Idea for making an impact on health care

Posted: Monday, March 02, 2009

The burden of surviving after a layoff has beset far too many of our fellow citizens. This burden is poised to fall upon the public coffers and place an even greater burden of our strained public health system.

We hear daily the many wranglings of our elected officials, promising soon to unravel and solve the problem. Change is what is needed, we have heard for months, but only rhetoric and nothing substantial has been offered.

I feel as a tax-paying citizen any approach that would lessen the potential impact of these cost should be at least examined. It would be in the best public interest to allow laid-off workers to make payments for health insurance directly from their 401k funds without penalty, tax or repayment.

That would be a great change, imagine the tax man's knee-jerk to such a thought. Just fill in a form, even online and your 401k program would be instructed to forward payments directly to the insurance provider. The lost revenues of not taxing these funds would be offset by the future savings to our health care system.

As a taxpayer, I would not be grieved by this system allowing folks to avoid tax for such 401k allocations. If you have a better idea it's time to cough it up. We may not be able to solve the entire health care problem, but we need to make changes that can have impact.

Dennis Barnard


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