Now that Herman Cain sits atop at least some GOP presidential polls, I decided to have a quick peek to see what he has to say about health care and how it fits into his catchy sounding 9-9-9 plan. I may well be missing something but at first glance I don’t see how his policies mesh.
Cain has some sharp words for President Obama and the “liberals in Congress” who have introduced what he calls health “deform.” He says:
Let’s level the playing field under the current tax code and allow the deductibility of health insurance premiums regardless of whether they are purchased by the employer or the employee.
But the 9-9-9 plan calls for a flat tax of 9% on businesses and individuals, plus a 9% national sales tax. For individuals, the plan is based on:
- Gross income less charitable deductions.
- Empowerment Zones will offer additional deductions for those living and/or working in the zone.
Unless health insurance premiums are classified as charitable deductions, I don’t see how Cain’s plan would allow them to be deducted. Also, the cost of health insurance for a family is about $15,000 on average, which is a lot more than 9 percent of median household income of about $50,000. If insurance is fully deductible that will wipe out the tax for many.
Maybe Cain is suggesting allowing deductibility of health insurance as an interim step until 9-9-9 is in place. But since he proposes that the Super Committee –which is meeting now– push for 9-9-9, I don’t think that’s likely.
Meanwhile Huffington Post speculates that 9-9-9 came from SimCity. I have a hard time taking this guy seriously.October 14, 2011