Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

Good And Bad News About The ACA Penalty Tax

An important feature of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the penalty tax imposed on people who do not have health insurance. But newly updated report from the Congressional Budget Office projects that just under 4 million people will pay the penalty in 2016, less than 15 percent of the estimated 30 million people who […]

Why Not Ditch the Medical Device Excise Tax and Boost Cigarette Taxes?

Senate Republicans are insisting that the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices, enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, be repealed as part of the package extending expired tax provisions. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the proposal to chip away at part of Obamacare is not germane and has refused to allow […]

Taxing Employer-Sponsored Insurance Would Hike Social Security Benefits But Boost Federal Coffers

The tax subsidy for employer-sponsored health insurance is huge. Not only are the premiums exempt from income tax, they are also immune from Social Security payroll tax. The two subsidies combined will add more than $1.6 trillion to the deficit over the next five years alone. But because that income is not included in the […]

A Permanent Slowdown In Health Care Spending Growth Would Ease, But Not End, the Fiscal Problem

Rapidly growing health care costs have been a major driver of actual and projected federal budget deficits and the national debt. In recent years, the rate of growth in medical spending has slowed, leading many to ask whether a permanent decline could solve the nation’s long-term fiscal problem. Along with University of California at Berkeley […]

If You Have High Income, Your Taxes Are Going Up

As the April 15 deadline for filing 2013 income taxes nears, most of us are finding that Uncle Sam will take about the same share of our income as last year. But the story is very different for people at the top of the income ladder. Their taxes are going up, in many cases by […]

A Web Tool to Calculate ACA Tax Penalties

The deadline is looming: If you don’t have approved insurance coverage by March 31 (and are not exempt from the requirement), the Affordable Care Act will hit you with a penalty on your 2014 income tax return. It is often said the tax is $95, but for many people it will be much more. A […]

How 19 Million Uninsured Tax Filers Could Get ACA Coverage

Back in November, I suggested that tax prep firms might be a useful portal for low-income people to get insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act. The idea: Since many key ACA-related issues are income-based, commercial tax prep is an easy way for folks to learn whether they are eligible for expanded Medicaid coverage, how […]

Why Not Use Tax Preparers as a Portal to Health Exchanges?

What if we bought individual health insurance through our tax preparers? At first, the idea seems bizarre, but give me a minute to explain. Given the well-known problems of HealthCare.gov and many of the state health exchanges, people seeking insurance coverage need a better way to buy. And commercial alternatives to government sites seem an […]

How Big is the Penalty if You Don’t Get Health Insurance?

Stories about the Affordable Care Act often tell readers that they’ll have to pay a $95 penalty if they don’t get adequate health insurance coverage. But, like a lot of other things I read about the health law, that’s not quite correct. The penalty (which the Supreme Court said is actually a tax) could be […]

Would the Government be Shuttered if Obamacare were Romneycare?

Enrollment in the new health care exchanges begins today and the government is partially shut down in protest—never mind that Obamacare funding is largely immune to the shutdown. The Republicans in the House appear to be getting most of the blame for the shutdown because they insist that continued government funding be tied to at […]