Thursday, July 16, 2009

Health Care and Taxes

Health care reform is all the rage in Washington. Don't get your hopes up (or down) based on news reports. Everything is still in committee and most ideas will be shot down and new ones supplanted. Don't count on universal health care just yet or a tax increase to pay for it.

Health care reform seems less certain to me now than a few months ago. Cost is the major issue. The size of the spending will make reform difficult at best.

My fondest hope is for a reform bill that costs little. Creative accounting? No. Here me out. If the cost saving in insurance premiums is significant, it can offset the total cost toward society. Any reform that doesn't contain cost controls will end up a runaway spending program. People must have a high deductible so they are invested in their own health care. Basic medical needs should be covered regardless.

The added benefits will cost something. One trillion dollars is a bit steep. If taxes are raised to cover that much spending it could dampen economic growth.

Comments welcome.

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