White House economic adviser Paul Volcker said the U.S should consider raising taxes as a way to pay for the huge government deficits in the years ahead.
Reuters reports the former Federal Reserve chairman also suggested implementing a VAT - or value-added tax - similar to the one used in Europe, acknowledging both ideas would likely be unpopular.
A VAT is essentially a national sales tax, but it does not replace other sales taxes. It would be a new tax, added on top of those Americans already pay.
"It shouldn't surprise anyone that the Obama White House would advocate a European-style tax to help finance their European-style government health-care plan," said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.