Paul L. Caron

Friday, February 29, 2008

TPC & ATPI Host Conference Today on Taxes and Health Insurance

The Tax Policy Center and American Tax Policy Institute host a conference today in Washington D.C. on Taxes and Health Insurance: Analysis and Policy:

Health care promises to be a central issue in the 2008 Presidential campaign. Candidates of the two parties divide sharply on whether and how to use the tax system to help reform the health system. Please join us on February 29 for a conference on “Taxes and Health Insurance: Analysis and Policy” to be held at the Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W. The conference is cosponsored by the American Tax Policy Institute and the Urban/Brookings Tax Policy Center. Some of the nation’s foremost experts on tax and health policy will present results of research evaluating the effectiveness of tax policy in expanding health insurance coverage and controlling health care spending. CBO director, Peter Orszag, will deliver the luncheon address.

For a list of the papers, authors, and discussants, see below the fold:

9:00 – 10:15 a.m.:  Setting the Stage

  • Papers:
    • Backgound and History of the Tax Exclusion, by Robert Helms (American Enterprise Institute)
    • How Current Tax Treatment Influences Health Insurance Coverage and Health Care Prices, by Leonard Burman, Bowen Garrett & Surachai Khitatrakun (Urban Institute)
  • Discussants:
    • Daniel Halperin (Harvard)
    • Anup Malani (Chicago)

10:30 –11:45 a.m.:  Economic and Behavioral Responses to Tax Incentives

  • Papers:
    • What Behavioral Economics Has to Say About Impact of Current System and Reforms, by Richard Zeckhauser (Harvard) & Jeff Liebman (Harvard)
    • How Flexible Spending Accounts Affect Health Care Use, by Arik Levinson (Georgetown), William Jack (Georgetown) & Jessica Vistnes (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
  • Discussants:
    • Jonathan Gruber (MIT)
    • Ed McCaffery (USC)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Luncheon Speaker: Peter Orszag (CBO)

1:15 – 2:30 p.m.:  Reform Proposals

  • Papers:
    • Reform Proposal I: Tax Breaks for All Health Care Spending, by John Cogan (Hoover), Glenn Hubbard (Columbia) & Daniel Kessler (Stanford)
    • Reform Proposal II: Using Federal Tax Policy to Mitigate Problems in Nongroup Market, by Jason Furman (Brookings)
  • Discussants:
    • William Gale (Brookings)
    • Emmett Keeler (RAND Corporation)

2:45 – 4:00 p.m.:  Administrative Issues

  • Papers:
    • Administrative Issues I: Challenges of the Current System, by Mary Hevener (Baker & McKenzie) & Chip Kerby (McDermott, Will & Emery)
    • Administrative Issues II: Challenges of Reform Proposals, by Janet Holtzblatt (CBO)
  • Discussants:
    • Stan Dorn (Urban Institute)
    • Sherry Glied (Columbia)

4:00 – 5:15 p.m.:  Health Savings Accounts

  • Papers:
    • Health Savings Accounts I: Short- and Long-Term Effects of Health Savings Accounts, by Lisa Clemans-Cope (Urban Institute)
    • Health Savings Accounts II: Interaction of HSAs and Retirement Saving, by Henry J. Aaron (Brookings) & Surachai Khitatrakun (Urban Institute)
  • Discussants:
    • Douglas Stives (Monmouth University)
    • Bob Carroll (Tax Foundation)

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