How will we pay for health care reform? An increase in Medicare tax

health care
health care

As the House prepares for a vote on health care reform, the overwhelming question is how to pay the estimated $940 billion price tag on the plan. The obvious -- but not so politically popular -- answer is to raise taxes. Even better? Raise taxes so taxpayers don't notice it as much by including it in mandatory withholding.

That explains why the current proposal in the House under HR 3590 would add an increase in the form of payroll taxes. The bill, as it stands currently, would add .9% to the Medicare payroll tax to those individual taxpayers earning over $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing joint tax returns). That would bring the total tax rate to 2.35%.