NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

House Authors Tax Breaks For Health Care

October 7, 1999

The House is set to debate so-called patient protection legislation after a vote Wednesday that expanded tax breaks for health care. The House approved, by 227 to 205, provisions that would encourage small businesses to offer health benefits to employees and make coverage more affordable for working families. The tax breaks would amount to $48 billion over the next 10 years. Among the provisions:

  • Increasing tax deductions for health care premiums paid by the self-employed.
  • Expanding Medical Savings Accounts.
  • Permitting small businesses to form groups and buy health insurance under federal rather than state regulations.

Democrats have suggested the last two provisions could invite a veto by President Clinton.

While the House is debating various versions of a bill that would give patients in managed care plans greater appeal rights -- and probably will include allowing them to sue health maintenance organizations -- the tax breaks would be included in whatever version of patient protection the House passes.

Source: William M. Welch, "House OKs Health Tax Breaks," USA Today, October 6, 1999.


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