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Cochran critiques healthcare reform

WASHINGTON — Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) has written a critique on the numerous tax provisions included in the healthcare reform bill now in its third week of debate in the Senate, warning that the legislation will result in higher fees and taxes for most middle class families.

Cochran submitted his critique of the tax provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR.3590) in a statement for the Congressional Record.  n it he discusses his concerns about new taxes that will affect individuals, businesses and the health industry, even those families earning less than the $250,000 income threshold set by President Obama.

Cochran said, “It is plain to see that if you have insurance, you get taxed; if you don’t have insurance, you get taxed; if you need prescription drugs, you get taxed; if you need a medical device, you get taxed; if you have high out-of-pocket health expenses, you get taxed. Everyone gets taxed under this proposal.”

According to Cochran, an analysis of HR.3590 by the Joint Committee on Taxation indicates that the measure could increase taxes by a 3-to-1 ratio on people earning less than $200,000 a year, meaning that for every one individual or family that gets the health tax credit, three middle-income individuals and families will be taxed.  Only about 17,000 tax filers in Mississippi earn more than $200,000.

He warned that the billions of dollars in higher taxes and fees the bill assesses on small businesses, insurance firms and medical device manufacturers would be passed on to consumers.

Cochran was also wary of burdens to be placed upon small business owners as well as employers with 50 or more workers, who would be charged fees for not offering health insurance coverage.

“Small businesses in my state do not support this legislation,” Cochran said. “With unemployment at a 26-year-high and small business owners struggling to simply keep their doors open, this kind of reform is not what we need to encourage small businesses to thrive.”

Cochran also pointed out that the bill also proposes to use Medicare payroll taxes for purposes other than Medicare services, which would set a new precedent in how the federal government is financed.

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