The left is happy to subsidize wealthier Americans to get healthcare, but leave the working poor and poor to fend for Medicaid or go without, according to healthcare expert Grace-Marie Turner:
The Senate Finance Committee got to the heart of the issue during a hearing yesterday on "Health Benefits in the Tax Code: The Right Incentives." Three prominent economists were in solidarity in targeting the tax treatment of health insurance as key to health reform.
The value of the subsidy for job-based health insurance was a whopping
$245 billion in 2007, according to Eward Kleinbard, chief of staff of
the Joint Committee on Taxation. (This compares to government spending
of $372 billion that year for Medicare and $304 billion for Medicaid.)
It is a much bigger middle-class subsidy than even the mortgage interest deduction, which checks in at a mere $89 billion.
Slowly, slowly it’s becoming clear that addressing the tax issue is key to putting the private health sector on a sustainable track.