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US Considering Funding Health Care Through Additional Taxes

Alot of controversy is developing around President Obama's proposal for health care reform.  Apparently, there is now some talk about imposing a new tax to cover the increased cost to provide health care to every American.   According to Steptoe & Johnson Daily News Update, the Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said that he is considering a proposal to pay for some of his health care reform legislation with tax increases outside the health care system.   The article stated that Baucus explained that offsets would “essentially” come from the health arena, but other options could be considered.  Baucus said, “The good news is we have options.”  They also reported that the Congressional Budget Office has provided new cost estimates for health care reform policy options that would allow Baucus to offer a fully offset bill, around $1 trillion.  Baucus said, “We’re getting closer.  I expect to be ready sooner now that we have CBO numbers to enable us to have options that will fully pay for the bill.”

Baucus added that no details about the financing options for the health care bill have been finalized.  Baucus said, "We're ready when we're ready.  I'm not going to schedule a markup until senators have all the information they need."  Baucus added, "CBO has given us a lot of leeway, a lot of cushion here.  We have a lot of options that will enable us to write a $1 trillion bill fully paid-for.  But as I've said before, we're not going to put out a mark until we're sure we have it right.”