Question: When does a so-called “tax cut” actually “pay for” giveaways to corporate shareholders?

Answer: When it is actually a stealth repeal-but-no-replace of the Affordable Care Act.

The Senate is considering tax law changes that will add at least $1.4 trillion to the national deficit over the next 10 years. While some of the changes would help middle class families, such as fixing certain marriage penalties in the Tax Code and doubling the child tax credit, other changes would cause immediate tax increases for others, especially families in high cost-of-living parts of the country. Further, the tax cuts for families are scheduled to expire in 2025, while tax cuts for corporations are permanent.

The worst feature of the Senate tax bill is that it “pays for” permanent tax cuts by taking away health insurance from 13-15 million low-to-modest income Americans, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It does this by repealing the tax on working-age Americans who do not have health insurance coverage, a.k.a. the individual mandate. Without this tax, many healthier people will opt out of insurance coverage, leaving a sicker and more expensive pool being insured. This will cause health insurance premiums to rise rapidly, and some insurance companies will stop providing coverage for individuals altogether. Millions of lower income Americans who currently qualify for tax credits to help pay for their health insurance would lose coverage, withdrawing $318 billion of public support for affordable healthcare according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The American Solidarity Party believes that universal access to affordable health care services is fundamental to securing every person’s right to life and human dignity. While we acknowledge there are flaws in the Affordable Care Act that need to be fixed, we call on Senators to reject any approach that moves away from universal access to affordable essential health services. Taking affordable access to healthcare away from low-income workers to pay for permanent tax cuts for big businesses is the height of injustice.

We call on Members of Congress to first do no harm. The common good and common sense require voting against tax legislation that causes people to lose affordable health care.

If deficit-financed tax cuts are justifiable at all, they should be focused on cutting the costs of marriage and child-raising, supporting the sick and vulnerable, and allowing lower-income workers to keep more of the fruits of their labor. These are the types of tax cuts that have potential to support human flourishing and encourage productive activity for the benefit of all.

 

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