Gephardt promises centerpiece of agenda will cost $2 trillion

Washington – U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO) unveiled his new universal health care plan this week that will completely eliminate the 2001 Bush tax cut for working Americans, even those who already have health care. Gephardt proposes paying for his plan by rolling back the 10-year $1.3 trillion tax cuts enacted in 2001 and repealing any additional tax cuts, including those contained in the President\’s Economic Growth and Stimulus Package.

Gephardt\’s plan would require employers who do not now provide coverage to offer health insurance to their workers. A federal tax credit would cover 60% of the premium costs, and allow employers to pass on the remaining 40% to their employees. The plan\’s cost would increase by about 7% to 7.5% annually.

"Enormous spending increases don\’t help to stimulate economic growth, and invariably taxpayers end up shouldering the burden. Introducing a program that will cost taxpayers $700 billion in its first three years alone is bad news for American taxpayers," exclaimed Grover Norquist President of Washington based Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).

Many analysts agree that most small businesses can\’t afford to provide the kind of healthcare Gephardt proposes, and the plan will impede small-business owners from reinvesting in their companies.

"The Gephardt plan will only serve to add to the federal deficit and further burden an already overtaxed people," concluded Norquist.