|Or so we are told
a roadmap for america?s future
A Roadmap for America?s Future 2.0 / THE CHALLENGE ? AND THE OPPORTUNITY / 111th Congress / 27 January 2010
"Major Plan Components.
▫ Health Care. The plan ensures universal access to affordable health insurance by restructuring the tax code, allowing all Americans to secure affordable health plans that best suits their needs, and shifting the ownership of health coverage away from the government and employers to individuals.
- Provides a refundable tax credit ? $2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families ? to purchase coverage in any State, and keep it with them if they move or change jobs.
- Establishes transparency in health care price and quality data, so this critical information is readily available before an individual needs health services.
- Modernizes Medicaid and strengthens the health care safety net by reforming high-risk pools, giving States maximum flexibility to tailor Medicaid programs to the specific needs of their populations. Allows Medicaid recipients to take part in the same variety of options by using the tax credit to purchase high-quality care.
▫ Medicare. The Roadmap secures Medicare for current beneficiaries, while making common-sense reforms to keep it solvent for the long term.
- Preserves the existing Medicare program for those 55 or older.
- For those currently under 55 ? as they become Medicare-eligible ? creates a Medicare payment averaging $11,000 per year when fully phased in. Adjusts the payment for inflation, and pegs it to income, with low-income individuals receiving greater support. Provides risk adjustment, so those with greater medical needs receive a higher payment.
- In addition to the Medicare payment, establishes and fully funds Medical Savings Accounts [MSAs] for low-income beneficiaries (to cover out-of-pocket costs), while continuing to allow all beneficiaries, regardless of income, to set up tax-free MSAs.
- Makes Medicare permanently solvent, based on Congressional Budget Office [CBO] estimates and consultation with the Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
▫ Social Security. The proposal saves and strengthens this important retirement program and makes it sustainable for the long term.
- Preserves the existing Social Security program for those 55 or older.
- Offers workers under 55 the option of investing over one third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to Federal employees. Includes a property right so they can pass on these assets to their heirs, and a guarantee that individuals will not lose a dollar they contribute to their accounts, even after inflation.
- Makes the program permanently solvent, according to the CBO, by combining a more realistic measure of growth in Social Security?s initial benefits, with a gradual, modest increase in the retirement age, consistent with Americans? improving lifespans.
▫ Tax Reform. This plan offers an alternative to today?s needlessly complex and inefficient tax code, providing the option of a simplified mechanism that better promotes and rewards work, saving, and investment.
- Provides taxpayers a choice of how to pay their income taxes ? through existing law, or through a highly simplified code that fits on a postcard with just two rates and virtually no special tax deductions, credits, or exclusions (except the health care tax credit).
- Simplifies tax rates to 10 percent on income up to $100,000 for joint filers, and $50,000 for single filers; and 25 percent on taxable income above these amounts. Also includes a generous standard deduction and personal exemption (totaling $39,000 for a family of four).
- Eliminates the alternative minimum tax [AMT].
- Promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends; also eliminates the death tax.
- Replaces the corporate income tax ? currently the second highest in the industrialized world ? with a border-adjustable business consumption tax of 8.5 percent. This new rate is roughly half that of the rest of the industrialized world.
▫ Job Training. The Roadmap helps the Nation?s workforce prepare for success in the global economy by transforming 49 job training programs, scattered across eight agencies, into a flexible, dynamic program focused on results, and accompanied by clear measures of transparency and accountability. The plan requires the development of performance measures, and gives each State the option to consolidate funding into one program, if such an approach can be shown improve outcomes and achieve job training goals.
Why ?A Roadmap for America?s Future? is Different. As