New Jersey Citizen Action, the NJ Health Care for America Now (HCAN) Campaign, and Citizens for Tax Justice released a new report titled Two Proposals to Pay for Health Care Reform Without Hurting Struggling Families in New Jersey laying out options for paying for quality, affordable health care reform that includes a public health insurance option.
The report, prepared by Citizens for Tax Justice, discusses reforming the Medicare tax and limiting itemized deductions for the wealthiest Americans. The report includes comprehensive, New Jersey-specific information on the limited impact of these proposals on the New Jersey population.
The report recommended that the Medicare tax be extended to cover investment income such as capital gains and stock dividends. The Medicare payroll tax, at a rate of 2.9 percent for most lower- and middle-income Americans, is the one important tax that is dedicated to health care, but it completely exempts wealthy investors. The CTJ report also backed President Obama’s proposal to limit itemized deductions, a reform that would affect only 1.3 percent of taxpayers but could raise more than $260 billion over the next ten years.
“The proposals we’re discussing would be good policy even if Congress was not trying to raise revenue to pay for health care reform,” said CTJ director Robert S. McIntyre. “They make our tax system fairer and more rational. And they would mainly affect the wealthiest Americans, who received the bulk of the benefits of all the tax cuts enacted over the past several years.”
Ev Liebman, Director of Organizing and Advocacy at New Jersey Citizen Action, said new revenue is needed for two reasons. First, Liebman said, current revenues cannot pay for affordable, quality health care for all. And second, Liebman said, it is time that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.
“Americans see the unfairness in the current system,” Liebman said. “They know that the wealthiest Americans – people who make up the top one to five percent in income brackets – aren’t paying their fair share. That’s what this debate is about.”
Over the next two weeks, press events will be held in several dozen states throughout the U.S. to educate constituents and members of Congress that these two revenue options would have a negligible impact on the overwhelming majority of Americans.
New Jersey Citizen Action and Citizens for Tax Justice are members of Rebuild and Renew America Now, a coalition of more than 60 national groups and more than 500 local and state groups that support responsible and fair tax policies to raise the revenue that is needed to pay for important investments such as health care, clean energy, education and infrastructure needs. For more information, please visit www.rebuildandrenew.org
Health Care for America Now – the nation’s largest health care campaign – is made up of more than 1,000 organizations representing more than 30 million people nationwide. President Obama and more than 190 Members of Congress support HCAN’s principles for health care reform. All across the country, HCAN supporters are organized and mobilized to stress the urgent need for health care reform in 2009 – reform that finally puts our health care needs before insurance company profits.
NJ Health Care for America Now Campaign Partners: 1199 SEIU Health Care Workers East, AFSCME Council 1, Alliance for Disabled in Action, Inc., BlueWave NJ, CWA District One, CWA Local 1032, Grassroots4Change, Family Voices, Garden State Equality, Health Care for All – NJ, Hispanic Directors Association of NJ, Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministries , New Jersey Citizen Action, New Labor, NEXT STEP, North Jersey Grassroots, South Jersey Grassroots, Women’s Opportunity Center, Planned Parenthood Affiliates NJ, Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), NJ Region of the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, New Jersey Education Association, Health Professional and Allied Employees (HPAE), NJCA Education Fund, National Association of Social Workers, New Jersey State AFL-CIO, New Jersey Partnership for Working Families, Democracia Ahora NJ, NJ West Hudson Valley Council Union for Reform Judaism