Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

Is Obamacare the GOP’s White Whale?

 “The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them…All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up in the lee of things;…all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all evil…visibly personified …and made practically assailable in Moby Dick” […]

Do Low-Income Taxpayers Cheat?

My blog last Tuesday on overblown concerns about people falsely claiming subsides under the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges generated a lot of response. Much focused on my assertion that the income tax system operates remarkably well as a largely voluntary program. Their retort: I naively misjudged the willingness of low-income people to cheat. In […]

Will Obamacare Delays Encourage Health Exchange Cheating?

The latest flap over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act involves the ability of the IRS to verify the income people use to calculate their health exchange subsidy.  While critics of Obamacare warn darkly that this will cause massive cheating, it appears that there is much less to the matter of delayed income verification […]

Will the Slowdown in Health Cost Growth Change the Budget Debate?

Upon these three facts everyone agrees:  1) After a long period of explosive increases, health cost growth has slowed markedly in recent years. 2) A share of the slowdown is partially, but not entirely, due to the recent economic slump.  3) If future medical costs continue to grow at their current low rate the federal […]

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 […]