Senate Passes their version of health reform—Reid unveils Manager’s Amendment that will increase the Medicare tax!

By Ric Joyner and etal

Commentary: What about the promises of not raising taxes?

News Alert

1:19 AM EST Monday, December 21, 2009

Health-care bill clears crucial procedural vote in Senate, 60 to 40

The Senate cleared a crucial procedural hurdle to bring its health-care bill to the brink of final passage by Christmas Eve. The partisan vote of 60 to 40 shut down a Republican filibuster of the $871 billion package and followed days of tough negotiations with Democratic holdouts.

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From the KS Health and Welfare Team:

Although Washington has been paralyzed by 2 feet of snow, the Senate has kept up its frantic pace for health care reform, and our team has been following the developments when we have not been shoveling snow.  Senator Reid has finally unveiled an "amendment" to the Senate health care bill.  Both the amendment and a summary are attached.  Currently, a vote is scheduled to take place on Monday, December 21st at 1am to approve the amendment. 

Because this is structured as an amendment it actually amends the current Senate health care bill, which then in turn amends the Code, ERISA, etc.

We are still combing through the amendment, but it includes a number of tax-related changes, including an increase in the Medicare payroll tax and a new tax on indoor tanning services.  The Medicare payroll tax would increase from 1.45% to 2.35% for individuals earning more than $200,000 per year (or $250,000 for married couples).  This begins in 2013.

As reported previously, the public option and the Medicare buy-in are eliminated.  These have been replaced by a plan that appears to operate similar to the Federal employees’ health plan that will be administered by private insurers but operated by OPM. 

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Mark L. Stember
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