Let It Go

Tax Break For Employer Health Plans A Target Again : NPR

Budget proposals from leaders in both parties have urged shrinking or eliminating tax breaks that help make employer health insurance the leading source of coverage in the nation and a middle-class mainstay.

The idea isn’t to just raise revenue, economists say, but finally to turn Americans into frugal health care consumers by having them face the full costs of their medical decisions. . . .

Labor unions believed they had squelched any such talk. Now, they’re preparing for another fight. . . .

Many economists believe employers would boost pay if they didn’t provide health care. Proponents of repeal usually call for a tax credit to offset part of the cost of individually purchasing coverage. . . .

In a twist, the health care law eventually may make it easier to pry people away from employer insurance, a system that dates to World War II and has sustained three generations.

Starting in 2014, new insurance markets will make it easier for people to buy coverage on their own. These state-based “exchanges” would work like the federal employee health plan. Taxpayer subsidies will help individuals and families with low to moderate incomes pay premiums.

Let all the phony conservatives come out now with their pro-labor union arguments on why they need employer-funded health insurance to stop “socialized medicine.”


2 thoughts on “Let It Go

  1. Employer paid insurance is not helpful. It ties one to the job and forces the money paid by the employer to go to an insurer rather than the employee. This is a cost to the employer which is passed on, on restricts the number of employees he can have. Better to remove it from the employer, give the employee a pay raise of the equivalent amount, force employees to contribute a fixed amount to health, and give them a tax advantage to doing so.

    Even if relatively cost neutarl this means that all costs are seen by all, shifting jobs is not restricted by health benefits, and responsibility for health is seen by individuals as being their responsibility.

  2. I agree completely. It distorts labor and health costs.

    Yet, for some reason, conservatives in the US seem to consider it essential to a free society. I think it is because it enables the average middle-class worker (college-educated professional or union laborer) to potentially go through their entire working life without ever shopping for health insurance or budgeting for medical costs.

    Everything is handled for them, and they can just sit back and write condescending blog posts about those who are too sick or too stupid to be able to get employer-paid insurance coverage.

    It also distorts the labor market itself, since the benefits of this system accrue to low-quality employers who have no other incentive for prospective or current employees; these employers would otherwise be forced to increase pay or improve working conditions.

Instigate some pointless rambling

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