Tag: ‘Urban Institute’

So Far, Affordable Care Act Users Are Managing Tax Filing, Many Uninsured May Use New Enrollment Period

By :: February 24th, 2015

So far, most people with Affordable Care Act insurance subsidies seem to be filing their taxes without huge problems, despite the complexity of the process. However, about half of those who have filed returns with tax prep firm H&R Block and who owe a penalty for not having insurance, have expressed interest in purchasing exchange coverage, […]

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How Asset Building Tax Subsidies Miss Their Targets

By :: October 7th, 2014

Nearly one-third of all federal tax expenditures–$384 billion in 2013 alone– is aimed at various forms of asset building, such as retirement savings, higher education, and home ownership. Yet, according to research by several of my Tax Policy Center and Urban Institute colleagues, these tax breaks do little to help low- and middle-income households build […]

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Taxing Employer-Sponsored Insurance Would Hike Social Security Benefits But Boost Federal Coffers

By :: May 8th, 2014

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 […]

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How 19 Million Uninsured Tax Filers Could Get ACA Coverage

By :: February 20th, 2014

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 […]

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

By :: October 15th, 2013

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 […]

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Will Obamacare Delays Encourage Health Exchange Cheating?

By :: July 16th, 2013

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 […]

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How To Fix Social Security Disability Insurance

By :: June 21st, 2013

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 […]

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The “Other” Social Security Issue: Disability Insurance

By :: June 18th, 2013

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 […]

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

By :: May 9th, 2013

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 […]

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

By :: March 28th, 2013

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 […]

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