Could the revenue from auctioning off carbon credits be used to pay for a new health-care system? Bloomberg reports:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-Nev.] said he is open to financing an overhaul of the U.S. health-care system with revenue generated from efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, told reporters yesterday Democrats are determined to finance the cost of any expansion of health care with savings found elsewhere in the government’s budget in order to avoid widening the federal deficit.
“I don’t think we should take anything off the table as to what we’re going to do with health care, what we’re going to do with this carbon that’s killing our country with global warming,” said Reid. “But the one thing that in our budget that’s very clear: We pay for everything.”
Obama’s budget calls for spending $634 billion over 10 years to expand health-care coverage. The budget also counts on bringing in $646 billion in revenue from cap-and-trade over that same period, though Obama calls for $15 billion of that to go to energy investments each year, and the rest to taxpayers to compensate them for rising energy prices.
Cap-and-trade and health care are the two most controversial elements of Obama’s budget. Pinning the two together could cause quite the fireworks show in Washington.