‘Cadillac’ Tax Would Have Non-Union Impact, Analysis FindsThe Washington Post: "A proposed tax on high-cost ['Cadillac'] health insurance plans, an element of Democratic health-care legislation that has been strongly opposed by organized labor, would actually fall equally on nonunion plans, according to a new analysis. ... at least 80 percent of the workers whose plans would be subject to the tax in 2019 would be in nonunion jobs," according to Ken Jacobs of the University of California at Berkeley Labor Center and William H. Dow, professor of health economics at Berkeley and a member of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. The impact is about the same as the nation's breakdown in non-union and union workers and "would be true both under the version of the tax passed by the Senate and a more labor-friendly one the White House agreed to last month" (MacGillis, 2/18).
In the meantime, the American College of Physicians says "Don't start over" on health reform, Modern Healthcare reports. "The ACP's report warned of the consequences of a failed health reform effort, citing Congressional Budget Office projections that healthcare spending will rise to 25% of gross domestic product in 2025, and the Census Bureau's estimate that the number of uninsured will climb to 60 million people by 2020. Among the ACP's recommendations are to build upon existing legislation to reach final agreement on a bill, and develop bipartisan proposals to reduce the costs of the medical liability tort system and increase the number of primary-care doctors." Lawmakers should also permanently fix the Medicare payment system, ACP says (Lubell, 2/17). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.