Thursday, April 19, 2007

Republicans' State Healthcare Proposals

All are modest, all make sense:

Removing the state tax on HSA contributions so Wisconsin residents can have greater control of their health care dollars and decisions. Wisconsin is one of only four states that still taxes these contributions

Only DarthDoyle is preventing this. His objections are specious and, frankly, are class-envy politics at their zenith.

Making health insurance premiums tax-deductible has a direct impact on the affordability of health care. When fully implemented, this reform will save Wisconsin families $147 million per year.

One hopes that the plan includes health-premium-CONTRIBUTIONS paid by employees, which is very common these days. Many employees are contributing $100-$400/month toward premiums. In other words, this should not be restricted to self-employed people.

Health Care costs go down when you live a healthier life. Private companies are finding real savings for investing in the health and wellness of their employees; we should encourage these programs with tax breaks.

There are significant industrial-engineering-based health and safety gains which can be found and should be utilized. Unions can assist here without being confrontational, too.

Electronic medical records save hospitals money, and Internet-based price comparisons prevent cost inflation. The “Patients First” agenda provides incentives and assistance for both.

There are some questions as to whether consumers will actually "price-shop" for treatments, but on the whole, availability of the information should be emphasized. Of course, insurers and employers can also help by making the info available.


Anonymous said...

For an employee, health premiums are are already deductible under Section 125. I'm not aware of any employer that doesn't have their employees pay their premiums pre-tax. Premium deductions are not available for after tax dollars however. (I know confusing, like how ordinary medical care can't be deducted on a Federal return, but HSA contributions can be.)

Dad29 said...

So what?

There are some who do NOT have S.125. Make them deductible, if paid after-tax.

BTW, as you know, S.125 does not make things "deductible." They are pre-tax deductions from income.

Anonymous said...

You are correct. I was being sloppy. I am not aware of any employee health plan that has employees pay premiums after tax. Regardless, your point is taken and I agree.