Washington Post Analysis Strikes at the Excise Tax

Richard Eskow

Business columnist and Fortune Senior Editor Allan Sloan just wrote a piece in the Washington Post about the excise tax. It’s smart, cogent, and well-written. (Translation: Wish I’d written it.) By using the work of Henry J. Aaron, a highly respected health economist, Sloan shows that both Medicare and the Senate’s own health plan would be treated as “Cadillac” plans and would be hit with heavy taxes under the Senate’s bill even if they don’t have particularly generous benefits.

Here’s an interesting sentence: “A spokeswoman for Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who sponsored the tax, declined to discuss specifics, saying only that taxing high-cost plans is good policy.”

“(I)f we’re going to have a tax on health benefits,” writes Sloan, “let’s make it simple, broadly based, and intellectually honest. And let’s not confuse Chevys with Caddys.”

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