Health care reform task force

In February House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) appointed six task forces to study health care reform and ways to make the tax code reward work better. An early report was released April 29. Targets include eliminating the marriage tax penalty and bringing down the corporate tax rate, which is among the highest in the developed world.

Health insurance reform would follow the path established by the American Health Care Reform Act (H.R. 2653), introduced last year by Rep. David P. Roe (R-Tenn.). That bill allows a standard deduction for individually purchased health insurance, and it would modify health savings accounts.

The goal of tax reform would be a top individual tax rate of 25%, coupled with the elimination of special interest “tax expenditures.” The IRS would be dissolved, with responsibility for collecting revenue transferred to a new and smaller department at Treasury. The study calls for dynamic scoring of tax proposals and the creation of a tax-free “Universal Savings Account.”

Few observers expect action on these proposals during an election year.

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