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Millionaires to Congress: We Don't Want Tax Cuts in Health Bills

The average tax break for millionaires in Colorado under a health-care bill passed by the U.S. House is projected to be $40,000 a year. (Getty Images)
The average tax break for millionaires in Colorado under a health-care bill passed by the U.S. House is projected to be $40,000 a year. (Getty Images)
June 26, 2017

DENVER – Resistance to efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is heating up after the U.S. Senate made public its Better Care Reconciliation Act.

Rallies were held in Colorado on Friday and across the nation over the weekend, and members of the group "Patriotic Millionaires" are in Washington, D.C., this week to urge senators to vote against the bill.

Stephen Prince, vice chair of the group, says he and others in the top 'one percent' don't need tax cuts if they lead to 23 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 says. "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 Colorado, the average tax break for a millionaire would be 40,000 dollars a year.

Supporters of the bills claim 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, let's don't throw it in the ditch," he adds. "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 whether it's trying to raise the minimum wage or provide universal health coverage, he believes some conservatives are essentially 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," Prince explains.

He notes proposed cuts to Medicaid will fall hardest on seniors, children and people with disabilities. The Congressional Budget Office presents its analysis of the new Senate bill early this week, and a vote could come as early as Thursday.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO