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House Proposes a Value Added Tax for Health Care

Erica Werner reports that the House is open to funding health-care reform through a small value-added tax (though I find the phrasing -- "of up to 1.5 percent, or more" -- a bit confusing). Jon Cohn is pleased. I'm not, for reasons I outline here.

I'd be very interested in funding a new, efficient health-care system through a serious VAT, along the lines that Len Burman or Ezekiel Emmanuel have suggested. But a health-care reform that's not willing to make major changes to the system probably should not impose major new taxes on the population. More ambitious revenue proposals also require a more ambitious health-care plan. You need the strength of the latter to sell the former. And I don't think what's under consideration cuts it.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 19, 2009; 1:13 PM ET
Categories:  Health Economics , Health Reform  
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Comments

You're almost there, Ezra. A health-care reform that's not willing to make major changes to the system SHOULD NOT BE PASSED, period.

Posted by: labonnes | June 19, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Nothing run by the Government will be efficient. The Government is not designed to be efficient. That's why it's only supposed to do certain things. Running the Health care industry is not one of them. They could adjust subsidies, taxes and regulations to improve the health care industry but that wouldn't give them any more power so that's not the approach they want to take. Instead, just like with the finance industry, they want to use the mess that their policies have created to justify increasing their own power. This is fundamentally unethical, immoral and just plain wrong. Giving politicians and bureaucrats more power over healthcare is a terrible idea.

Posted by: fallsmeadjc | June 19, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

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