Wash. Times claimed Bush health plan would only raise costs of "top CEOs"
Research ››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN
A January 24 Washington Times editorial falsely claimed that President Bush's health care proposal would "only come at the expense of the richest health plans of top CEOs," while allowing "millions of working-class and middle-class families [to] buy health care with pretax dollars." In fact, it is not only rich CEOs who would have to pay more in taxes under Bush's proposal. Asked at a January 22 White House press briefing what the "average tax increase" would be, Katherine Baicker, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, replied that about 30 million people would end up owing more in taxes; and that, on average, a worker in the "top quintile" of income earners would see his or her tax bill increase by one-tenth of a percent. According to the U.S. Census' 2006 Current Population Survey, in 2005, households that made $91,705 or more were in the top 20 percent, with the top 5 percent beginning at $166,000.
Indeed, in his January 24 column (subscription required), Wall Street Journal business columnist Alan Murray noted that those who would get a tax increase under the proposal include "not only highly paid union members but also the well-heeled executives of many of the nation's largest companies."
From the January 24 Washington Times editorial, "Bush's better health-care policy":
The fact is, the Bush plan slices through the thicket of policy proposals -- all of which boil down to dumping more people into state Medicaid programs -- and gives the self employed and uninsured, from the single mom who cuts hair to the electrician starting his own business, a tax break of about $3,800 to buy health care. Under the president's plan, millions of working-class and middle-class families could buy health care with pretax dollars. It only comes at the expense of the richest health plans of top CEOs. Even then, those wanting to avoid a tax bite at that level can set up a health-savings account.