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  • Congress Should Stop Subsidizing Warren Buffett's Health Care, Not Increase His Taxes

    Reports have surfaced that conservatives in Congress may propose further increasing income adjustment in Medicare to lessen the program’s insolvency. This is a great idea. While the left continues to argue for higher taxes for the likes of Warren Buffett to maintain the status quo of a costly, failing Medicare program, it makes more sense that Congress should simply stop subsidizing them.

    As Congress continues to pursue solutions to the entitlement spending crisis, one question that must be answered is whether the United States should even have universal federal entitlements to begin with. Considering the wreckage of the nation’s finances, the answer is clearly no. It’s not only that we cannot afford it, but the very creation of popular dependency on government itself threatens prosperity.

    For wealthier Americans like Buffett, the policy options are clear. The Obama Administration and its allies in Congress are obsessed with imposing higher taxes on them, regardless of the impact on investment in the economy and despite the fact that they already pay the bulk of federal income taxes. The intent behind this course of action is to maintain, largely unchanged, the existing federal entitlement regime.

    The alternative is to introduce reform that uses market forces to control costs, part of which would be to reduce or eliminate taxpayer subsidies for entitlement benefits for upper-income Americans while letting more Americans of all income classes keep more of their own money.

    Increasing income adjustment in the current program would move Medicare closer to a final transition to a market-based, consumer-driven program like that put forth in Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan. A major component of this plan is that federal assistance, provided through a defined contribution to private plans chosen by seniors themselves, is targeted to those who need it most.

    But income-adjusting higher-income seniors’ Medicare benefits is nothing new. It was first introduced to Medicare Part B in 2007. Under Obamacare, President Obama and liberal Members of Congress increased and expanded income adjustment by applying a new, income-adjusted premium to Medicare Part D, the voluntary prescription drug benefit, by freezing income thresholds until 2019, when they will once again be indexed to inflation.

    This means that for the rest of this decade, income-related premiums will apply to a larger percentage of seniors every year until 2019. The President has even proposed freezing the thresholds indefinitely until 25 percent of Medicare enrollees pay a higher, income-related premium.

    As Heritage research on Medicare reform explains, “In sharp contrast to the ‘cliff’ effects of current law, in which retiree costs increase over four income categories, the income thresholds for the phaseout of taxpayer subsidies are far more gradual and less disruptive and would be indexed to inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.”

    Further income-adjusting Medicare is not a partisan proposal, and it’s nothing new. Instead, it is the right step to take to move Medicare one step closer to solvency and toward the transformation necessary to ensure that it will remain viable for future generations.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Congress Should Stop Subsidizing Warren Buffett's Health Care, Not Increase His Taxes

    1. Bobbie says:

      same with football team owners and their tax paid stadiums. never a reason to raise taxes to pay costs on something that clearly pays for itself. pure profit on top of consessions and fees is more pure profit. government profit as they own the stadium off the tax payers backs.

      on buffets income if he isn't the sole provider of his own expenses HE is the greed of the rich, an oppressor of society. I heard mr. buffet purchased edina reality company that was once successfully and independently run? he'll turn it OVER to obama otherwise known as anti American government…

    2. charles0390 says:

      Yes,these people who are worth anywhere from a few milllion to billions have absolutely no need for any typpe of government medicle plans.They have more than the means to take care of themselves without the tax payers having to pay for their health care/Ya,sme with the people in major sports who are all earning millions a year and the owners as well.They have no need of any type og government health care plans

    3. Sally says:

      My guess is they don't want Medicare. The goal is to be self insured to avoid government health care. I heard Wal-mart opened an American Hospital in Mexico. Those with the income can obtain the best of the US Health Care without the JCAH, FDA, DEA, Insurance companies dictating their 'personal' health care needs to American Physicians. The closest normal people can obtain is a health savings account. I can use monies from that for what I deem necessary. Unfortunately, I can't leave the states.

      • cptnty says:

        So the best idea is not to fall into the "normal people" category. If you study hard in school to be "better than normal" you could have a "better than normal" job and receive a "better than normal" income. Why does everyone think "normal" is OK. Americans need to have some pride, personal responsibility and courage to reach for the top. All of our heros in life do this. Our Olympic athletes in London will be "abnormal". That's what makes them great. More work in life should be rewarded with a better lifestyle… thats the reward. If we reward medioraty we will be a mediocre country with mediocre lives. Bottom line…your better life is up to more than anyone else. Don't look to the government for aid…look in the mirror!

    4. Catich says:

      Congress should stop subsidizing warren buffett’s health care, not increase his taxes. I agree with you. thanks.

      • Paul greathouse says:

        Bobby you make a pretty good case but remember he did pay his share the way it was set up., and as it was set up it would still be working very well . unfortunatly politicians misdirected this money in the trillions of dollars so the real blame goes to that bunch of profess ional misdirectors who now want to point their sticky fingers at the ones of us who worked for it all these years. Please also note that the lonest serving politicians come from districts that are crime centers of the US. We all need to talk and V O T E and make certain that nobody votes who IS NOT properly certified. Thanks see you at the polls!!

    5. Matt - PA says:

      I see this differently — if Warren Buffett paid the Medicare tax (well — actually not so sure he ever did — he is pretty good at both legally avoiding taxing, and then not paying what he actually does owe), so let's change to a $500k INCOME earner who has paid the Medicare tax throughout employment period. Then why shouldn't he have the option to receive the service that he paid for. Of course, he most likely would not bother with utilizing Medicare, but it is theft to legally take away his right to do so. So this is all a moot point and just grandstanding– if he doesn't actually utilize Medicare, then it costs Medicare system nothing — and they still received his Medicare taxes.

      This is class-warfare and political grandstanding coming from Heritage — make participation in Medicare, including the taxation, voluntary, great, but saying he shouldn't get what he legitimately paid into is class-warfare, theft, progressive liberal, whatever you want to call it. Now, if someone like Buffett did not actually pay the Medicare tax every year, then he, or anyone of any income level, should not get the benefits.

      0 for 2 today, Heritage (read comments about the huge tax increase they propose on at least the top 90% of income earners with the 28% flat tax).

    6. Patrick says:

      Matt – the taxes they take from you, me and whovever they say is medicare, all goes in to the general fund and is then used to pay for current medicare enrolees. Same with Soc Sec. We are not paying now for a sevice we'll get later. We are paying now for the service current enrollees are getting now.

      And you're a fool if you think his secratary paid more taxes than Warren Buffett did.

    7. @AZjbc says:

      State Taxes Pay the Federal Employees Pensions – I get nothing- Taxes go to Medicare- and I don't know if i'll get it – I think Warren Buffett is off his Rocker , he has made his money in the US while under Capitalism & yet he is a Dire Hard Democrat , if he thinks Progressive Politics work when you can clearly see that California is a FAILED STATE and Illinois is Close behind it. If Warren is Worried about how much his Sec. Paid then set her up with a portfolio and let her earn Capital Gains. The Progressives killed a Great State and are working on destroying the US. We need Change Real Change Good Change in 2012

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