Republican Struggles to Advance Trumpcare. @drjohncgoodman. @marykissel @wsjopinion

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01-30-2017

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Republican Struggles to Advance Trumpcare. @drjohncgoodman. @marykissel @wsjopinion

The tax credits offered in the ObamaCare exchanges favor low-wage workers, since the subsidies start high and phase out as income rises. On the other hand, the ability to buy insurance with pretax dollars favors high-wage workers, since the value of that option depends on the employee’s tax bracket. But a universal tax credit, which is what some Republicans are proposing, would offer the same amount for everyone, regardless of income.

These changes wouldn’t solve every problem with ObamaCare. Lawmakers would still need to stop the race to the bottom in which insurers try to attract healthy people and scare off sick ones with narrow networks and sky-high deductibles. One method: Impose financial penalties on insurers who drive enrollees to other plans. Another issue is how to prevent people from gaming the system by remaining uninsured until they get sick. Medicare has managed to do that by charging seniors higher premiums if they don’t sign up when they are eligible.

Fortunately, there is legislation to accomplish all this and more. Rep. Pete Sessions (R., Texas) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R., La.) have offered a bill to create a universal tax credit worth $2,500 for an adult and $8,000 for a family of four. That’s generous enough to allow everyone access to Medicaid-like coverage. The bill would remove federal impediments to portable insurance, offer large employers a choice of tax regimes (tax credits or the current system), and give every American access to a Health Savings Account.

We have already done much of this for small businesses without any partisan bickering at all. It should be a no-brainer to give big companies the same flexibility.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/congress-has-already-started-to-repeal-obamacare-1485215951

3 months ago
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