Analysts See Mixed Bag for California Under Reform Plans
California residents could face higher taxes under certain proposals to overhaul the U.S. health care system but could benefit under other plans, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Cutting Tax Breaks
Under one of President Obama's proposals to pay for health care reform, high-income people would see reduced tax breaks for charitable giving, home mortgage interest and other items.
If the government enacted this plan, about 1.4% of California residents would face tax increases, according to a study cited by Citizens for Tax Justice. The proposal also would place California among the top 15 states at risk for larger tax hikes.
Taxing Employer Plans
Meanwhile, congressional Democrats have floated a proposal that would tax the most generous health insurance plans provided by employers.
This plan would have a smaller impact on California because overall state employers do not offer particularly expensive health care plans, according to data from the Economic Policy Institute.
In fact, the institute found that one employer tax proposal would affect 36% of California residents with family plans, compared with 41% of U.S. residents overall.
Expanding Health Coverage
In addition, California stands to gain from proposals to expand health insurance coverage because the state has a relatively high percentage of uninsured residents.About 18.5% of Californians lack health insurance, compared with a national average of 15.3%, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (Hook, Los Angeles Times, 7/6). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.