By Jay Heflin - 03/23/10 01:28 PM EDT
When the Senate begins debate on health reform legislation this afternoon, Republicans are expected to sharply criticize changes made to the Medicare tax.
The tax applies a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income and adds another .9 percent tax to wages for individuals earning $200,000 and couples earning $250,000.
The levy is also not indexed for inflation, meaning middle-class taxpayers could be liable for these taxes unless Congress intercedes.
Republicans are expected to blast the provision because it will raise taxes on investments at a time of economic uncertainty.
Without changes, the measure will increase taxes on capital gains and dividends from 15 percent to roughly 19 percent.