KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Paying For Health Care Overhaul May Fall Unevenly On States

"Some of the 'bluest' states that propelled Obama into the White House are among those most likely to pay more in taxes to fund expanded health insurance coverage and make other changes to the system, analysts say," The Los Angeles Times reports. "People in states such as Illinois, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York have a higher share of wealthier taxpayers and residents who get generous healthcare plans through work -- and both sets of people may be tapped to raise money for the healthcare overhaul. Moreover, those states have less to gain from a national effort to expand health insurance coverage because their residents already are more likely to have insurance than are Americans as a whole. Those conclusions by a range of policy analysts may point to future tension in the healthcare debate: Though battle lines so far have been drawn largely in partisan terms, lurking regional divisions could fracture Congress even further."

One proposal making its way through Congress would tax the most generous employer-provided health plans to help fund a health care overhaul. But critics of the idea "say that it would hit many people who happen to live where costs are higher than average, not necessarily those whose packages are overly generous. That is why the idea of taxing the priciest health benefits could run into resistance from lawmakers representing high-cost cities such as Chicago and New York" (Hook, 7/6).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.