Baucus Advocates Repeal of Tax Exclusion on Employer-Based Health Insurance: Tax Foundation President on Fox News Discussing Proposal
March 13, 2009
As reported by Lori Montgomery in yesterday’s edition of the Washington Post, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) has been advocating a repeal of the tax exclusion for employer-based health insurance benefits.
“With President Obama’s plan to tax the rich to pay for health care facing deep skepticism on Capitol Hill, key lawmakers are pressing a different way to raise money: taxing the health benefits workers receive from their employers.
“Since companies began offering group health insurance on a large scale during World War II, the value of that benefit has never been counted as income, reducing workers’ taxable earnings by an average of $9,000 a year for family coverage.
“In recent weeks, however, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the tax-writing Finance Committee, has repeatedly advocated changing tax laws to include employer benefits, arguing that it makes sense to fund the health-care changes by sucking cash out of the existing system. Meanwhile, 13 other senators — from both sides of the aisle — have signed on to a plan for universal coverage that includes a tax on employer-provided benefits.”
The Tax Foundation has its own expert on the intersection of health care and tax policies: Robert Carroll, Vice President for Economic Policy and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis at the Treasury Department under the Bush Administration. Last fall, he authored a report on a proposal to replace the tax exclusion for employer-based health coverage with a health insurance tax credit: Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact No. 144. He also penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal last October summarizing the issue.
By the way, do you know the difference between a tax deduction, exemption, credit and exclusion?