Last week, Newt Gingrich and NCPA’s John Goodman released ten ways that policymakers can improve the health care system. You can get the whole list here, but here’s one of the most important, which really should be a starting point for reform:
Make insurance affordable. The current taxation of health insurance is arbitrary and unfair, giving lavish subsidies to some, like those who get Cadillac coverage from their employers, and almost no relief to people who have to buy their own. More equitable tax treatment would lower costs for individuals and families. Many health economists conclude that tax relief for health insurance should be a fixed-dollar amount, independent of the amount of insurance purchased. A step in the right direction would be to give Americans the choice of a generous tax credit or the ability to deduct the value of their health insurance up to a certain amount.
If the President and Congressional leaders are really open to new ideas—if the upcoming bipartisan health care summit is more than just a p.r. stunt—then they should consider these important reforms.