The Reagan administration has again proposed in 1984 to limit the tax exemption on health-insurance premiums. Objectives of the proposal are to curtail rising health costs by reducing insurance coverage-and hence medical-care use-and to raise revenues to offset the large federal deficit. The change would have little effect on either dimension. Most likely, consumer response would reduce dental, drug, and eyeglass insurance, but would leave coverage for hospital and doctor care-the most bothersome health-cost sectors-essentially unaffected. Larger tax changes which are structured differently possibly could reduce health costs dramatically and raise up to $27 billion a year in new tax revenues. Copyright 1984 Western Economic Association International.
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