Open discussion of caddy tax v tax exclusion, October 2009 version
November 19, 2014 2 Comments
I was looking back through the columns (29 of them) that I wrote for the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer on health reform in 2009 & 2010 to see how I had discussed the cadillac tax versus a more straightforward capping of the tax exclusion of employer sponsored insurance. The presence of this tax (caddy tax) in the ACA has been given as evidence of a non transparent debate about the ACA. This is simply untrue.
On October 23, 2009, I wrote a column that focuses on the presence of what came to be called the Cadillac tax in the Senate bill and said this about the tax on high cost policies:
The tax on high-cost insurance policies is a de facto capping of the amount of tax-free income that may be received via employer-paid health insurance. I would prefer a more straightforward capping of the tax exclusion of employer-paid premiums because it would initiate a cultural conversation about health-care costs that more directly focused on the end user of care: patients. The high-cost tax has found favor because it would be politically easier to sell a tax on insurance companies than it would be to end a popular tax loophole that benefits those with good workplace health insurance. But they both work in more or less the same way.
This is not some soul-heavy confession about the Cadillac tax being a secret, opaque means of capping the now-unlimited tax exclusion of employer sponsored insurance, and being placed in a bill in the middle of the night so it could not be debate. it was written in a newspaper two months before the Senate passed their bill.
update: fixed some typos, and revised for clarity