop being so dramatic! If you honestly know someone in this country whose child is dying because they can't afford healthcare, then maybe you should clue them in to Medicaid.
    I'll tell you the real tragedy. The real tragedy is that people are so naïve and stupid as to believe that the wealthy are going to be the only ones paying for this. This kind of spending is not sustainable. We will all be taxed. And additionally, the gov will borrow and print more money, thereby devaluing the tiny bit of our income that we're actually allowed to keep.
    This will be a complete fiasco–Just look at the Medicaid/Medicare bankrupt train-wreck. Giving the government complete and utter control over a sixth of the economy is dangerous, especially given their track record.

    July 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  278. Ann Dodson

    David, thank you for your response.
    I was thinking that if we implemented The Fair Tax with medical care paid on a sliding scale that this might be an option that would work.

    July 20, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  279. Ann Dodson

    David- I would like to stress that I believe in President Obama and I know that our ( not just the US but the world's ) best interests are at the forefront of everything that he does. I am just adding ideas to the table in the hope that we can reach a conclusion that will work for all Americans

    July 20, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  280. Kimberly Krautter

    Hi Heidi – I would DEFINITELY go to the Moon. Imagine putting your feet on another ground other than Earth? Imagine looking up in the sky and seeing EARTH? Such an exciting idea. I've always, always, always wanted to go. Ever since I was a 4 year old watching the moon landing in my grandparents' den.

    Most people don't realize this: the ENTIRE space program costs less than one penny of every tax dollar, yet it stimulates EVERY sector of our economy. Here are some great space program spinoffs I found yesterday. We get so much more out of it than TANG or Computer Games -

    Here's my personal memory of the moon landing 40 years ago.


    July 20, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  281. Dovie Desirey

    I am for the public option for health care but would prefer universal health care. I am so tired of the republicans criticism. I agree with raising the taxes on individuals who make more then $350,000 a year. Did they not get a tax break for years when bush was president. President Obama was voted in for change but the republicans want things just the way they are. I would not even negotiate with them. If I loss my job I will not be covered by any insurance because of pre-existing medical problems nor can I afford coverage. My daughters husband obtained employment after she became pregnant but the insurance company (who charged alot) would not cover her because her condition was pre-existing. Can you believe that. Wow. It must be nice for those on the hill to afford coverage at the tax payers expense already.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  282. Gabriel Rodriguez

    Good Morning, Heidi if you can convey to the President Mr. Obama please sell Health Care to the Rich as Insurance as a Wealth Prevention Program. Rich people don’t care to pay for Health Care Insurance Premium due to the fact that they understand the trade off of not having it. These people only care in protecting their Wealth and the transferring of it. They will pay 1% of their wealth to protect 99% of it. This is an easier sell then higher tax fear.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  283. Manuel Cruz

    Although I worked on the Mission Design of Apollo 11 and some aspect of every interplanetary mission from 1969 to 1999, I no longer support NASA Programs. They only contribute to the pockets of a few corporations, like TRW, now Northrup Grumman Corp. I was laid off two years before the age of 55. They did it to steal 40 % of the promised retirment and health care for life.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  284. Jaycie

    It is obscene that we pay over a trillion dollars on an illegal, unwinable war where approximately a million Iraqis (see Lancet report and Jeremy Scahill articles) have been killed but somehow can't find the will to pay a similar amount over ten years to provide health care for all American. What kind of a country have we become when we spend a trillion dollars killing people in a foreign country but don't want to spend the same amount providing healthcare for our own people with our taxes?

    July 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  285. Jaycie

    Try this on for size: According to Rober Reich, in 1980 the richest 1% took home 9% of the income. In 2007 (the latest year for which stats are available) the richest 1% took home a whopping 21% of the income. Now tell me again just how much the rich are suffering and need more tax cuts! During this time while the rich have been making out like bandits, the middle class has been slipping into poverty and the poor have fared even worse. Is this really what the rest of us who are not rich want? Is this anywhere near an equitable society when so few have so very much? Is it fair for the rich to pay so little in taxes while the rest of us bear the brunt of our tax system?

    July 20, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  286. Sharon, Sparta NJ

    It's amazing when you read some of these stories – REAL accounts, from REAL Americans that so painfully highlight their personal situations. Some that are tragic; most that are desperate; ALL of them happening right here, rignt now – in the USA in the 21st century. The frustration/anger/betrayal is clear, mostly exhausted from dealing with the Insurance Companies/Hospitals and a System that eventually let them down in their hour of need and lowest point in their lives. When you are sick – who needs the extra worry and stress of how you are going to pay the medical bills on top of that? That will completely compromise your immune system/recovery, anyway. Good, honest, hard-working people ....veterans, tax-payers, mothers, fathers, widows ....all just trying to live the American Dream with dignity, pride and a little bit of piece of mind. But because they got sick, or their child got sick – their livelihood has been ruined, their self-respect taken, their worlds destroyed. Not to mention their belief in human nature [which is quite apparant]. Many I'm sure, are in need of mental health care too in dealing with the stress and depression .....but I doubt they have insurance for it, or their insurance doesn't cover it! To pay out of pocket, is out of the question for most. This is NO way to continue, America – things HAVE to change for our citizens, ALL our citizens. I think a 1%, 1.5% or 5.4% tax increase on those making over $350k, 500k or 1M respectively, is a small price to pay in comparison to these devastating real-life accounts, when you put it into perspective. Canada, Australia, UK & Europe all have systems that serve their entire popluations. The high focus is on prevention, with regular screenings. But life-threatening illnesses are treated with the best care, good hospitals, good Doctors/Nurses and medical facilities in a timely fashion. And contrary to what is being promoted in those ridiculously INACCURATE tv ads – presumably funded by the Washington lobbyists/pharm. companies as propoganda – you do NOT have to wait years on lists for treatment, or spend several hours in the ER every time you have a problem. You are only placed on a waiting list for non-emergent conditions that predictably will worsen over time – such as varicose veins. Even then, if your pain, or situation worsens, you can go back to your Dr. and he/she will expedite surgery or special treatment as necessary. You do not have to wait on a list for cancer treatment, heart surgery or to have your appendix taken out, as many of the Health Care Reform Opponents would have you believe. Total rubbish! You can go to any of the many Drs.,get second opinions or go to any Specialist covering the public system, without a referral, or a pre-authorization from your Insurance Company, like I have to get first now. Seniors over 70 years of age in the UK, do not have to pay for their prescriptions if they have been medically determined as necessary. And for the rest, there is a flat fee prescription cost, equal to around $16, per item. The same medications, from the same pharmaceutical companies we have here in the US. The Canadian/UK systems are not perfect – but at least there is a SYSTEM in place for everyone, so when you do get sick, you're covered and don't have to worry about money on top of it. Is that Socialism? I don't know – I'd call it Humanitarian-ism. But it's alot better than the A-list only, elite-ist arrangment we have in place here right now, which divides the social classes in a far greater way than Colonialism ever did: Something our Founding Fathers fought so hard against, in order to create an independent, free, fairer country for all. We HAVE to do better, we HAVE to reform healthcare NOW.....

    July 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  287. sharon

    It would be so easy for me to say yes let the rich pay, but it we start penalizing people for going after their dreams and succeeding in american, then why would anyone strive to get ahead? People with stop earning as much, stop putting in the long hours to get ahead it uncle sam is going to take it away. Then America will stop being the "riches nation in the world" . That would be like punishing you child for getting top grade in his/her school! why would anyone bother?

    July 21, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  288. Crystal

    Rich is $200,000 +/year single or combined income.

    July 21, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  289. Gary

    Yes it's fair... If you are making 350 a year ou are probably pretty comfortable. The rich seem to "find" many ways to get out of paying thier fair share.

    My heart bleeds for those complain about paying taxes.

    July 21, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  290. Crystal

    I think that if I made $200,000 or more a year I would not mind the tax for a good reason like health care. I make 45,000 a year and pay 10,000 of it in taxes a year. My health care is in place, but I can't afford to use it unless I am very ill, because I can not afford the co-pay and deductible fees. I often think of insurance as a legal mafia. It is of no use to me unless I have a major illness or injury.

    July 21, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  291. John Washington

    If your NET income (after ALL Charitable deductions , business expenses and other IRS code deductions) is over $250,000 YOU"RE RICH!!!
    Pay your taxes and share! Any Wall Streeter with NET over that, the IRS should go back 10 years and AUDIT them...and leave the WORKING class alone.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  292. John Washington

    Heidi...You are a stunner, by the way!!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  293. Matthew Bressette

    What is rich?

    In context to your question, rich would be defined as excessive wealth. Excessive being beyond common reasoning as society as well as its governing bodies have established boundaries regarding personal comfort as dictated by consensual reasoning’s amid social society and acceptable standards. The IRS knows these standards well. So why haggle over a double standard for those who live far beyond these means?

    There are those of great wealth such as Tiger Woods who make their fortune the old fashioned way with time, hard work and perseverance. At the other end of the same spectrum are those who were chosen to succeed via clique such as a privy Ivy League club of distinguished a** kissers’ society. All together, I don’t believe Tiger would care as long as it remains fair. Fair defined as a measurable grade of standard for all men/women as defined what is excess that defines “rich”/personal wealth?

    A double standard society is one clearly divided when the lions share of dead on the battle fields were poor of whom never went to war so fat cats can profit as cliques see fit. The right to happiness and prosperity had people in mind just like Tiger.

    The question “what is rich?” is a rhetorical one.

    Regards, Matthew

    July 21, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  294. Brian

    No. Everyone has to pull their own weight. I know there are exceptions to every circumstance or condition, what we need is more ingenuity and creativity and better ways to raise money to fund healthcare for those who desperately need it. It is a complex issue that will not be solved overnight, but you CANNOT continue to tax those who work hard and make money pay for those who for one reason or another do not. There needs to be an overhaul on AMA and their doctors many of whom contribute to the problem by prescribing medications to patients that simply do not need them. Economics is a play throughout the entire system.

    Start a national fat tax, or cigarette tax, alcohol and tax other vices that contribute to poor health. It is time for responsibility and enough of this babying people. I am a business owner and in debt after starting my business some 6 years ago. I have to pay for my own healthcare and those of selected employees. If I was forced to pay for everyone, I would have to lay people off. The Washington folks need to take a closer look at this proposed tax idea as making $280,000 in metro areas like NYC, LA, and San Francisco is not RICH. To even live remotely comfortable in those aforementioned cities, you often times have to make over $500,000 a year and that is for a single person.

    The Universal healthcare system in Canada and throughout the world are not perfect but works in progress. Furthermore, Canada has 25 million people and countries like Italy around 60 million. The USA has 300 million people, so you do the math.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  295. Matthew Bressette

    Taxing the rich, is it fair?!

    Regards, Matthew

    July 21, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  296. Joel

    National health insurance is already available, Medicare. President Obama just has to remove the age descrimination for all that want it.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  297. gretchen

    Hello Heidi,what is troubling to me ,is all this talk about President Obama's plans are failing.In order for something to fail it must be tried.It seems to me that CNN and others have conviently forgotten what got us in this awful mess.Let me remind you. Bush and the republican party.President Obama heard the cries of the American people when he was running for president,he is trying to answer the call.Now it is surprising thatall the people who claim to be on the moral high ground is turning their backs on all of the have nots.If American principles are based in christianity,why don't we as americans do what god would want us to do.Feed the hungry,clothe the naked,heal and comfort the sick ,and shelter those who need shelter.These republicans and Democrats who are worried about taxing the rich should remember that even they are being cared for and voted into office by mostly poor and middle class people .Thier health care is through our tax dollars why can't we use our tax dollars
    to tend our health care needs. why don't republicans and the democrats who's health care plans are being funded by american tax payers drop their plans.These lies that are being told about Obama is going to tax everyone and that you won't grt to keep your health care plan is ridiculous.It is making americans fear,just like they did to get us into Iraq.Is what we have thus far working? NO! Let's find a solution
    and stop allowing these people who seem to be getting money from lobbyist to hide behind the lie of caring about every day americans.Tell me something,where have all these people been all these years when primiums were rising and drug cost were rising and peoples homes were going in to forclousure? No where,they were sitting back in their Ivory towers collecting money from us and the lobbyist.Stop this relentless attacks on President Obama,when we know what the truth is.Let the truth be told instead of allowing people to come onto CNN just to promote their political agenda's.Ask those people ,if they have the solution,if they say yes,then ask them what it is.Be truthful and be fair.We need health care for all.This is a crisis.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  298. Marie

    Look Heidi, the very rich didn't get there all by themselves, they either inherited or they did it on the backs of employees. They used our infrastructure, our roads, bridges, tunnels, but the tax structure has always provided them advantages. Of course, you could confiscate all their 'off shore' accounts which helps them to avoid paying taxes at all! Should they have to pay more? YES.
    But don't you feel DUMB? The media is playing the same game as the silly opponents of reform! Have you had to cover any revolutions in Lithuania, the UK, Canada, France???? NO? Well, I guess they aren't too upset about their health care.
    If those countries are able to provide reasonable care for all their people, they MUST BE SMARTER than we are. After all, they aren't from the richest country, and they aren't superpowers – – so it must be that we're stupid! How could that be?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  299. Mike

    Its definetely not fair. Just about everyone who would be recieving this tax does not qualify for the program. It should be limited to the people who use or qualify for it.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  300. Cory

    We should unite as a nation rich and poor to ensure that all of our citizens have equal and adequate health care. Just because someone makes $500K per year does not mean that they are entitled to better health care than me because I make $20K per year. We all have a right to survive, therefore, we all have a right to equal health care. I haven't seen a doctor in five years because I can't afford it. Tax the rich! I would like to get a check-up.

    July 23, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  301. Beverly Mann

    The money needed for health caare is not needed from the rich – no one ever thought to look to the doctors who commit frauds by alleging so called conferences with their golf pals to charge medicare outrages fees, my husband who was hospitalized several times never heard of some of the doctors charging fees. Our own investigation aways came up with the so called conference-I reported the lack of connection (in grown toe nail with a brain surgeon)to medicare who dismissed me as though I were a kook instead of a college professor. This fraud could save millions-even billions -so many others reported the same kinds of incidents to us. How can I reach those who could do something about this.
    beverly mann -(631)732-3015

    July 23, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  302. Andre Marshall

    Sure, I believe the wealthy "Americans" don't mind giving back to their country, especially when you realize what they have gained. This is a great idea, if nothiong else can be found.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  303. louis

    The high cost of health care is simple. We allow big business to take advantage of our weakness, you either pay or die if you get sick! Besides, aren't you awared that we were being over charged all the time when you need health care and they are making out like bandits.

    I don't mind paying more tax, if their cost are controlled and don't let them take advantage of the ordinary people.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  304. Lesa

    Never fair! I do not believe the term "take from the rich and give to the poor".

    July 24, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  305. Marie

    It is sad that we take advantage of expensive things everyday, things that are just there for commodity... yet when we need funding for health care we have to jump through a ring of fire. Sure, doctors have hidden agendas, prescribing meds to people so they can get a fat check at the end of the week from the promoting companies. Absent the funding, mal-practice, and physician availability – we have a serious lack of integrity left over. Perhaps we should fix ourselves morally first.

    July 24, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  306. louis

    I strongly believe we do need a better health care system. The current system is good only for most of the luckly folks that work for big business or government. As for small business, Most of the small business that gross less than $250,000 per year can bearly afford to buy health insurance for their own family, let alone for their employees. That's why we have a high percentage of American uninsured. If tax increase is absolutely needed to fund health care reform, taxing American that make more than $350,000 is more than fair. If you believe that this is not fair, the only other option is to cut wasteful military spending and put more money in health care reform to protect American life at home and mind our own business.


    July 25, 2009 at 12:55 am |
  307. Sangram Katoch

    Low home prices should be the standard to live by.

    July 28, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  308. Janet Iyoob

    I am not interested in any government healthcare plan and I am presently unemployed due to a company bankruptcy which ended my health insurance coverage that very day. I am also a single mom and always been an US citizen. I am very much against any illegal alien being covered under a healthcare plan. I have compassion for people but these people made the decision to break the law to enter our country illegally and must accept the consequences. We have to obey the laws of our country or we too would face the consequences. I don't think you reward a wrong with a good reward, especially at the expense of other US citizens. Many of these illegal aliens receive better medical care in our hospitals (emergency rooms) than do US citizens who are uninsured, and they receive for free, no argument from the hospital staff. However, if you are a US citizen, you are treated with little or no dignity or respect when approached on how you will pay for the services rendered. I do know this from personal experience, and even asked the hospital if I was an illegal alien there would be no problem and they said yes. However, because I choose to be honest, obey the laws of the land, honor my bills, pay my taxes, contribute to our society, I and others have been treated with great pressure and lack of respect. Most US citizens like myself do set up a payment plan and do follow through with paying our debts. So, to me, what is our country doing thinking of covering another country's citizens in healthcare. It is ridiculous! Especially, when personal churches, ministries, and hospitals are already doing it.

    July 28, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  309. Jack Love

    2 things....
    Alcohol costs U.S. taxpayers Billions of dollars each year in police, court, jail, and prison costs, in social services costs for broken families, indigent health care, increased auto and health insurance premiums, high speed police chases on public highways and the ensuing damage, liver, brain and stomach damage. The Pols taxed tobacco and dedicated the money to health care. Why not tax alcohol the same way?
    Both Canada & Mexico have National Health Care. Canada pays for EMERGENCY care for their citizens traveling in the U.S.. Mexico resfuses to pay one single cent for emergency care for their citizens traveling or working in the U.S. Canada goes to the EMPLOYER of illegal aliens who show up in emergency rooms and forces the employers to pay the bills. Here the taxpayers pick up the tab as usual.

    July 28, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  310. Corporal G

    Where is the "wasteful" military spending going to? Spend one day in the military and then tell me where the "wasteful spending" comes into play. Don't look to the military... don't penalize us for sleeping in trenches as opposed to the thousand dollar leather chairs you sit in making 6 digits, driving home at the end of the day in your new Mercedes Benz. Those in the Military learn something the rich haven't the concept of ... SACRIFICE. Perhaps if we all sacrificed a little we wouldn't be in a financial mess - buying houses you can't afford, creating debt for ourselves when we should probably lower our standards a bit. Let's think realistically people, if it weren't for the military you wouldn't have secure roof over your head – if anyone should be properly funded it should be the Military. We are all too busy worrying about the wrong kind of green.

    August 5, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  311. todd smith

    I thought this was the land of hope and = rights and etc. Well the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.There isn't really three classes anymore.You got money or you need money.45 million people need health ins. and i pay $286.00 each check to get 80/20 coverage with $1,500 ded.So why r we wasting time talking about it just do it so people can stop choosing ins. or food.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:12 am |
  312. Ann Dodson

    Thank you Todd Smith! You have said it more simply than anyone else so far! It is that simple and we need to stand behind those who are trying to get this done for us! thats why we voted for them! I think we should have health care comparable to theirs don't you?

    August 7, 2009 at 8:27 am |
  313. Heather

    The "rich" already do pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes! How have they not paid their fair share, when they're actually already in a higher tax bracket? I don't mind paying higher taxes to ensure that truly needy Americans can get the health insurance they need. However, all of us should pay our fair share - not just those of a certain income bracket. You can't tell me that a single person making $200,000 per year can't afford to pay a little more too.

    August 24, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  314. floraaketch

    Don't look to the military... don't penalize us for sleeping in trenches as opposed to the thousand dollar leather chairs you sit in making 6 digits, driving home at the end of the day in your new Mercedes Benz. Those in the Military learn something the rich haven't the concept of ... SACRIFICE. Perhaps if we all sacrificed a little we wouldn't be in a financial mess – buying houses you can't afford, creating debt for ourselves when we should probably lower our standards a bit. Let's think realistically people, if it weren't for the military you wouldn't have secure roof over your head – if anyone should be properly funded it should be the Military.

    December 31, 2009 at 7:55 am |