Most households would not be affected by the healthcare surcharge imposed under the House Democrats' Affordable Health Choices Act, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Sponsors of the comprehensive reform bill plan to pay for its provisions with a new tax on the nation's highest income earners, expected to raise $450 billion over the next decade.
The surtax, however, only applies to income earned in excess of $350,000, meaning only 1.2% of households would be affected by the tax, the Joint Committee concluded. This population represents 24% of all income earned in the U.S.
The estimates were distributed by the majority staff of the House Ways and Means Committee. Negotiations on the bill have begun in the Ways and Means panel, despite objections by Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the panel’s ranking member, who wanted to postpone the bill’s consideration by a week, so the Congressional Budget Office and committee members would have more time to read over and understand the bill.
It’s important to note that the CBO’s initial $1 trillion cost estimate on the bill didn’t take into account the financial impact of the bill's changes to the Medicare and Medicaid programs, Camp said.