May 9, 2009

White House seeking $60B for healthcare

The Obama administration will try to wring $60 billion in new taxes from wealthy estates and U.S. businesses to pay for healthcare reforms, official sources say.

Unnamed administration sources told Saturday's Wall Street Journal the new measures would be imposed over a 10-year period to plug an unexpected funding gap in the White House's proposed healthcare overhaul, which relies on medical care cost savings and tax hits to the wealthy.

The Journal said Obama administration officials are framing the measures as closing tax loopholes rather than tax increases. One element, the newspaper said, is envisioned to raise an estimated $24 billion by tightening estate tax rules that would restrict wealthy taxpayers' ability to minimize liabilities on inherited goods.

Another part of the proposal reportedly would raise $10 billion by requiring businesses that make payments to corporations to report such payments to the Internal Revenue Service, which they currently do not have to do.

The unnamed officials told the Journal that President Barack Obama is sticking with his main healthcare reform funding proposal -- capping deductions for the wealthy -- even though some key members of Congress have dismissed it.