With the State of the Union address just a week away, advisors to President Bush said that new tax breaks for health care costs are being considered.
Reportedly, new tax breaks for personal health spending will be included in the president's 2007 budget, designed to help the uninsured and allow people with insurance to write off a greater portion of the money they spend on co-payments, deductibles and care that is not covered. Medical expenses can only be written off if they exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income.
In recent weeks, Bush has talked about providing heath care consumers with more information about medical costs, enabling them to comparison shop by price, and has also talked about past proposals -- such as allowing businesses to pool their health insurance costs across state boundaries and restricting damage claims of medical lawsuits.
Bush has also discussed expanding contributions into health savings accounts, which are tax-free accounts that can be used for medical expenses, as well as providing health insurance portability for people who change jobs.
According to reports, director of the National Economic Council Allan Hubbard said that Bush would also devote part of Tuesday's speech to the rising costs of entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.The President's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform had suggested that the Bush administration consider taxing employer-provided health benefits, but there's been little public talk of enacting such a policy.
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