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House Health Reform Bill Taxes the Wealthy to Fund Public Plan

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled their long-awaited proposal to overhaul the nation’s health care system, including the creation of a government-backed insurance plan to compete with private companies — a sticking point among most congressional Republicans and a number of conservative-leaning Democrats.

Roll Call reports that the bill is expected to cost more than $1 trillion over the next decade, with nearly $550 billion of the expense to be covered by a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans. That strategy would coincide with President Obama’s campaign pledge not to hike taxes on households earning less than $250,000 a year.

As for the rest:

[S]avings in Medicare are expected to top $500 billion, with insurance companies, hospitals, drug companies and other providers being asked to help pay for health care for the uninsured and to close the “doughnut hole” for seniors.

The House Ways & Means Committee will begin the markup process on Thursday.

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