Rep. Ilhan Omar Introduces Billionaire Tax to Provide Healthcare for All

August 7, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) introduced the Make Billionaires Pay Act, legislation to tax the obscene wealth increases raked in by billionaires during the ongoing pandemic in order to pay for the medical expenses of average Americans. This legislation is the House counterpart to Senator Sanders’ bill

The legislation would establish a 60% tax on the gains in wealth billionaires made between March 18th, 2020 and January 1, 2021. Only those with a net worth of $1 billion or more would be taxed. The bill empowers Medicare to pay for the out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for all Americans. This billionaire tax would raise $421.7 billion in revenue, which is enough to pay for all of out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for everyone in America for an entire year.

“It is shameful that billionaires profit off the suffering of working families as the pandemic ravages the economy and kills thousands of Americans every day,” said Rep. Omar. “For far too long, the richest 0.001% of America, have avoided paying their fair share in taxes. This bill will go a long way towards addressing our nation’s massive wealth inequality and finally guaranteeing healthcare as a human right. Nothing could be more important in the midst of a global pandemic than ensuring quality healthcare for every American.” 

"The legislation I am introducing today will tax the obscene wealth gains billionaires have made during this extraordinary crisis to guarantee healthcare as a right to all for an entire year,” said Senator Sanders. "At a time of enormous economic pain and suffering, we have a fundamental choice to make. We can continue to allow the very rich to get much richer while everyone else gets poorer and poorer. Or we can tax the winnings a handful of billionaires made during the pandemic to improve the health and well-being of tens of millions of Americans.  In my view, it is time for the Senate to act on behalf of the working class who are hurting like they have never hurt before, not the billionaire class who are doing phenomenally well and have never had it so good."

Read the legislative text here.