Posts Tagged ‘health reform’

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 […]

Fixing Medicare’s Double-Counting Problem

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 […]

The Fight Over Medicare Double Counting

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Future of the CLASS Act and Long-Term Care

The Community Living Services and Supports (CLASS) Act is an extraordinary case study in both budget and health care politics, and in the toxic political environment in which those of us in Washington live. And it puts a critical question into stark focus:  Exactly how do we, as a society, want to provide for the […]