Harris says she won’t raise taxes on families making under $100K to pay for health plan


Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Monday said she won’t raise taxes on families making less than $100,000 to pay for her health plan, instead floating a variety of other ways to offset the cost of her proposal.

Harris’s health plan would expand the Medicare system while keeping a role for private insurance companies. Under her plan, private insurances would be able to offer Medicare plans that follow strict requirements. That contrasts with the health plan of fellow Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which wouldn’t have a role for private insurance.

{mosads}In a Medium post on Monday, Harris said that she likes some of Sanders’s options for how to help pay for his health plan, including an income-based premium paid by employers, higher taxes on the wealthy and taxing capital gains at the same rates as ordinary income.

“I think these are good options, especially making the top 1% and corporations pay their fair share through a more progressive income, payroll, and estate tax,” Harris, a senator from California, wrote.

But Harris raised concerns about one of the potential ways that Sanders has floated to pay for his plan: a 4 percent, income-based premium for households making more than $29,000.

“I believe this hits the middle class too hard,” she wrote. “That’s why I propose that we exempt households making below $100,000, along with a higher income threshold for middle-class families living in high-cost areas.”

To offset the higher income threshold for premiums, Harris is proposing financial transaction taxes of 0.2 percent for stock trades, 0.1 percent for bond trades and 0.002 percent for derivative transactions. She’s also proposing to tax corporations’ overseas earnings at the same rate as their domestic earnings.

“Together, these proposals would raise well over $2 trillion over ten years, more than enough to make up the difference from raising the middle-class income threshold,” Harris wrote.

Michael Linden, a fellow at the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute, said in a statement released by the Harris campaign that the senator “is outlining clear, serious and thoughtful proposals to finance her approach to Medicare for All.”

“Her plans to ensure that Wall Street and multinational corporations are paying their fair share of taxes are both good ideas, and would generate enough revenue to offset her proposal’s higher income threshold after which premium payments begin — $100,000 rather than $29,000 — which is intended to help the middle class,” Linden said.

Harris isn’t the first 2020 Democratic candidate to back taxes on financial trades. For example, Sanders has said he would use the revenue raised by financial transaction taxes to pay for his plan to cancel student-loan debt and make public colleges tuition-free.

Supporters of financial transaction taxes argue that they would help to curb risky Wall Street practices. But financial-industry groups argue that they would hurt people who are saving for their retirements.

Tags 2020 Democrats Bernie Sanders Democratic debates Health care taxes

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