It wasn't long ago -- in fact, January 26 of this year -- when freshman Rep. Jared Polis co-sponsored H.R. 676, John Conyers's single-payer bill.
So how does John Conyers pay to place 1/6th of U.S. economy on the federal budget? Per the House Judiciary Committee Chairman's website:
· Establish employer/employee payroll tax of 4.75% (includes present 1.45% Medicare tax)
· Establish a 5% health tax on the top 5% of income earners, 10% tax on top 1% of wage earners
· ¼ of 1% stock transaction tax
· Close corporate tax loopholes
· Repeal the Bush tax cuts for the highest income earners
Now comes along H.R. 3200, the House tri-committee universal health care bill. To pay for universal health insurance, the House bill
· has a 1% surtax for taxable income above $350,000/yr.
· has a 2% surtax for taxable income above $500,000/yr.
· has a 3% surtax for taxable income above $1,000,000/yr.
So how did this Congressional Progressive Caucus member react to this modest tax increase on the richy rich? He was one of three members of the House Education & Labor committee to oppose H.R. 3200. In the name of "protecting small-businesses," Polis, who represents a district that has voted for Al Gore, John Kerry, and Barack Obama and has been represented by progressives such as Mo Udall's son and David Skaggs (who co-sponsored the Clinton health care plan in 1993), is now leading a movement by freshman Democrats to end those very surtaxes that he embraced in the Conyers single-payer bill.
Folks, this bill has to pass. The Democratic majorities in Congress and the Obama presidency depend on the passage of this bill. If this bill does not pass, Democrats will lose the House and many Senate seats in 2010. Voting against this bill doesn't give a member political asylum. It's really that simple.