First, do no harm: Designing tax incentives for health insurance

Leonard E. Burman, Amelia Gruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A bipartisan consensus favors public policy initiatives to expand health insurance coverage. This paper summarizes new Current Population Survey (CPS) data on health insurance coverage for the non-elderly and discusses the issues involved in subsidizing health insurance. We outline a tax credit option designed to diminish many health insurance market flaws. A simple model illustrates that the Administration's recent proposal for tax credits for nongroup insurance alone is equivalent to a general insurance tax credit (our preferred option) with a tax on employer-sponsored insurance (ESI). Thus, it runs the risk of doing harm - undermining the insurance that currently covers most nonelderly Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-493
Number of pages21
JournalNational Tax Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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