Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/30/13

Our Ongoing Health Crisis, Part 2: The Cadillac Tax Is Still Foolish and Cruel

By       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   No comments
Author 77715
Message Richard Eskow
Become a Fan
  (14 fans)

The Times story elicited predictable responses. Matt Yglesias wrote that this epic failure was "another piece of good news" about Obamacare, confusing cost shifting  with cost reduction.

Jonathan Cohn took a more balanced approach, although he repeated the "most economists support the tax" canard (see here for refutations of the tax from qualified economists.) It's true that, as Cohn notes, our tax break for employer-sponsored health insurance are unusual. But there's no reason to believe, as Cohn claims "most economists" do, that this leads to increased use of medical services.

In fact, the OECD study shows that Americans use fewer medical services than people in other developed countries. That should put an end to these outdated and disproven claims about the tax deduction's effect on utilization -- especially since most national health systems have benefits which are more generous than the typical "Cadillac" plan in this country.

Cohn is right when he says that employers were already shifting costs onto employees before the tax came along, but the tax provides them with excellent cover and is likely to accelerate the cost-shifting. (I worked in that world for years; I know how they think and act.)

Less For More, Continued

Other developed nations pay less than half of what we pay per person on health care (on average). They have better benefits, and our mortality and morbidity rates lag far behind theirs.

Wake up and smell the formaldehyde: Our system is broken, and the "Cadillac tax" is only making things worse. It's "trickle-down economics," it's bad policy -- and it's certainly bad politics. It will hurt most people eventually -- 75 percent of households, estimates Herring -- and they're not going to be feeling grateful toward the politicians who enacted it into law.

In Part 3 of this series we'll provide a scorecard which compares the lagging "vital signs" in our health system with Obamacare's likely effects: the wins and the losses.

Next Page  1  |  2


Must Read 1   Interesting 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Richard Eskow Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: