The big news yesterday was the announcement of a diverse coalition — which includes Families USA (the national health advocacy organization), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Kaiser, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, American Medical Association, AARP and others — that has joined together to unveil an “historic agreement” to expand healthcare coverage.
I eagerly clicked on the document to see what this unlikely group could have proposed. (link above)
I was disappointed. Don’t get me wrong. I really believe that all children should be covered, and the proposal suggests expansion and streamlining of SCHIP and Medicaid (Healthy Families and Medi-Cal, respectively, here in CA), which is a great step towards that goal.
I also like that they it expands Medicaid to really really poor adults (singles making less than $10,000 a year).
But the proposal is a little heavy on tax credits (some advanceable) to help purchase health coverage.
Sure, everyone likes a tax credit. But for the population they’re talking about, (300% FPL and below, which is $60,000 for a family of four), what kind of tax credit is going to really help buy good, meaningful coverage that averages about $11,000 a year?
And how many of those that are hovering on the lower end of the income scale are paying high enough levels of taxes to even really feel the impact of a tax credit?
It seems like it’ll just cost a lot to give tax credits, but not really spending enough to create anything valueable.
To, look at the coalition’s website, visit: www.coalitionfortheuninsured.org