Brown: Tax rich to finance health care

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Brown: Tax rich to finance health care

The Columbus Dispatch – WASHINGTON — Preaching to a like-minded choir on health-care reform yesterday, Sen. Sherrod Brown pronounced the "public option" dead but vowed to fight for a tax on the wealthy instead of a levy on so-called Cadillac health plans as a way to help pay for the legislation.

The Ohio Democrat spent about an hour discussing the pending health-care overhaul in a telephone town-hall meeting sponsored by the liberal group ProgressOhio, answering questions from some of the 228 people on the call as well as online queries. The event came as Senate and House Democrats tried to reconcile different health-care bills. The Democrat-written bills are opposed by virtually all Republicans from both bodies, who charge the bills are overly expensive and amount to government takeovers of the health-care system.

Among the major differences: The House legislation contains a government-run health plan and helps pay for covering millions of the uninsured through an income-tax hike on individuals with income of more than $500,000 and couples making more than $1 million. The Senate bill has no public option and finances its version partly through a 40 percent tax on employer-offered plans valued at more than $8,500 for an individual or $23,000 for a family.

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