State of the Union health insurance misfire


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.