Skip to comments.Bush's Health Insurance Proposal
Posted on 01/23/2007 8:28:49 PM PST by magellan
The White House says the president's plan would mean savings for 80% of Americans. He proposed a standard deduction of $15,000 for families ($7,500 for individuals) for insurance. He proposed also that a benefit over $15,000 from a company would be considered taxable income.
In Michigan, that means some state employees may be subject to more taxes. They pay a 5% premium on plans that do approach, and sometimes pass that $15,000 value.
Executive VP of SEIU Local 517M, Phillip Thompson, says most plans are worth between $7,000 and approximately $16,000.
"State employees have picked up deductible and copays," Thompson says. "Just to throw a tax shell on top, we wouldn't support it."
Instead, he challenges the president to find a way to insure more people, without putting the burden on the working class.
The Michigan State Medical Society on the other hand says everything should be on the table. Dr. Kenneth Elmassian, a member of their board of directors, says if the president's plan could get more people insured, it would be a success.
He cautions, "You're always concerned with quick fixes, magic bullets," but says it's worth consideration if it chips away at the problem of the unisured.
He added, "If that's what this endeavours to do that we applaud it and look forward to embracing it."
Universal health coverage is their goal. A conversation, Elmassian says, is a start.
The president also proposed using some federal funds for state's that are subsidizing health coverage. The governor proposed such a plan last spring. It has not been introduced in the legislature.
How much is a "deductible and copay" for a policy with a premium of $16,000 per year?
Most polices at non-union companies are considerably less.
He should have done it when he had a Republican legislature. It is, in essence, a tax cut. It will never pass with Dems in charge, they want that part of the economy for themselves. Once they control health care, they control people's lives. People will be even more dependent, and vote for Dems, and te enlightened GOP types that will go along with it, like Schwartzie. That's why they want it.
You also have to factor in the amount folks pay out of pocket for the policies ~ not just the employer payment.
I also bet in the case of these union negotiated policies, there is little to no employee contribution. The jobs with employee contribution are likely non-union.
I can't imagine a proposal which would provide a tax break to those paying $7,000 of their own money for insurance, but taxing the $7,000 contribution towards a $15,000 policy.
My guess is this only applies to the corporate portion, and to the pre-tax, "Acme Dollars" companies provide to pay for insurance.
But the federal plans are far better than what the military gets. In my reserver unit no federal employee with a family dared give up their coverage when we were activated.
I sell health insurance and we don`t even have a straight health policy that costs $15000 per year.
So are you saying all of your polices are more than $15K/year, or you have no policies that expensive?
This plan is simply horrible.
It's DOA faster than the ISG report.
The intellectually honest laughed at President Clinton's straight line budget surplus farce, and honest opinion here will show even more derision for such a simply horrible piece of hodgepodge legislative agenda.
This is what I figured. The union driven polices likely have all the bells and whistles. They probably have pretty good vision coverage as well.
However, most employer provided policies do not discriminate against smokers vs. non-smokers, and generally do not inquire on current health status. At least I have never been asked. The price is fixed for all people in the same coverage area. So non-smokers subsidize the smokers policies.
Here is more on the health insurance proposal and contains the answer I did not have: now we are both wiser!!!
While I agree the plan is bad, for example, I don't like the across the board nature of the tax deduction, I think adding complexity to the tax code is a bad idea (I prefer the Fair Tax), and I would prefer everyone purchase their own insurance (or even better health savings accounts), I do believe Bush's plan exposes the utter hypocrisy of the left.
I have read two books on this recently, and they both say that the tax subsidy to employer provided health insurance is the first problem. It makes everyone think health care is cheaper than it is.
"Most policies at non-union companies are less."
My husband was a teacher and after retirement his plan for the two of us was around $100 per month. After he died in 2005, they increased my payment for Care First BLue Cross - Blue Shield to $284 per month so I switched to Kaiser Permanente for $209 per month. I think they just raised it $20 per month.
A problem with the current tax deductions is that on the Schedule A for Itemized Deductions, you can only deduct that portion of your health insurance (and other medical expenses) that exceeds 7% of your income. I am too sleepy to do the math, but if my annual health insurance payment is $2748, how much would my income have to be to for me to be able to deduct something at the 7% level?
Bush's plan is similar to the Clinton scheme to tax people on the "imputed income" they would receive if they rented out their houses.
The smokers will simply die sooner and leave the ranks of the insured base thereby reducing expected costs.
"Wow; MP3 players are on sale; think I'll get one."
"Wow; root canal procedures are on sale; think I'll get one."
"Wow; plasma TVs are on sale; think I'll get one."
One of these things is not like the others....
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