President Obama: A Tax Increase Does not Reduce Costs!

A novel, and incorrect, way to lower costs.

The latest from Washington on Health Care Reform is the Senate’s version which taxes insurance companies on plans valued at over $8,500 for individuals and $23,000 for couples.

President Obama has defended the tax as a way to drive down health costs.  “I’m on record as saying that taxing Cadillac plans that don’t make people healthier but just take more money out of their pockets because they’re paying more for insurance than they need to, that’s actually a good idea, and that helps bend the cost curve,” the president said in an interview with National Public Radio just before Christmas. “That helps to reduce the cost of health care over the long term. I think that’s a smart thing to do.”

Huh?  Mr. President, you need an Econ 101 primer. Let’s begin now, with supply and demand:Leftward shift in supply

Supply is an upward-sloping marginal cost curve, and includes the taxes and fees a business must pay to the government.  By imposing this tax, the supply curve of insurance companies will shift up and to the left, as shown in the graph, representing a higher cost per unit of insurance coverage.  The demand curve slopes down, so when intersected by a more costly supply curve, the final price to consumers rise and the amount of insurance coverage falls.   Period. End of story.  Indisputable fact.  And nothing Obama or the Senate says will change this fact, though they will try.

By Sherry Jarrell

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