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Posts Tagged ‘health’

Next Steps: Health Care Cost Savings and Coverage for the Poor

June 28th, 2012


The Supreme Court ruling on health care re-affirms the President’s goal of stable and secure coverage for the middle class and the nation. It is time for the Republicans to drop their fight against the law and join forces with Democrats against a common enemy: rising health care costs.  Both parties should take full advantage of the key role that states play in health care, an important topic the Supreme Court also ruled on today.

Today’s ruling affects the expansion of health care coverage to the poor under Medicaid. As a quick refresher: the Affordable Care Act required states to expand coverage to all the poor under Medicaid. Today, one-third of the poor have no coverage under Medicaid, through a job, or any other source.

The Supreme Court affirmed the federal funding for that coverage, but said states should be free to choose whether to accept it for expanding Medicaid. From the start of the expansion in 2014 through 2016, federal funding covers 100 percent of the costs of expanding Medicaid, but after that, the states will start splitting the cost with the feds. The state’s costs are capped at 10% of the total, far less than their typical share, which averages 32% across the states.

What does this mean?

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Ending the Gay Health Care Tax

June 1st, 2011


This piece was originally posted on The Huffington Post.

Suppose your boss told the IRS that you made three thousand dollars more than you actually did this year? Or added a few hundred dollars in pretend income each pay period, withheld taxes on it, but then didn’t actually put it in your paycheck? And what if the federal government forced your employer to pay taxes on this imaginary chunk of cash?

It may sound crazy, but that’s the reality for many gay Americans — and the companies who employ them.

It turns out that even a gay couple that is legally married or registered as domestic partners cannot accept standard employer benefits like health care for a spouse or partner without paying a special and cumbersome tax. That is because, according to federal tax law, employer-provided health care insurance for an opposite-sex spouse is considered a benefit, but for a same-sex couple, it is considered income. The difference? Income is taxed; benefits are not. Read the rest of this entry »