So she's supposed to be a health-care expert. But she has flubbed on this one.
Here's the point: Currently, if you get your health insurance from your employer, the income you use to pay for health insurance is tax free. But if you pay for health insurance on your own -- including most people paying for Medicare -- you first have to pay tax on the money, and then use what's left over to pay for your health insurance premiums.
That's fundamentally unfair, don't you think? The government has set up a two class system -- those who get health insurance tax free; and those who don't.
She made news the other day by reiterating her proposal to repeal the section of the Affordable Care Act that involves the so-called "Cadillac tax" on health insurance.
The tax, set to take effect in 2018, would be a tax on so-called Cadillac health insurance plans, ones that exceed certain thresholds, which are proposed at $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family.
In other words, the ACA is scheduled to cap the amount of tax-free income employees can use for health insurance. Clinton wants to do away with the cap, allowing employees to get a tax break not just on the first $27,500 they spend on health insurance, but any amounts even above that, with no limit.
Meanwhile, those of us who do not get health insurance from the workplace, we get no break at all. We pay tax on every single dollar we use for health insurance. Our cap is not $27,500. It's not $10,200. It is $0.
If Clinton wants to get rid of the "Cadillac tax," and the ACA can afford it, then go right ahead. But first we should fix the unfairness already embedded in the system. She should call for allowing those who buy their own insurance to take a tax deduction -- at least up to $10,200 a year for an individual and $27,500 for a family. In other words, let's repeal the two-class system of health insurance, before we give extra tax breaks to those who are already favored with a tax exemption.
Yes, it's a minor tax point. But it's important, because we're all supposed to be treated equally; everyone's supposed to be the same in the eyes of the law.