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Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007 04:51 am

Bush’s healthcare tax

Look out, everybody – the president has an idea!

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Untitled Document Look out, everyone — George W. Bush has had another idea! The guy who told us that occupying Iraq would be a really smart thing to do has now focused both of his brain cells on healthcare in America. Here’s his plan: (1) The 47 million Americans who have no health coverage will be offered tax deductions to buy individual health policies from insurance corporations; (2) American workers who do have good health policies will be taxed to help cover the tax deductions for the poor. Gosh, so much ignorance in one little head! Bush, of course, doesn’t know any poor people, so maybe he doesn’t understand that they don’t have enough income to be able to use a tax deduction. Then there’s the fact that poor folks tend to have a number of health problems — and insurance corporations don’t want to sell policies to people who might actually need to make insurance claims. Therefore George’s scheme will do practically nothing to reduce the number of Americans who lack coverage. It will, however, hurt middle-class families by slapping a health tax on them. Wasn’t this the guy who pledged never to increase taxes? So why hit ordinary workers with a levy that could cost them a few thousand dollars each? Because, he sneered, these people have chosen “overly expensive, gold-plated plans.”
Gold-plated? George, having decent health coverage is not a royal luxury, not something that a president should mock, and certainly not anything for you to be taxing. The good news is that George’s idea is going nowhere — it’s opposed by business, labor, health advocates, Democrats in Congress, and the general public. The bad news is that it reveals just how out of touch and condescending our president is. Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist, and author.
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