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Medicare tax on high earners and other levies stir debate

Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2009

The Senate healthcare bill does not include a new surtax on the wealthy that House Democrats' legislation relies on to offset costs of overhauling the system. But Senate Democrats have their own taxes that are stirring controversy and likely to be at the center of debate, the Wall Street Journal reports. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made a late change to his bill by adding an extra Medicare payroll tax, which would generate $54 billion over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office. Under the plan, wages over $200,000 for single people and $250,000 for married couples would be subject to a 1.95% payroll tax, up from the current 1.45%.