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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  • JR January 27, 2007 at 8:14 am

    The Bush plan is typical Republican political smoke and mirrors. It makes a good sound bite, but does nothing for those who need something. The Bush Crowd already has insurance. We pay for it.
    We pay for their version of National Health Care also. You can see this at work, right now, if you go down to any hospital emergency room. It is very expensive.
    People like George W. Bush and Jeff Miller, who have never done anything but sponge off the family fortune and us taxpayers, really do want to help, in my opinion. But the country club lifestyle has not prepaired them to do anything but kick back and party. Their tenures in office have shown that they cannot govern. They are totally incapable of anything beyond shoveling our dollarts into their bloated bank accounts, and blowing smoke with these pretty little speeches.

  • Reality Check January 27, 2007 at 5:47 am


    those rates are PROBABLY based on individual coverage, not group policies offered by employers.

    group policies are much more expensive because they cover everyone (the young and old, healthy and sick). individual policies are based on age and health, and yes some of them have high deductibles, reduced pharm benefits, copays and co-insurance, thus they are less expensive.

    also, the BIG factor as you mentioned is how much does employer pay- which really impacts the out-of-pocket expense for employees.

    I think Rick’s point is, the poor(er) citizens of this area aren’t at jobs that provide health insurance anyway, so they have to buy their own, if they can even afford those policies.

    THink about it – a family of FOUR living on $40K per year? They’re not working at jobs that provide insurance, they’re working at min wage jobs…and they STILL probably can’t even afford basic minimum coverage.

    And there’s a LOT of people around here like that, unfortunately.

    I’m no expert, but that’s my $.02

  • buck January 26, 2007 at 8:44 am


    I don’t know where you got your health ins #’s. 170 for single and 370 for family? I think 300-400 for single, and 7-1000 for family is more accurate. This doesn’t include company contributions…but even with the typical company contribution of 50% of the single rate, a family will still be footing quite a bit more than 370 for family coverage, unless you elect a very high deductible plan. Just my observation.