Finances & Money Taxes

Biden disagrees with taxing health care premiums

Not that I put much weight into what Vice President Joe Biden says, but he commented on an issue that I wrote about just last week asking whether Obama’s health care plan really did include taxing health care premiums. The administration was floating the idea around of taxing the employee for the employer-subsidized portion of their premiums, which can range from 50-80% of your actual health benefit costs. That’s a load of money!

Well, today in CNN Money, Joe is quoted as saying:

“We do not think that is the way to go; we think that is the wrong way to finance this legislation,” Biden said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. Pressed on whether President Barack Obama would veto a bill from Congress containing such a mechanism, Biden said Obama would consider the measure in total before making a decision.

He didn’t rule out the idea entirely, but perhaps some of the backlash is reaching their ears to make them think twice? Also consider that this is an indirect tax on those making under $250k a year, which is the same group for which President Obama promised never to raise taxes.

Honestly, I’m realistic and know that this administration’s spending cannot be financed without new taxes, whether they’re directly out of my paycheck or indirect through benefits, reduced/cut deductions/credits or employer taxes that make it more expensive for companies to carry employees. But let’s see what else they have in mind.

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Clever Dude


  • It’s going to be interesting to see how they begin the plan. Taxes are inevitable with the case and seems like one way or the other there will be big changes.

  • If the administration wants to keep their word to the American people, they won’t tax the benefits at all. But you and I know that you should take a politician’s word with a grain of salt.

  • Especially Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden. Time and time again, they say one thing and do the other.

    If you think your taxes aren’t going up just because you make less than $250K, your crazy.

  • Another problem with this tax, the ‘benefit’ isn’t worth the amount the employer says. I know someone who opted out of our employer paid benefits. For this, she gets paid an extra $200 a YEAR. Not a month. But I promise that I would get taxed on much more than $200 a year.

  • The devil is in the details…

    “…this is an indirect tax …”

    That’s their loophole. They will *effectively* be taxing it, while not legislating an explicit tax. Without something called a “health care premium tax” on the books, they get the best of both worlds.

    These guys are in the top of their class in this regard – they’re lawyers and you have to parse every word they say many different ways. They choose their words carefully (well, Obama does… Biden doesn’t know what he’s saying most of the time) and they’re chosen to obfuscate, and mislead.

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