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Gregg: Tax the Rich to Pay for Health Reform

Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, is well known on Capitol Hill for his harsh criticisms of anything tax-hike related, including the possibility that Democrats would allow expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on the nation’s wealthiest people. Yet here’s Gregg today telling MSNBC that a new tax slapped on folks who benefit from high-end, employer-sponsored health coverage is “probably where the funding [for health reforms] will come from.”

At certain levels. President Bush’s — it’s a carryover, actually, from President Bush where he suggested that people who — companies that provide more than $11,500 worth of health insurance, that to the extent it exceeds that number. So it’s a very rich plan that the rich — that the high-end people end up paying, that that be included in income.

And that’s reasonable, in my opinion. I mean, reasonable health insurance prices should be excluded from income, but when you get into high — high-end plans, why should everybody be paying for those?

It’s unclear, at this early stage in the year’s health reform debate, how many of Gregg’s GOP colleagues agree.

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