I pulled excerpts of an article from the Wall St Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120209218761439809.html I found it on http://greensrealworld.blogspot.com , which may start to compete with TMJ as a blog that I regularly pilfer.
… people who get insurance through their employers pay no income or payroll taxes on the value of the benefit. The Treasury defines this as a “tax expenditure,” meaning it’s revenue the government forgoes to encourage certain behavior. If these losses were converted to the equivalent of direct spending, the tax exemption would have cost more than $208 billion in 2006. The only federal programs that cost more are Social Security, Medicare and national defense. But all that money props up only employer-provided insurance.
Individuals who buy policies don’t get any tax breaks and pay with after-tax dollars.
If the purpose of health-care reform is to decrease the ranks of the uninsured, these job-related tax breaks are poorly targeted, even regressive. The more generous the employer health plan, the more the subsidies increase.
Barack Obama doesn’t even mention it….uncharacteristically missing a chance to effectively raise taxes on “the rich.” Curbing these subsidies could generate billions for their elaborate “universal” health programs. More to the point, this is a simple matter of equity, usually Democratic terrainMr.
Bush suggested redistributing the government’s health subsidies. His proposal would sever the link between insurance and employment, shifting the deduction to individuals and capping it at $15,000 a year for a typical family. About four-fifths of the country would do better than they do now, while the rest currently have the most gold-plated employer coverage and would still have plenty of options.
Wow – Bush not Obama proposing this. Hmmm. I thought Bush was simply evil and/or stupid.