Until now. The Congressional Health Care Caucus has posted on their website a Health Contract With America , fashioned by yours truly. I conducted a Capitol Hill briefing on the subject and you can find more details at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) website. Let's hope every candidate for office this fall endorses the Contract. Here are the main ideas:
Tax Fairness. The federal government should give everyone the same tax relief for the purchase of private health insurance, regardless of where it is obtained — through an employer, in a health insurance exchange or in the marketplace.
As I explained last week , we could replace the current system of tax and spending subsidies with a lump sum, refundable tax credit of $2,500 for every adult and $8,000 for a family of four. These credits would fund the core insurance that we want everyone to have. Additional coverage could be purchased by individuals and their employers with (unsubsidized) after-tax dollars.
The current system of granting tax relief for the purchase of health insurance is arbitrary, regressive and unfair. In general, only employer purchased health insurance receives favorable tax treatment. People who must purchase their own insurance get little if any help from the IRS. In addition, the amount of subsidy depends on your tax bracket. That's why people who earn $100,000 a year get a tax subsidy that is six times the subsidy available to someone earning $25,000. Some may argue that government shouldn't be involved at all. Fair enough. But there is no rational argument for giving the most encouragement to those who need it least.
John C. Goodman is President and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, and author of the acclaimed book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and National Journal, among other media, have called him the "Father of Health Savings Accounts." He is also the Kellye Wright Fellow in health care. The mission of the Wright Fellowship is to promote a more patient-centered, consumer-driven health care system.
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