Speaking on the U.S. Senate floor on Monday, Max Baucus falsely claimed that the health bill under consideration does not raise taxes:
“I have also heard it argued that health care reform will raise taxes. That, too, is false. In fact, health care reform will provide billions of dollars in tax relief to help American families and small businesses afford quality health insurance—tax cuts. The Joint Tax Committee—again bipartisan and which serves both the House and the Senate—tells us, for example, that our bill would provide $40 billion in the tax cuts in the year 2017 alone—$40 billion in tax cuts in the year 2017.”
In fact, the net tax increase (that is, taking into account the tax cuts Baucus mentions) in 2017 alone is a staggering $132.5 billion. Over the first decade of the tax increases taking effect, the net tax increase easily exceeds $1 trillion.
“Senator Baucus needs to explain how a ten-year, trillion-dollar net tax increase is actually a tax cut,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
The official tax score for the bill is provided by the Joint Tax Committee (JCT) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In 2017 alone, they report a net tax hike of $132.5 billion – not a tax cut as Sen. Baucus claims. Over the ten-year scoring window, they report a net tax hike of $857.9 billion.
Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has compiled a comprehensive list of all the tax increases in the Senate health bill. (To view the complete list, click here) Among other things, the bill raises taxes on current health insurance plans, families lacking health insurance, and small employers.
“After Senator Baucus is through actually reading the official tax score, he might want to read ATR’s list detailing the eighteen separate tax increases in this bill,” said Norquist.