The Nebraska Senate race features a spirited Republican primary with good news for taxpayers—all the major candidates have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, so primary voters won’t have to worry about whether they are voting for a tax hiker on May 13th.
We were alerted recently that one of these candidates, Ben Sasse, might have proposed a net tax increase in his health care reform plan. We’ve had a chance to review the plan, and we can assure voters that this isn’t the case. Here’s what the plan would do on taxes:
Create a new personal tax deduction for the purchase of health insurance (with all existing tax benefits for health insurance preserved).
Encourage greater portability of health insurance plans, removing any tax code impediments to this.
Expand health savings accounts (HSAs) by increasing the contribution limit, broadening the scope of what HSAs can pay for, and increasing the number of Americans eligible to open an HSA
That’s pure tax relief, plain and simple. There’s not a tax increase anywhere in there.
Some have argued that another proposal in the plan—to means-test Medicare for affluent seniors—is a tax increase. Hogwash. That’s a spending cut. Taxes are when the government takes income away from people. This proposal simply reduces the benefits government is giving to people who can afford to pay their own way. If that’s a tax increase, so is cutting the federal budget. It’s absurd.
There are plenty of meaningful differences among the major candidates in the Nebraska Senate GOP primary. Whether Ben Sasse is raising taxes via his health care plan is not one of them.