Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

Will Enough People Enroll in Obamacare?

Earlier this week, I concluded that the Affordable Care Act’s tax on those who do not have health insurance will be both modest and difficult for the IRS to collect. But will it be enough to encourage people to buy coverage?  If not, healthy people may opt out until they get sick, a decision that […]

Obamacare’s Uninsured Tax is a Mouse

The Affordable Care Act’s tax on those who choose not to buy health insurance was the linchpin of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law’s constitutionality. But in reality, the tax (nee penalty) is a mouse. The tax itself is modest, at least to start. It will affect relatively few people. And it will be […]

The Supreme Court Says the Health Care Mandate is a Constitutional Tax

In its long-awaited decision on the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has ruled that Congress can require people to either have health insurance or pay a tax if they don’t.   Because the High Court found that the penalty for not having coverage is a tax and not a fee or a banana, it […]

Romney and Obama: Big Speeches, Little Vision

Yesterday, Mitt Romney laid out what his campaign said was his vision for health reform. Today, he followed that up with a talk on economic policy. And President Obama delivered a speech that his campaign promoted as a framework for economic policy. Sadly, while men both included plenty of criticism of the other guy, neither told […]

Will the 2010 Health Law Cut the Deficit or Add to It?

In a new study, Chuck Blahous, who is a public trustee for Medicare and Social Security, concludes that the 2010 health law will add at least $340 billion to the federal deficit from 2012-2021. This is contrary to the official estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, which initially figured the Affordable Care Act would reduce the […]

There is No Health Care Tax on Most Home Sales. Really.

It is the unfounded rumor that never dies: You will have to pay a 3.8 percent federal health care tax on the sale of your house. For all but a handful of taxpayers, this is not true. It is wrong. It is urban myth. It is the revenue equivalent of death panels or the Halliburton […]

Taxes, Health Reform, and the Supreme Court

There is more to the Affordable Care Act than the individual mandate. There are also, for example, taxes. And since this is TaxVox, I thought it would be useful to think about some of those revenue provisions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s three-day hearing on the fate of the ACA. The law includes […]

Budget Gimmicks Are Alive and Well in the Payroll Tax Cut

The other day, I criticized the unwillingness of Congress to finance the latest extension of the payroll tax cut. Since that blog, the Congressional Budget Office released its estimates of the cost of the entire mini-stimulus, including the so-called “doc fix” and changes in unemployment compensation. And the games were even worse than I feared. […]

A Medicare Reform Plan That Just Might Work

On a day when Washington partisans couldn’t even figure out (yet again) how to keep the government running, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) did a remarkable thing: They announced a bipartisan plan to fix Medicare, probably the most contentious of policy issues. And amazingly, what they came up […]

Are Advanced Premium Assistance Tax Credits Workable?

In just a few years, the 2010 health reform law will begin providing subsidies to help low- and moderate-income people buy health insurance. And that assistance is supposed to be delivered through tax credits—with payments going directly from the IRS to insurance companies.  But will those credits actually work? Maybe, but it won’t be easy. […]