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Different Way to Pay for Health Reform

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Publication Date: May 2009

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): Leonard E. Burman

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

Topic: Health (Health care financing)

Keywords: Health Insurance; Taxes and Social Programs; Fiscal future; Simplification and Administration

Type: Report


Washington Times op-ed, May 19, 2009. Expanding health-care access is a top priority for the Obama administration, and leaders in Congress are on board. Political leaders also agree that any health insurance expansion must not increase the deficit. So how do we pay for health care without sinking the economy? The best option would be to phase in a value-added tax (VAT) dedicated to paying for health care. Packaged with the right bells and whistles, the VAT would help revive the economy, offset the burden on low-income families, and help slow health-care costs.