Senator Proposes Online Gambling Regulation
to Offset Health Care Costs
Could Frank bill become Baucus bill amendment?
The idea of using online gaming tax revenues to help fund elements of health care reform became part of the Congressional conversation this weekend. On Saturday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a possible amendment to the Baucus bill (America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009) that would rely on the passage of Rep. Barney Frank’s HR 2267 to set up a regulatory structure that would provide health care revenue.
According to the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, the tens of billions of dollars collected by the U.S. government from online gaming could offset health care costs going forward:
An increased focus on the benefits of Internet gambling regulation are expected as the Senate Finance Committee considers a proposal introduced on Saturday to use Internet gambling revenue to offset the costs of health care reform. The amendment offered by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) would dedicate Internet gambling tax revenue generated through implementation of the currently pending Internet Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267) to increase low-income subsidies provided through the America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009. A PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis shows that collecting taxes on regulated Internet gambling would allow the U.S. to capture up to $62.7 billion over the next decade.
Wyden is a chairman of the Senate Finance subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness.