Hat tip to Ezra, who clearly wasn’t partying enough this weekend and read the NY Times on Sunday. In it there’s a rational argument that me, Fuchs, Enthoven and Eric Novack all agree with: get rid of the tax deductibility of health benefits.
Next year, the federal government expects to provide about $130 billion for Americans to buy health insurance. The amount is substantial: it is equivalent to about 11 percent of all federal income tax revenue and more than a fifth of federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid. And it is growing fast: the bill is expected to surpass $180 billion in 2010.
Of course, this was recently proposed by the same panel that suggested getting rid of tax deductibility of mortgages, and immediately disowned by the politicians who set up said panel. But linking this to the issue of the uninsured and showing that it’s unbelievably regressive on those people who buy their own insurance and don’t get the tax break can’t be a bad meme for us wonks to pursue.