State of the Union health insurance misfire

January 26, 2007


President Bush’s plan to help families and individuals pay for health insurance won’t work in Pensacola. In our area, it’s estimated 1 in every 5 residents are uninsured, or about 61,400. Nearly 4 out of those 5 residents with no health insurance are employed.

More than 17 percent of Escambia County’s population lives in households with total incomes less than $15,000 per year. Our median household income is $40,532.

Here is President Bush’s proposal:

I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents. Families with health insurance will pay no income on payroll tax — or payroll taxes on $15,000 of their income. Single Americans with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $7,500 of their income.

1) Individuals/families making less than $15K pay no income taxes. The payroll taxes families pay are less than $100 per month on $15000. The payroll taxes on $7500 is less than $48 per month. Monthly premiums on average are $190 for individuals and $370 for families.

2)A family of four with a household income of $40,532 pays no income taxes either. They will save $100 per month in payroll taxes but the health insurance will cost them $370 per month.

The Bush plan doesn’t work. It will not help our uninsured healthcare problems.

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