Posted: Oct 17, 2005 By: Rob Stultz

Subject: Proposed tax on health benefits

Comment: Hav lawmakers lost their minds? What are they thinking? It is just nuts to consider replacing the ATM with a tax on health benefits. First, it unfairly shifts the burden to lower wage earners, who are not the targets of the ATM. Second, adding a tax on health benefits, will result in even fewer individuals and families having coverage. That will shift the burden back to Medicare and/or Medicaid, which is already funded by payroll taxes. In addition, the number of uninsured Americans continues to increase. In Mississippi,23% of the population has no health coverage, which increases hospital bad debt and charity write-offs.

The ATM should be eliminated, but it is a bad idea to replace it with a tax on health benefits.