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The President's Health Care Proposal Misses the Point

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Publication Date: February 2007

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): Linda J. Blumberg; John Holahan

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Health (Health care financing)

Keywords: Tax Policy; Taxes and Social Programs; Health and Health Care; Health Insurance

Type: Report

Abstract:

President Bush's new health care proposal ignores the most important problems in the current health care system: a lack of guaranteed affordable, accessible, and adequate insurance coverage for those with modest incomes or with high health needs. The proposal's focus on limiting the tax exemption for employer contributions and creating tax equity between the purchase of group and non-group insurance does virtually nothing to redress this situation. In fact, the proposed tax change would continue to reward those with high incomes more than low-income individuals, and the tax equity across markets could endanger coverage for the most vulnerable in most states.