This week on Off the Charts, we focused on health policy, the federal budget and taxes, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), and state budgets and taxes.
On health policy, Sarah Lueck reiterated that fears of widespread “rate shock” resulting from health reform are unfounded and explained how federal subsidies will help low- and moderate-income people afford health coverage. Paul Van de Water pointed out that the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) revised Medicare and Medicaid spending projections provide further evidence that the programs are not in crisis. Edwin Park noted that CBO’s latest Medicare estimates show that health reform will not cripple the Medicare Advantage program. Shelby Gonzales explained that health reform’s “navigator” program, which is designed to help people apply for and enroll in coverage, has roots in other successful programs.
On the federal budget and taxes, Robert Greenstein explained why critics of President Obama’s proposal to cap the tax subsidy for tax deductions, such as the charitable giving deduction, are missing several key points. Chuck Marr reiterated the risks of a territorial tax system in light of recent questions surrounding Apple’s tax strategy. Chye-Ching Huang listed three reasons why eliminating the corporate income tax would be terrible policy.
On SNAP, Robert Greenstein explained why an amendment adopted this week during debate on the Senate farm bill would increase hardship and will likely have racially discriminatory effects.
On state budgets and taxes, Erica Williams discussed why North Carolina lawmakers are charting the wrong course for their state, while Michael Leachman praised Minnesota’s tax plan as a recipe for future growth.