Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) today flatly rejected President Obama's newly released $1 trillion health care proposal and called on the president to put forth a more fiscally conservative measure that curbs health care costs without raising taxes or cutting Medicare.
"I am disappointed that the president has put forth yet another $1 trillion proposal that would hurt, not help, New Jersey families and businesses," Lance said. "This is no different than past proposals that increase the cost of health insurance, cut Medicare benefits and explode our ever-growing deficit. As we get closer to Thursday's health care summit I continue to call on the president and leaders in Congress to start over with the goal of producing a more modest bipartisan bill that curbs cost without raising taxes or cutting Medicare."
According to press reports, the president's new health proposal would cost "around $1 trillion over 10 years," and, "the plan would be paid for with a mix of Medicare cuts and tax increases"
(Associated Press, 2/22/10).
The plan contains higher taxes for most Medicare-eligible New Jerseyeans via, "the first Medicare tax on unearned income including capital gains," (Bloomberg, 2/22/10) calling for, "a proposed 2.9% tax assessment on income from interest, dividend, annuities, royalties, and rents, applying to individuals who make more than $200,000 annually and families that make more than $250,000" (USA Today, 2/22/10)
And New Jersey's businesses would face higher cost under the proposal. Not only does the proposal, "calls for fines on businesses that don't insure their employees for at least $2,000 per person" (USA Today, 2/22/10) but the Garden State's pharmaceuticals and medical device industries would pay higher fees and taxes under the measure. (Bloomberg, 2/22/10).
Lance once again reiterated his support for the "Medical Rights and Reform Act" -- a fiscally responsible alternative that includes ideas such as medical liability reform, small business insurance pooling and letting families and businesses buy insurance across state lines. The Lance-sponsored reform measure would not raise taxes.