Biden Proposes New Medicare Budget Taxing The Rich

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden announced Tuesday his 2024 fiscal year budget will propose taxing the rich to expand Medicare benefits into the 2050s.

The budget proposes a Medicare tax increase from 3.8% to 5% for those making above $400,000.

The administration argued that “modestly” increasing Medicare taxes for those making over $400,000 would keep “the Medicare program strong for decades to come.”

The tax increase would “extend the solvency of Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund by at least 25 years,” the statement said.

In a New York Times op-ed released Tuesday, Biden criticized Republican efforts to cut Medicare benefits and said his plan is a way for the “wealthiest to pay just a little bit more of their fair share.”

“When Medicare was passed, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans didn’t have more than five times the wealth of the bottom 50 percent combined, and it only makes sense that some adjustments be made to reflect that reality today. Let’s ask them to pay their fair share so that the millions of workers who helped them build that wealth can retire with dignity and the Medicare they paid into,” Biden wrote. (RELATED: Biden Pledges To Prevent Medicare Cuts — But He’s Cutting Medicare Advantage Right Now)

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 06: U.S. President Joe Biden removes his necktie to trade it with a firefighter during the International Association of Fire Fighters’ legislative conference at the Hyatt Capitol Hill on March 06, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The administration also vowed to close loopholes so everyone making over $400,000 would have to pay the tax, lowering out-of-pocket costs for drugs subject to negotiations, capping cost-sharing for generic drugs for chronic conditions to $2 a month and lowering behavioral health care costs in Medicare.

The behavioral health part of the budget “eliminates cost-sharing for three mental health or other behavioral health visits per year and requires parity between physical health and mental health coverage in Medicare” and “requires coverage and payment for new types of Medicare providers” such as addiction counselors and new mental health apps, the proposal stated.