Posts Tagged ‘Urban Institute’

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 […]

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 […]

The U.S.May Not Default on Friday But Washington Is Still Playing A Dangerous Game

What’s going to happen on October 18 if Congress doesn’t vote to increase the debt limit? Probably nothing. Make no mistake, Washington is still wading in exceedingly treacherous waters as the President and Congress wrestle over a deal to avoid–at least for now—a breach of the nation’s borrowing authority. The government risks financial calamity if […]

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 […]

How To Fix Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance has often been forgotten in the debate over the broader Social Security program. But Congress is beginning to pay attention, perhaps because the program is due to become insolvent by 2016. The program needs to be fixed. The question is, as always, how. There are some interesting solutions—many aimed at keeping […]

The “Other” Social Security Issue: Disability Insurance

Since the George W. Bush Administration, Social Security reform has been atop the federal government’s list of top policy challenges. But when people talk about Social Security, they usually have in mind the Old Age and Survivors piece of the program. There is another critical element, however–Social Security Disability Insurance. And SSDI is suddenly getting lots […]

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 […]

Is This a Good Time to Reform the Mortgage Interest Deduction?

Housing industry lobbyists often make the case that, whatever you think of the mortgage interest deduction, now would be a terrible time to eliminate or restructure the subsidy. After all, they say, the housing market remains so shaky that ending the deduction would send home prices back into a tailspin. However, there is a contrary […]

TPC’s Upcoming Leadership Change

Dear readers, we have two big pieces of TPC news today. First, I will be moving upstairs (both figuratively and literally) as the Urban Institute’s first director of economic policy initiatives, starting in June. I’ve loved my time at TPC, but this is a great chance to work with colleagues throughout Urban on an even […]

Grim Predictions about the Fiscal Cliff II and Deficit Reduction

I spent lunchtime today moderating a thoroughly discouraging Urban Institute panel discussion on the fiscal cliff. The consensus of the speakers—all highly-regarded budget experts—was that the New Year’s cliff deal was pretty lame and the coming round of self-imposed budget crises will be even worse. My Urban Institute colleagues Donald Marron, Rudy Penner, and Bob Reischauer—each of […]