Tax the Top 2% of Health Care Workers to Pay for Reform

July 17, 2009

On Wednesday, I appeared on the Neil Cavuto program on FoxNews to talk about how the proposed 5.4 percent surtax would push the top income tax rate to more than 50 percent in 39 states.

As I sat in the studio waiting to go on, I listened to a Democratic congresswoman tell Neil that (I’m paraphrasing) taxing the rich and spending $1 trillion to cover the uninsured will bring down the cost of health care so much that it will more than make up for any economic harm resulting from the higher taxes.

Huh? Right.

Anyway, it occurred to me that Democrats have got it all wrong about using the tax code to bring down the cost of health care. Instead of taxing millions of “rich” people who have nothing to do with the health care industry, they should simply levy a hefty tax on the top 2 percent of people in the health care industry itself.

That way they would target only the people who are profiting most from rising health care costs and provide a disincentive for further price gouging. This would also contain the economic harm of the tax increases to the health care sector while raising money to subsidize the poor.

Alright, a dumb idea. But it can’t be any dumber than some of the other taxes that have been proposed, such as taxing soda or beer, to fund health care reform.

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