Even the White House doesn't think the health care tax deduction will do much

Friday, February 02, 2007 at 05:16 PM

The White House's idea of health insurance reform--the $7,500/$15,000 "standard" tax deduction for having health insurance--certainly isn't intended to be the answer to rising health care costs, if you believe The Economist magazine.

According to that magazine's Jan 27-Feb 2 issue (page 27) (emphasis added):

The White House claims the plan is budget neutral over ten years and that it could spawn efficiencies will lower health spending by 0.5% of GDP.  America currently spends about 16% of its GDP on health.

In other words, instead of spending 16% of GDP on healthcare, ten years from now we could lower that to 15.5%--we could, according to the most ardent proponent of the proposal, cut health care by a whopping 1/32nd of its current cost.

Drinks all around, folks, looks like we have that health care problem licked for sure now.  Instead of the approximately $13,000 my wife and I spend per year for insurance, deductibles, and co-pays, we might be able to look forward to spending a mere $12,593.75.

Maybe I can put the extra $406.25 toward a consultant to help me figure out how to fill out my tax forms, and another consultant to help me figure out how to wind my way through the hell known as Medicare Part D (the prescription drug coverage nightmare).