Wednesday, January 20

Forward After Brown

Here are some excellent steps that both Republicans and Democrats could do to better health care. Initiatives with wide bipartisan support.

1. Allow individual tax-deductions for premiums. Individuals who don’t get that deduction currently would be encouraged to obtain health insurance.  The poorer would be no worse or better off.  The middle-class uninsured would be on equal terms to those receiving employer-paid benefits.

2.  Broaden IRS Section 125 to allow individuals to use pre-tax income for health care  expenses.  Eliminate the current “use-it-or-lose-it” provision so such savings can accumulate toward catastrophic needs, Part D Medicare Rx “donut-hole” expenses, professional long-term care for loss of two or more of the currently defined “activities of daily living”, or other IRS Section 213 (the Section that lists allowed professional medical treatments) retirement medical care. Section 213 would be broadened to include Over-The-Counter medications, if prescribed by a doctor or dentist.  Again, the middle-class would be benefitted who aren’t employed and provided Section 125 plans or employed and not offered employer Section 125 plans.  Current health savings accounts, HRA’s and HAS’s, would remain the same, and be immediately vested if funded.

Full list here.