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Looking for information on health-care reform?

This morning, the Kaiser Family Foundation launched a Web site devoted to explaining and tracking the implementation of the new health-care law. I've spent some time tooling around on it, and it's really good. In particular, their timeline -- that is, when different parts of the bill go into effect, and what exactly they do -- is the best I've seen. They've also got a subsidy calculator, a section of basic information about the bill, an aggregation of recent polls on the subject, and much, much more.

By Ezra Klein  | September 21, 2010; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

It's too complicated. Medicare for all would have not only be easier to explain and defend, but would have cost us all a lot less.

Posted by: AuthorEditor | September 21, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

To say that the PPACA is "too complicated" is an understatement: the PPACA's "vagueness of wording is aggravated by prolixity and profusion of statutes, regulations, and administrative machinery, and by manifold cross-references to interrelated enactments and rules."

Once again, I'll mention the Soviet Syndrome. A plethora of regulations makes each individual regulation relatively meaningless and unenforceable while simultaneously increasing the probability that a given individual is in violation of at least one regulation. As enforcement becomes increasingly targeted -- as enemies of the ruling party are administratively punished while favorites of the ruling party are rewarded -- civil discontent increases. Interestingly, injudicious involvement of the courts underscores and fuels the process: Justice Breyer's latest book offers some useful reasoning on this particular point.

Posted by: rmgregory | September 21, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

What to see a real side splitter?

http://healthreform.kff.org/subsidycalculator.aspx

Type in age of policy holder:50
Family type: Fam of 4
Employer Coverage: No
Regional Cost Factor: High

Type in $93,699 worth of income. I see a government tax credit of $11,328. Type in $93,700. It goes to $0.

Do the same thing for a single 55 year old in a high cost region. Enter $46,021 in income, and there is a government tax credit of $5,821. Enter $46,022, and whoops, it's $0.

Watch out for those cliffs!

So if a single 55 year old gets offered a raise from $44,000 to $50,000, he should say no, because the loss of the government tax credit ($6,013) exceeds the raise! Let alone FICA and other taxes!

Or take a family of four, head of household 45 years old. The breadwinner earns $80,000 and the spouse earns $30,000. At $110,000 they receive no credit. At $80,000 they receive $9,494. And they get back $2,295 in FICA. And at the 25% marginal rate, they get back $7,500 in federal income tax. Throw in state and local taxes and perhaps child care and boom, it makes no sense whatsoever for the spouse to work at all.

Remember too, that this credit will grow like gangbusters each year.

Either the designers of this system are complete fools or they are brilliant and are intending to destroy the whole system to discredit the remaining scraps of private health care. Not good either way.

Posted by: justin84 | September 21, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The actual results of health care reform:

1. There are more uninsured in the country.
2. Insurers are dropping child-only coverage.
3. Premiums/costs for employers are going up an extra 1% due to the provisions in the law.

Whoops.

Posted by: krazen1211 | September 21, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

krazen,

you know i've been thinking more and more about this 1% that Secretary Sebelius is whining about and the more I think about it I realize that its all relative. If an insurance company already has no caps or limits then the effect is $0. If they're already covering dependents to age 26 the net effect is again zero. But if the caps are set at $100,000 say for example but now you have to go from $100k to unlimited the cost differential will be less than if you say go from $50k to unlimited but much more than if you went from $1 million to unlimited. To say its 1% is ridiculous when you have various benefit plans out there.

As with most of the rest of reform the current low cost (and in turn low benefit states) are going to see benefit (but then in turn premiums) skyrocket while the high benefit states already have sky high premiums because of all that's already covered.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 21, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

that being said there's no better resource or fair reporting of the facts that KFF.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 21, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

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