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JLeslie's avatar

Will the tax on companies be more or less under Bernie’s Medicare for all plan?

Asked by JLeslie (61538points) February 25th, 2020 from iPhone

I read that Bernie wants to do a payroll tax that is similar to social security; an employee will contribute a percentage of their income and the employer will contribute a percentage above what they pay the employee. If this is correct I have some questions about it.

1. Does it affect all employers large and small?

2. If earners under $29k don’t pay anything will that be done as a reimbursement when they file their federal income tax?

3. Will it be cheaper for employers than what they pay to insure employees now? What will the employers do with that extra money if it is cheaper?

4. If you answered number 3 confirming it’s cheaper for employers, what about employers who right now don’t have to pay anything because they don’t provide health insurance for employees.

5. Will the tax stop at a certain income like SS? If you make over a certain amount you stop being taxed?

6. People who don’t work don’t pay? So, people living off of investments and savings won’t pay in? Or, is all income taxed the same way?

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12 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@JLeslie Source for payroll tax for Bernie.
I looked and found 52% for people making $2 million.
If the source was the same Russian / Republican Facebook “bot” that said everyone that make over $29,00 will be taxed 52%, then . . . .

gorillapaws's avatar

“Sanders’s vision for financing Medicare-for-all includes raising employer-side payroll taxes by 7.5 percentage points in order to raise roughly $3.9 trillion over 10 years.”

“On average, this is less than what employers are currently spending on premium contributions for their employees, so workers and employers should generally come out ahead under this system. But those broad averages mask a wide range of impacts.”


elbanditoroso's avatar

@gorillapaws wrote what I have read. But this is all theory, until it hits the floor of the Senate and the House.

Like Obamacare, the legislation introduced at the beginning bore little resemblance to the end product that came out of Congress. And like Obamacare, the Medicare-for-all idea will be winding through the court system for ten years.

So this is all spitballing at this point. Until it gets out of Congress, it’s meaningless speculation.

gorillapaws's avatar

@elbanditoroso “Until it gets out of Congress, it’s meaningless speculation.”

You’re right that it’s specualtion, though I don’t think it’s meaningless. Discussing the best way for a Medicare for All system to be implemented is hardly meaningless. I’m sure you’re right that it will change, but it’s a worthwhile conversation to have.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws From your link Payroll taxes can assessed on employers or employees. In the case of Social Security, half the burden falls on employers and half on employees. Economists widely believe that it doesn’t actually matter who formally pays the tax, the result in either case is to reduce workers’ take-home pay. Sanders’s vision for financing Medicare-for-all includes raising employer-side payroll taxes by 7.5 percentage points in order to raise roughly $3.9 trillion over 10 years.

It says raising employee side payroll tax, so is the employer paying all of that? Or, is the 7.5 split between employees and employer? Is it going to be 7.5 employer and an additional amount by the employee?

If the 7.5 is paid by the employer is that less than what the average employer pays now for their employees to have health insurance?

Also, what about people who don’t work? What if their income is from investments. Then those people pay nothing into the healthcare system?

gorillapaws's avatar

Here’s another article by the AP breaking it down:

”—Payroll Tax on Employers: Employers would pay a 7.5% payroll tax in lieu of what they currently spend to provide health care benefits. The first $2 million in payroll would be exempt from the tax to shield small businesses.

—Household Premiums: Households making more than $29,000 would pay a 4% income-based premium.

—Taxes on the Wealthy: Increased income tax rates for people making over $250,000, ending tax breaks on investment income for households making over $250,000 and limiting itemized tax deductions to 28% of income for those making over $250,000. Wealth tax on the richest 160,000 households.

—Taxes on Corporations: One-time tax on offshore profits. Fee on the largest financial institutions. Changes to accounting rules used by companies to reduce their tax liability.”

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws So, if I read that right, people who live off of $100,000 a year in dividends and interest or rents collected on investment properties will not pay any tax towards the healthcare.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie Perhaps, but I would think that if they’re earning that kind of money from dividends and interest alone, they may be hitting up against the wealth tax at that point. There may be a very narrow window of people who earn a good living from dividends but not enough to hit the $16 million (for single)/$32 million (married) wealth cutoff where they start paying a percentage of total net wealth. Also these people would be paying more than they are now as Bernie would propose increasing the capital gains on that group from 15% to 19%.

Also, There is an online calculator to estimate how much more/less you’ll pay. It’s not official, so it could be off. Worth looking at though.

Sagacious's avatar

Why don’t you just read what you think is trustworthy. I have read nothing here that I believe to be repeatably correct. I’ll not add to that.

JLeslie's avatar

@gorillapaws If someone has $2 million they make $40,000 at 2% interest. If they have some funds giving them higher dividends it could easily be $80,000. I don’t know how many people fall in that group that I’m asking about. I think it’s something like 6 million people have a wealth of $1 million or more. I winder if they count social security income as earned income?

I’m completely against a wealth tax, but I’m ok with raising the capital gains tax a little, getting rid of some loopholes, having a progressive tax, and estate tax after $3 million per person (maybe lower).

gorillapaws's avatar

@Sagacious “I have read nothing here that I believe to be repeatably correct.”

Just for clarity, are you saying:
A. The sites I linked are misrepresenting Bernie’s policy proposals?

B. The sites I linked are accurately representing Bernie’s policy proposals, and Bernie genuinely holds those beliefs, but won’t actually accomplish them in the manner he describes?

C. The sites I linked are accurately representing Bernie’s policy proposals but Bernie doesn’t really hold those positions and is lying when he proposes them?

D. Something else?

JLeslie's avatar

@Sagacious I have been reading, that’s what prompted this question. Also, I want to know how Bernie supporters (and anyone who is well read on the topic) interpret the information, they have information to add, and I care what people think in general, whether they are wrong or right, because in politics emotion is a huge driver for many voters.

Under ACA there were people who had a lot of money who could get subsidies. Also, the cliff people fall off of on ACA if they make too much money is huge. I personally am very well aware of these situations, because I had to deal with that cliff. In Bernie’s plan, I might get caught in a similar situation where it’s not worth it to work very much.

Moreover, I’ll assume estimates are off by some margin, so we don’t know for sure how it will all play out if course. I like that Bernie will lower the age for Medicare for All in steps, so there will be time to tweak things, if the politicians can stay rational. He wants to first lower the age to 55, I completely agree with lowering the age to 55, even if nothing else is done. I’m in favor of America seriously looking at how we can help people retire or semi-retire early, or be self employed so jobs are available for young people.

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