The Center for a Free Economy believes in a health care system which is focused on the empowered patient and her doctor. Neither the government nor big business forces in the healthcare system should not get between patients and providers. Families need the means to take control of their own health care decisions. It’s also important to remember that health care policy these days is tax policy, and vice-versa.
Recent News about Healthcare Policy:
By Ryan Ellis When it comes to any issue, especially healthcare, there is very little bipartisan commonsense cooperation in Washington these days. That’s too bad, because there are a lot of areas in healthcare where the parties substantively agree but can’t get past the “gotcha” stage. H.R. 3796, the Health Savings for Seniors Act, co-sponsored by Reps. Jason Smith, a Republican from Missouri, and Ami Bera, a Democrat from California, is a rare exception. In a Congress in which legislating takes a back seat to posturing, H.R. 3796 deserves to become law. The Health Savings for Seniors Act is simple in concept. It would allow any senior enrolled in Medicare to contribute to a health savings account. Under current law, seniors are prohibited from contributing to an HSA once they enroll in Medicare at age 65, even if they maintain HSA-qualified health insurance independent of Medicare. What would this mean [...]
By Ryan Ellis The White House this week is hosting a listening session with conservatives on “Building Great Healthcare in America.” Where should this begin? Without a doubt, the signature conservative healthcare policy achievement of all time is the creation of the “health savings account,” or HSA. Since their genesis in 2003 (itself a compromise to help pass Medicare’s prescription drug benefit and private sector delivery portal), HSAs have become the core nucleus of free market healthcare reform. An HSA is a triple tax-free account. Contributions are tax deductible. The money deposited can earn interest or even be invested with tax-free growth. HSA dollars can be distributed without tax if used for healthcare expenses. There is no “use it or lose it” with HSAs — any money not spent rolls over year to year, just like an IRA or a 401(k). The only catch is that in order to have [...]
By Ryan Ellis Ever since his name was floated as the front-runner for nomination to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh’s ample body of decisions has undergone extreme vetting inside conservative journals of opinion. Some of these analyses have been more scholarly (or at least more cognizant of the art of the legal profession) than others. One of the most resonant debates centers around Kavanaugh’s dissent as a D.C. Circuit Court judge in Seven Sky v. Holder. In that dissent, he did not rule on the merits of the case. Rather, he said that the case could not be heard by the court because to do so would violate the “Anti-Injunction Act.” To quote Kavanaugh: “The Anti-Injunction Act applies here because plaintiffs' pre-enforcement suit, if successful, would prevent the IRS from assessing or collecting tax penalties from citizens who do not have health insurance. That straightforward chain of logic convincingly demonstrates [...]
By: Ryan Ellis Congressional Democrats desperately want to blame Republicans for spiraling health insurance premium increases in the Obamacare program. Most analysts predict that the cost of Obamacare health insurance plans will increase by 10-20 percent in 2019, with the sticker shock letters dropping in mailboxes just before the election. Double digit increases are nothing new to the 12 million or so individuals and families trapped in Obamacare, but Democrats are hoping that voters can be convinced that President Trump and congressional Republicans somehow “sabotaged” the program. That would, Democrats hope, serve as the blame for this year’s annual spike in premiums, an increase which has occurred yearly since Obamacare was signed into law. That’s why on Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee advanced a series of bills to expand health savings accounts and thereby give direct assistance to families suffering from Obamacare price spikes. Among these bills [...]
By Ryan Ellis The Senate Finance Committee announced today that it would add to the Senate tax reform bill a zeroing out of Obamacare's individual mandate surtax, in essence repealing the mandate. This is a big tax cut aimed squarely at America's middle class. The mandate is a tax which punishes those who can least afford it Obamacare's individual mandate is enforced by the collection of a surtax on income. Failure to purchase Obamacare insurance triggers the surtax. In 2017, the surtax is equal to the greater of: 2.5 percent of adjusted gross income, or the dollar penalty The dollar penalty is $695 for every adult in the household, plus $347.50 for every child in the household, with a household maximum of $2085. Do the math, and that means that for any family making more than $83,400 the mandate tax is a flat 2.5 percent of income. For a single [...]
By Ryan Ellis Senate Republicans today released version 2.0 of their Obamacare "repeal and replace" bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). This version of BCRA is a major lurch to the Left from the original BCRA and conservatives supporting this process have some things to think about. A Tax Hike on Small Businesses and Savers The major departure from the original BCRA is that v2.0 fails to repeal the 3.8 percentage point Obamacare surtax on capital gains, dividends, and other savings (the "net investment income tax," or NIIT). It also fails to repeal the 3.8 percentage point tax bracket for the self-employment tax and the payroll tax ostensibly earmarked for Medicare. In failing to do so, v2.0 of BCRA raises taxes by over $230 billion over a decade relative to v1.0 of BCRA. It's worth noting that this is the first Obamacare repeal bill (that tries to advertise itself [...]