Is Bush Tax Credit Sufficient for the Uninsured?
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities yesterday "hammered" President Bush's proposal to offer lower-income people tax credits to help them purchase health coverage, CongressDaily reports. The proposal would offer a $1,000 credit per year for individuals with annual incomes up to $15,000 and a $2,000 credit per year for families earning up to $30,000 per year. People with higher incomes "could get a smaller subsidy," CongressDaily reports. But Iris Lav, the center's deputy director, said that even with a tax credit, families would have to "shell out" $5,300 out of pocket to purchase a policy with "moderate benefits" in the individual market. For families making $30,000 per year or less, that cost amounts to 18% of their income. Lav added that such a policy, which could cost up to $7,400 per year, also "would likely" have high copayments and deductibles. "This suggests that tax credits are a poor fit for low- and moderate-income people," Lav said. She suggested that expanding Medicaid and CHIP programs to cover adults and more children would be a "better idea" than offering tax credits (Serafini, CongressDaily, 4/18).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.