President Bush has proposed a plan to use the tax code to expand health insurance coverage. Supporters of the proposal argue that it would help millions of Americans who lack insurance, gain coverage; level the playing field between employer-based and individual “non-group” insurance plans; and remove the incentive to overspend on health care through overly generous employer-funded insurance plans. Opponents call it a dangerous and misguided attack on an employment-based system that works well for most working-age Americans and their families.
On February 9, the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute gathered some of the nation’s foremost experts to discuss the issues raised by the president’s proposal. The first panel considered the benefits and challenges of the president’s plan; the second panel explored the best ways for the nation to make the health care market work for all Americans.