TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, September 28, 2007

AMT TPs To Get SCHIP Benefits

Today's Wall Street Journal points out an anomaly in the Democrats' proposed expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program (Schip for Everyone):

[T]he real Democratic game here is to turn Schip into a new middle-class entitlement. Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton -- who goes out of her way to emphasize Schip as a key mechanism in her new "universal" health-care reform -- introduced Congressional legislation that would raise Schip eligibility to 400%, currently $82,600 for a family of four. That move would qualify no less than 71% of American children for public assistance.

This would also lead to the bizarre circumstance in which a family would be entitled to Schip benefits while also paying the Alternative Minimum Tax that is supposed to capture "the rich." According to a Heritage Foundation analysis, if Schip is extended nationally to 400%, about 70,000 families would be rich enough to pay the AMT while also on Schip. So what Democrats take away with higher taxes under the AMT, they would vouchsafe to return in government health care for all. The era of big government is back, and bigger than ever.

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