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'Patriotic Millionaires' Urge Congress to Drop Tax Cuts in Health Bills

The average tax break for millionaires in Utah under a health care bill passed by the U.S. House is projected to be $38,000 a year. (Getty Images)
The average tax break for millionaires in Utah under a health care bill passed by the U.S. House is projected to be $38,000 a year. (Getty Images)
June 27, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY – Resistance to efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is heating up after the U.S. Senate made public its Better Care Reconciliation Act.

Members of the group Patriotic Millionaires are in Washington this week to urge senators to vote against the bill.

Stephen Prince, vice chair of Patriotic Millionaires, says he and others in the top 1 percent don't need tax cuts if they lead to 22 million Americans losing health coverage.

"The gap between us and the lower 10 or 20 percent of our society, the gap has gotten progressively wider,” he states. “And it's frightening, it's crazy – all in the name of greed – and that's what this whole health care discussion is about."

The GOP proposals to replace Obamacare would do away with taxes on top earners and health insurers that were created to fund Medicaid expansion.

In Utah, the average tax break for a millionaire would be $38,000 a year.

Supporters of the bills maintain the insurance marketplaces created under the ACA are collapsing. They argue their new funding mechanism for Medicaid will help states be more flexible in providing care.

Prince isn't convinced the overhaul being proposed in Congress is the best way forward, although he acknowledges the ACA has problems.

"But let's fix what's truly broken with it,” he urges. “Let's don't throw it in the ditch. Health care in the United States of America is a right. To me, it should be as natural as oxygen in the air."

Prince adds that whether it's trying to raise the minimum wage or provide universal health coverage, he believes some conservatives essentially are opposed to policies aimed at helping people they see as lazy or who aren't taking care of themselves.

"Anytime we're trying to help those in our society that have and always will need to be helped, the people on the conservative side don't want to help them because they put them all into one box – 'but they're lazy' – which is unfair and inaccurate," he states.

Prince notes proposed cuts to Medicaid would fall hardest on seniors, children and people with disabilities.


Eric Galatas, Public News Service - UT