CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research


En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The NYT Notices Provision of Health Care Bill It Previously Opted to Ignore

The NYT Notices Provision of Health Care Bill It Previously Opted to Ignore

Monday, 24 May 2010 23:32

I'm back -- thanks for all the nice wishes.From my occasional glimpses at the newspapers the last week and a half I see that I have a lot of work to do.

I'll start with a cheap shot. The NYT just noticed that the pay or play provision in the health care bill makes no sense. The issue here is the extent to which larger employers will be obligated to pick up a portion of their workers' health care costs. The final bill included a provision that subjected employers of more than 50 workers to penalties if employees' health care costs exceeded a certain percent of family income.

The problem with this sort of penalty structure is that employers do not have control over workers family income and in general should not even know it. This sets up an absurd penalty structure where employers do not have the knowledge they need to act to avoid the penalty -- it's sort of like enforcing speed limits that randomly change and are never posted.

The problem with the NYT coverage is its description of this problem as: "a little-noticed provision of the law." Yes, it is true the provision got relatively little attention, but the NYT played a big role in this. Had the NYT opted to pick up on a problem that some people were trying to call attention to, notably Robert Reichsauer, the President of the Urban Insititute and also the former director of CBO (also CEPR), then maybe this ill-conceived penalty never would have made it into the final law.




Comments (18)Add Comment
written by izzatzo, May 25, 2010 7:14
The obvious free market solution set up in the bill, in lieu of a public option, is a provision for spot market auctions where competitive health care providers bid on each patient's need for medical care. This would drive down the cost below thresholds that trigger penalties and subsidies.

Snort and giggle and giggle and snort.
written by PeonInChief, May 25, 2010 9:52
If the NYT didn't notice it, it was little-noticed. The fact that others noticed it is irrelevant.

Welcome back. While you were gone there was a bunch of stuff on the evils of defined-benefit pensions and another article in the NYT on the evils of the European safety net. And I read nothing but junk.
Complexity is opacity
written by Nostradoofus, May 25, 2010 12:15
Healthcare 'reform' was 2400 pages of piecemeal mods to other law. To understand, you'd need to read perhaps 10000 pages of old and new law.

This was a practical impossibility. That's why there was so little comment on the bill's overall impact, either before or after its passage.

Complexity hinders transparency. Every congressman should have this tattooed on his forehead.

Better yet, it should be considered a breach of constitutional duty for a congressman to vote on a law he has not read. This would quickly simplify everything.
written by Queen of Sheba, May 26, 2010 5:35
The administration mentioned that there would need to be some cleaning up of the final bill after its passage - "tweaking," I think they called it. Looks like the Tweakers have their work cut out for them, as I'm certain this is not the last senseless provision that will be pointed out.
written by shawnmichle, June 03, 2010 12:25
The initiative taken for the concern is very serious and need an attention of every one. This is the concern which exists in the society and needs to be eliminated from the society as soon as
Medical Health Blog
written by shawnmichle, June 03, 2010 12:28
I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be
sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with
Medical Health Blog
written by uggs on sale, June 16, 2010 8:14
Bestugg boots I've ever had! This cheap ugg boots eliminated my foot pain! I have Frieberg's disease, and bought these as my last resort before surgery. Thanks goodness I tried them. What a miracle. I now bought them,too!Uggs on sale
written by Blazer, July 16, 2010 5:34
In this summer, the romantic and small, is confronted dragon-boat festival holiday for a picnic superexcellent period. Romantic, melting snow spins clothing
is today season vogue girls wear build up the important sheet is tasted, using qualitative produce elegant light spins the romantic sense, plus the broken this yeargarments , presents different female glamour.
written by Separate, July 16, 2010 5:35
Summer is very hot, who can wear article 7 minutes of pants, must the cowboy oh, the best side or a small beads embroidery that paillette, or color, the best is shallow blue, body parts, the condole belt unlined upper http://www.lydress.com/ga16876...l]garments grows out of a piece of short sweater, small hollow-out sweater is better, there is colour with cream-colored, white, give priority to, in a few pieces of bright, very pretty, tie-in use: oh!!!!!!!!!!!
Vocational Nursing Program
written by sem, August 06, 2010 5:34
The American College of Nursing is a premier Bay Area nursing school, CA vocational nursing college focused on providing quality entry level LVN nursing education and training to students from diverse backgrounds and cultures. It has also launched a successful LVN to RN bridge program by partnering with leading universities.
written by emekli sand???, August 17, 2010 9:42
Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me. I am apreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the author! all the best!
written by barkod, September 02, 2010 9:07
selam kelam felan filan
replica watches
written by sean.waches, September 19, 2010 8:09
I appreciate for your post! I hope you will keep it on. I also want to make friends with you and share my favorite replica watches to you. I am focus on you.replica ulysse nardin watches
written by China Electronics Wholesale, October 20, 2010 10:10
The leading China wholesale electronics marketplaces!
written by flagyl, October 28, 2010 3:51
timberland boots
written by timberland boots, November 03, 2010 2:36

Looking for a reliable supplier? You can go to our store have a lot of
timberland boots We would like to enter into long term business relationship with you,come on!
timberland boots black
written by timberland boots black, November 03, 2010 2:44
A very good post ,I like it very much ,hope you will give another post asap
moncler jackets
written by moncler jackets, November 13, 2010 3:17
Leather Moncler jackets women are the most wanted accessories for Moncler jackets Men and especially bikers.moncler sale has become the latest trend in men to ride.Classically Moncler coats with channel quilting in shiny black.Good quality,moncler vest super sale off,free shipping,come on to choose you like.Moncler jackets will give you a warm winter.

Write comment

(Only one link allowed per comment)

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.


Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.