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February 14, 2007

Changing health care through the tax code

President Bush has recommended making some major changes to the tax code to influence the way Americans obtain health insurance. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden explains what the president proposes -- and why.

"Well, he wants to on the one hand … give major tax breaks to families who purchase health insurance on their own, not through their employer," says Dr. Walden, a professor of agricultural and resource economics. "At the same time, the president would tax some of the value of high-end coverage provided by some companies to high-income employees.

"And this is all part of an effort to really do two things: The president wants to make health insurance portable -- sort of like car insurance, not tied to your job so that when people change jobs they simply have their same health insurance," Walden says. "Secondly he wants to give the consumer an incentive to shop for policies rather than just taking what their employer offers. And he feels that will make the health insurance market more competitive."

Posted by deeshore at February 14, 2007 09:16 AM