TAX CUTS: Jeffords to Introduce More Ambitious Provision
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chair Jim Jeffords (R-VT) is expected to offer a "major health care amendment" this week that would provide a refundable tax credit to many of the nation's 43 million uninsured. While the tax bills passed by the House and the Senate Finance Committee both allow tax deductions to allow those without employer-based coverage to purchase health insurance, those provisions are "criticized as much less effective than a tax credit because [they] would not benefit many of the lower-income insured who do not owe taxes." Jeffords' measure, to be introduced this week as the full Senate debates the Finance Committee bill, would replace the deduction with a refundable credit, through which those with incomes up to 150% of the federal poverty level could purchase group or individual insurance, or a medical savings account. Jeffords would cap the credit at $1,200 per year for adults and $600 for children, with a family cap of $3,600. CongressDaily reports that if the measure is not accepted as an amendment, Jeffords will introduce it as stand-alone legislation (Werber Serafini, 7/23).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.