Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fuzzy Math

One one of the big "plans" put forward in the SOTU Tuesday was a tax deduction to cover the cost of health insurance for millions of uninsured American families. They'll pay less ($4500 less) in taxes, which they can use to pay for health insurance.

Sounds good, right? Well, it will only really benefit about 3 million families, because -- and here's the part that seems to have escaped our fearless leader and his cohort-- many people who are uninsured don't make enough money to pay any taxes, so an additional deduction isn't going to help them.

Those who get their insurance through their employer, even if they pay for most of the cost themselves, don't get this benefit. In fact, this tax cut is financed by taxing employee health plans and redistributing other funds that go to community health centers and hospitals that provide healthcare to uninsured patients. Isn't this stealing from Peter to pay Paul? He's not actually putting any new federal money into any of these programs -- he's just shuffling it around like a very expensive shell game.

Last night - the Colbert Report "translated" Bush's new Health care initiative:
Colbert: It's so simple. Most people who couldn’t afford health insurance
also are too poor to owe taxes. But...if you give them a deduction from their
taxes they don’t owe, they can use the money they're not getting back from what
they haven't given to buy the health care they can't afford.

See? It's so simple.

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