Cutting Taxes for Insuring
Options and Effects of Tax Credits for Health Insurance

  • Title:

    Cutting Taxes for Insuring
  • Format:

    Paperback
  • Paperback Price:

    10.00
  • Paperback ISBN:

    0-8447-7160-0
  • Paperback Dimensions:

    5.5'' x 8.5''
  • 56 Paperback pages
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Despite rising real incomes, the number of uninsured American workers and their dependents has not fallen appreciably. Policymakers in both political parties have considered the use of tax credits to encourage the purchase of private insurance coverage. This study analyzes the effects of a variety of forms of tax credits, especially for workers whose incomes place them above the poverty line but below the median family income--a group in which the vast majority of the uninsured are to be found. The authors' conclusions differ from more conventional analyses in two ways. First, they find plausible effects on the numbers of uninsured persons that are larger than those of other studies. Second, they explore the distinction between the "cost" to the federal government of tax credits and the more relevant measures of tax credits' effects on aggregate economic welfare and cost to the economy.

Nevertheless, they still find, as do most other analysts, that modest subsidies will have little effect in reducing the number of the uninsured. For a given amount "spent" on credits, a key tradeoff exists between the breadth of the reduction in the uninsured and the depth of the increase in the coverage they take. While it is unlikely that the number of uninsured will ever be literally zero, the authors believe that carefully designed tax credits can both reduce the numbers of uninsured and improve the equity of tax treatment of the insured.

Mark V. Pauly is professor of health care systems, insurance and risk management, and public policy and management at the Wharton School of Business; professor of economics at the School of Arts and Sciences; and Bendheim Professor, University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and an adjunct scholar of AEI. Bradley Herring is a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at Yale University's Institution for Social and Policy Studies.

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About the Author

 

Mark V.
Pauly

  • Mark V. Pauly is the Bendheim Professor in the Department of Health Care Management;  professor of health care management, insurance and risk management, and business and public policy at the Wharton School; codirector of the Roy and Diana Vagelos Life Sciences and Management Program; and professor of economics in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. A former commissioner on the Physician Payment Review Commission, Mr. Pauly has served on the advisory committee to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and on the Medicare Technical Advisory Panel. He currently serves on the National Advisory Council for the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources, the National Academy of Sciences' Committee to Study the Veterinary Workforce, and its Committee on the Biomedical Workforce. He has been a consultant to the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (which supported some of his work on individual health insurance), and health trade associations. Mr. Pauly is a coeditor-in-chief of the International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics and an associate editor of the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.  


  • Phone: 2158986861
    Email: pauly@wharton.upenn.edu

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