Navigation Links
Harvard study reveals taxing job-based health benefits would hit working families hardest
Date:8/21/2009

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. As the debate over health care reform continues to unfold in town hall meetings and on Capitol Hill, a new study by two Harvard researchers has found that taxing job-based health benefits would heavily penalize insured, working families.

The study, titled "The regressivity of taxing employer-paid health insurance," appears in the August 19 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. It was written by Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, professors at Harvard Medical School and primary care doctors at Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts.

The taxation of employer-sponsored health benefits has been advocated by many health economists and lawmakers, including some members of the influential Senate Finance Committee, which is now drafting health care reform legislation. President Obama has said he has not ruled out such a tax to fund his reforms.

Analyzing income and insurance data from the 2005 Current Population Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources, the authors reveal that taxing workers' job-based health insurance would cost those with low-incomes ($0- $10,000 annually) 18.3 percent of their income, but cost high-income (over $100,000) families a mere 2.7 percent. (See the table from the study at http://healthcarereform.nejm.org/?p=1521 )

The authors note that the tax rate would drop even lower for the super-rich. "A Goldman Sachs executive who enjoyed the firm's infamous $40,543 health plan got a federal tax subsidy of about $15,367 last year," they write. "But that's only 0.13 percent of the bonuses received by the company's four top earners. So though taxing health benefits would spare the uninsured, the average poor family with employer-paid coverage would be taxed at a rate 140 times higher than Wall Street titans."

Dr. David U. Himmelstein, lead author of the study and associate professor of medicine at Harvard, added: "Most economists and many politicians have claimed that taxing health benefits would hit the wealthy hardest, while sparing the poor. But exactly the reverse is true. For a poor, insured family a tax on their health benefits would take almost one-fifth of their total income."

Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, co-author and professor of medicine at Harvard, said: "Instead of taxing benefits, politicians should embrace the only affordable option for universal coverage: a single-payer, Medicare-for-all program. Single-payer would save $400 billion annually by simplifying administration, enough to assure quality care for everyone. We cannot afford to keep wasteful private health insurers in business, and pay for it off the backs of working families."

Himmelstein and Woolhandler are co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization of 16,000 doctors and medical professionals who advocate for single-payer national health insurance.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Almberg
mark@pnhp.org
312-782-6006
Physicians for a National Health Program
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Harvard Health Letter Special Section Features the Body's Unsung Marvels: The Feet
2. Harvard Medical School Continues Education About Benefits of Probiotics
3. Harvard Medical School Releases Special Health Report on Swine Flu
4. Harvard Medical School Prostate Disease Website Guides Patients Through Decision-Making Process
5. Harvard Business School Publishes Case Study on Youth Villages in North Carolina
6. Harvard Business School Publishes Case Study on Youth Villages-Intercept in Texas
7. New Interview on E-Health Records with Dr. Ashish K. Jha of the Harvard School of Public Health on Talking Technology
8. Harvard Vanguard Cures Data Backup Ills With EMC Avamar
9. Tomato Products Wellness Council Joins Harvard Medical School and the Culinary Institute of America to Take Part in Healthy Kitchen, Healthy Lives April 2-5, 2009
10. Runaway Health Care Costs: 12 Ways You Can Rein Them in, from the Harvard Health Letter
11. Press Ganey and Harvards Forces of Change Announce 2nd Annual Collaboration
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader ... been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ... the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology ... Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The company has ... today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula ... the highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... a leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint ... Health. , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company with ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... is the recipient of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B ... York City on October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017   West Pharmaceutical Services, ... solutions for injectable drug administration, today shared the results ... Adapter for improving the intradermal administration of polio vaccines. ... Vaccination Summit in May 2017 by Dr. Ondrej ... Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and recently published in ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product ... training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate ... cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared to the dated ... real-time feedback on efficacy of the compression for a ... has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Mich. , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat ... 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee ... LLC. 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health ... development. "In an ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: