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View Diary: Health Reform Capitulation Will End SCHIP? (178 comments)

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  •  Short answer: because the ONLY quick way to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DelRPCV, Jesterfox

    contain costs is to put in a public option in order to break up the health care oligopoly.  Only if there is a real public option--and that's what the argument is here--will the big 4 drop their prices and quit dropping people who, you know, are sick and m,aking medical insurance claims.

    Also, no, covering the so far uninsured is NOT the only item on the "liberal agenda" wrt health care.

    -7.88, -6.72. "Wherever law ends, tyranny begins."--John Locke

    by caseynm on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 09:33:52 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  There is another way to reduce health care costs. (0+ / 0-)

      Taxing at least some employer-provided health benefits is another quick way to lower health care costs.  There is no reason taxpayers should be subsidizing the difference in cost between a generous PPO plan and a generous HMO plan with the same in-network benefits.  Taxpayers should have to pay the difference in costs of these two plans.  The same is true of plans plans that only offer generic drugs at very low costs and those that offer brand name drugs at very low costs -- taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize the difference of the costs of these plans.  I think that's perfectly fair, and it lowers health care costs, as many people will choose the cheaper plan rather than pay taxes on the difference between the plans.

      •  You're going to have to 'splain that. (0+ / 0-)

        Taxing something increases it's cost. The health care benefits we have have been negotiated for by unions in many cases. Putting a tax on it could push the costs high enough to get either the employer or the employee to drop it. It seems like you want to punish people who have health care now. Since I hope that's not the case, perhaps you could state clearly how taxing healthcare will lower its cost.

        History will not forgive us if we do not try and convict the neocoms for their crimes, every last one of them...

        by Jesterfox on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 11:27:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (0+ / 0-)

          I want people to choose cheaper plans -- i.e., ones that more limit choice of doctor, and/or focus more on generic drugs than on brand/name drugs, etc.  I think that's a small sacrifice to make so other people can have basic health insurance.  By reducing the tax subsidy for employer-provided plans, this encourages employers to do this.  Facing a major increase in premiums, my employer chose plans that had more limited choice of doctor.  Our premiums have declined a miniscule amount.  We can't continue this American way of "everybody gets everything the moment they want it."

          •  What tax subsidy? (0+ / 0-)

            You must have left something out. Pretend we just met and you're actually trying to convince me. I don't see how not being taxed on my health care benefits equates to my receiving a tax subsidy.

            History will not forgive us if we do not try and convict the neocoms for their crimes, every last one of them...

            by Jesterfox on Wed Jul 29, 2009 at 12:15:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

              Any item that receives preferrential tax treatment for consuming a particular good or service over all other goods and services is a tax subsidy.  The child tax credit is a tax subsidy to purchase child care.  The mortgage deduction, which President Obama proposed reducing in order to pay for universal health insurance, is a subsidy to purchase a home; those who rent don't get this tax subsidy.  The charitable deduction, which President Obama also proposed reducing, is a subsidy to give to charity.  All these items give tax preference over doing something like ... buying groceries or renting an apartment.  So they are subsidies through the tax code.

              The employer exclusion is a tax subsidy for employers to buy health insurance through their employees.  You don't get this tax subsidy if, for example, you work at 7-Eleven, and your employer doesn't offer you health insurance, and you purchase health insurance through the individual market.  In other words, because of the employer exclusion, someone who earns $40,000/yr., and gets their $15,000 health plan through their employer has a higher after-tax income than someone who earns $55,000/yr., and purchases the $15,000 policy on their own; hence, the employer exclusion is a tax subsidy.

              Does this make sense to you?

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