Sen. Baucus' Finance committee is looking to remove the tax deduction that businesses get for providing health care in order to expand the Medicare\Medicaid provisions to more who are uninsured. What a wonderful idea, and I am sure that they have thought this all the way through of course. While I agree that giving employers a tax break has skewed the system to its present day unworkable mess, I think that their solution is going to make the situation even worse. If that is possible.
If a business will lose the deduction that they get, less of them will offer health care. First off, it's expensive, and at a time like right now, it's not needed as an incentive to get workers to come and work for you. Second, if they tax the workers for the received benefit, how many are going to ask for the contribution in cash instead of insurance, and then not buy the insurance. Thereby raising the number of uninsured. That would be my personal preference of course, since I am covered by two plans that I don't pay for, nor do I use. Give the money to me, let me invest or save it, and when the time comes that I go to a doctor, I will negotiate the price I am willing to pay. But I know that the majority of people are not going to save it and instead will be showing up on the Emergency Room door with no insurance at all (the present situation, but there are going to be a heck of a lot more of them).
So, what is the answer to the problem? Darned if I know, short of repealing the XIII amendment and forcing doctors to work for free. We have contrived such a monstrosity that the only answer may be to scrap the whole deal and start over. No insurance for anyone. Not much of a campaign motto though.
Any other bright ideas?