| WASHINGTON, March 13
WASHINGTON, March 13 A Republican plan to repeal
taxes set under Obamacare would benefit the wealthiest U.S.
households at more than five times the rate for middle-income
families, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
"The effects are really very dramatic. We found that a
typical middle-income family would get a tax cut averaging about
$300, while people in the top 0.1 percent would get a tax cut of
about $207,000," Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the
nonprofit research group, said on Monday. (tpc.io/2n1Mdwi)
The expected benefits equal 2.6 percent of a wealthy
family's after-tax income, but only 0.5 percent of the income of
a middle-class household making $51,600 to $89,400 a year,
including fringe benefits like employer-provided health
insurance, the center estimated.
The proposed changes are part of a plan backed by Republican
President Donald Trump to repeal and replace the law officially
known as the Affordable Care Act, former Democratic President
Barack Obama's signature domestic legislation. All told, the tax
portion would eliminate levies worth $600 billion in revenues
over a decade.
If adopted, the plan could be the first in a series of tax
cuts promised by Trump, who has vowed to lower taxes further
through separate legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax code.
The Congressional Budget Office, which provides official
cost estimates for legislation, is expected as soon as Monday to
release a report on the costs of the Republican plan and is
widely expected to find it will reduce the number of Americans
with health insurance.
House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the Republican
healthcare plan's top backer in Congress, and House Democratic
leader Nancy Pelosi's office had no immediate comment.
Trump defended the Republican plan on Monday, telling a
group of Obamacare opponents that the replacement would offer
more coverage choices at lower costs.
Obama raised taxes on the wealthy to fund healthcare
benefits for middle- and low-income Americans under his
healthcare law, which has extended coverage to 20 million
previously uninsured people through subsidized private coverage
and the Medicaid program for the poor.
Democrats charge that Republicans would now help the rich at
the expense of families who depend on Obamacare subsidies.
The repeal of just two ACA taxes -- a 3.8 percent investment
tax and a 0.9 percent Medicare payroll tax on people earning
$200,000 or more a year -- would return about $275 billion to
taxpayers over 10 years, the congressional Joint Committee on
Taxation, or JCT, said in a report last week.
About 60 percent of that sum would go to those with incomes
of $1 million a year or more, according to a Reuters analysis of
JCT data released only to Congress.
In addition to the investment and hospital taxes, the Tax
Policy Center also included the effects of repealing Obamacare's
tax penalties for the uninsured and employers that offer no
insurance, and excise taxes on healthcare providers and
The researchers found that 40 percent of benefits from the
proposed tax changes would go to households earning more than
$772,000 a year in 2022, when the cuts would be fully effective.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)