Sen Burr talking about his health plan

Here is a 16 minute video of Senator Burr being interviewed by David Crabtree and Renee Chou talking about his recent health reform plan. On the whole, a great deal of word salad transpires.

One point to highlight. From around 10:30-13:30 minute mark they discuss the tax treatment of employer sponsored insurance. Senator Burr correctly responds that capping the tax exclusion of ESI and the cadillac tax are policies with similar intent. However, the key question is what is the level or magnitude of the change Senator Burr proposes.

He invokes a private score of his plan showing savings of over $1 Trillion as compared to the ACA. That is consistent with the original proposal put forth. However, they backed off within 36 hours of release as conservatives got upset realizing that the $1.4 Trillion savings came primarily from what is a $1.1 Trillion tax increase (capping the tax exclusion at 65% of an average plans cost) on those with employer sponsored health insurance (I think it is a good policy and have long called for such). Now they characterize it as capping the tax exclusion at 65% of high cost plans. These sentences sound very similar but have very different implications. The revised language (65% of the cost of high cost plans) has still never been scored.

Essentially Senator Burr is using the original score that contains a very aggressive policy that conservatives hated because it is a tax increase, while using language that is quite different in impact and an impact more akin to the Cadillac tax.

Just a bit of insight into how difficult it will be for conservatives to marshall votes for any health reform proposal that is consequential.

This link contains 12 posts I have written about this newest and Senator Burr’s other health plans if  you want to know more.

About Don Taylor
Professor of Public Policy at Duke University (with appointments in Business, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute). I am one of the founding faculty of the Margolis Center for Health Policy, and currently serve as Chair of Duke's University Priorities Committee (UPC). My research focuses on improving care for persons who are dying, and I am co-PI of a CMMI award in Community Based Palliative Care. I teach both undergrads and grad students at Duke. On twitter @donaldhtaylorjr

One Response to Sen Burr talking about his health plan

  1. Pingback: Patient CARE Act Posts | freeforall

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: