Tag: ‘health reform’

Scott Walker’s Replacement for the ACA Would Leave Many Uninsured

By :: August 20th, 2015

GOP presidential hopeful Scott Walker’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is built on a controversial framework of tax subsidies that Walker estimates would cost about $1 trillion over 10 years. The plan is already drawing heat from fellow GOP candidate Bobby Jindal, who called it “a new entitlement program” that he says would […]

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Who Benefits Most From Repealing the ACA Cadillac Tax?

By :: July 23rd, 2015

Republicans and some Democrats in Congress are pressing to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s Cadillac tax—a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health insurance plans. Backers of repeal argue that curbs on these generous plans would disproportionately hurt low- and middle-income workers. But a new Tax Policy Center analysis shows that story is overstated. In […]

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How Did Medical Device Makers Become Poster Children for Obamacare Critics

By :: November 13th, 2014

The push to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s tax on medical devices has somehow become a touchstone for GOP efforts to chip away at President Obama’s health care law. But why?  To paraphrase Bogart’s  classic line from Casablanca:  Of all the taxes in all laws in all the world, why did they pick this one? […]

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Will Enough People Enroll in Obamacare?

By :: July 5th, 2012

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 […]

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Obamacare’s Uninsured Tax is a Mouse

By :: July 3rd, 2012

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 […]

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

By :: June 28th, 2012

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 […]

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Fixing Medicare's Double-Counting Problem

By :: May 18th, 2012

Last week I argued that budgeting for Medicare’s hospital insurance program is flawed. Today, I offer two ways to fix it (and reject a third). Medicare Part A is one of several federal programs that control spending through a “belt and suspenders” combination of regular program rules (the belt) and an overall limit (the suspenders). But […]

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The Fight Over Medicare Double Counting

By :: May 9th, 2012

The recent double-counting dispute isn’t just about politics; it also reveals a flaw in budgeting for Medicare Part A. Budget experts are waging a spirited battle over the Medicare changes that helped pay for 2010’s health reform. In April, Chuck Blahous, one of two public trustees of the program, released a study arguing that the […]

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

By :: April 2nd, 2012

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 […]

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A Medicare Reform Plan That Just Might Work

By :: December 15th, 2011

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 […]

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