Giuliani Health Plan Offers Tax Credits for Health Insurance
Presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) on Tuesday announced a proposal that would provide U.S. residents with tax deductions to purchase individual health insurance as part of an effort to shift more residents from employer-sponsored coverage, the New York Times reports.
Under the proposal, families could receive tax deductions of as much as $15,000 to purchase individual health insurance, and individuals could receive tax deductions of as much as $7,500 to purchase coverage. Families and individuals could place any excess funds in health savings accounts and use them to cover the cost of deductibles or other medical expenses.
According to Giuliani, the proposal would increase the number of residents who have individual health insurance policies, a shift that would allow health insurers to reduce the prices of such policies. Giuliani said that the proposal could include tax refunds and subsidies to help low-income residents purchase individual health insurance (Santora, New York Times, 8/1).
However, he said that the proposal might take years to help uninsured residents and might not provide health insurance for all U.S. residents. Giuliani said, "You have to start bringing the price down before you can figure out how many people you can include. It has to be done incrementally. It can't be done with a magic wand all at once" (Gordon, Long Island Newsday, 8/1).
Giuliani did not provide details about the cost of the proposal but said he should have additional information by the fall (Ramer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7/31).
He added that he opposes proposals to require all U.S. residents to obtain health insurance (New York Times, 8/1).
According to health care experts, the proposal likely would not encourage U.S. residents to shift from employer-sponsored to individual health insurance (Long Island Newsday, 8/1). In addition, the proposal "still leaves Republicans far behind Democrats" on health care, an issue that has "been almost invisible" among Republican presidential candidates, the Washington Times reports (Dinan, Washington Times, 8/11).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.