Thursday, July 05, 2012

Tax or Penalty? Nonsense debate of the day

The recent Supreme Court decision came as a surprise to many, especially as conservative Justice Roberts wound up essentially settling this case in President Obama's favor.     That decision is *very significant* both with respect to health care and with respect to taxes vs penalties vs other Government revenue items.  However, the implications for the presidential campaign are, as usual, mostly just for spin.

The Romney and Obama campaigns are arguing over Romney's characterization of his Massachusetts health care payments as "penalties" rather than a "taxes" since Romney agreed with the Supreme Court that the Obama personal insurance mandate is a "tax".   Sadly, this discussion will  probably distract us from the key aspects of the national debate over healthcare.   That discussion should take the form of how to bring the best care at the lowest cost rather than over symantics.  

Ironically, Romney's Massachusetts plans are, very arguably, in line with Obama's health care vision, but he's had to change his tune somewhat to accommodate those in the Republican Party who are either opposed to Obama's plans on principle (some), or simply opposed to them because it's Obama  (too many IMO).  

No comments: