SOTU: Standard Deduction Will Increase Taxes While Leaving Millions Uninsured

Bush said: “We share a common goal: making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. The best way to achieve that goal is by expanding consumer choice, not government control. So I have proposed ending the bias in the tax code against those who do not get their health insurance through their employer. This one reform would put private coverage within reach for millions, and I call on the Congress to pass it this year.”

FACT — NUMBER OF UNINSURED AMERICANS HAS CONSISTENTLY INCREASED UNDER BUSH: “The number of uninsured Americans rose for the sixth consecutive year in 2006, to 47.0 million, and the number of uninsured children rose for the second straight year, to 8.7 million, according to Census data released on August 28.” [CBPP, 8/28/07]

FACT — STANDARD DEDUCTION WILL STILL LEAVE MILLIONS UNINSURED: Bush’s proposed 2007 deduction “would reduce the number of uninsured by 3 million to 5 million people,” which is low compared to the total number of uninsured. “Many uninsured still won’t be able to afford coverage even with the new deduction. [CNN, 1/23/07]

FACT — STANDARD DEDUCTION LIKELY TO INCREASE TAXES FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICANS: “Initially, only 20 percent of those who are covered through work will see a tax increase, according to White House estimates.” And the number will go up over time, meaning that “ten years after the proposal is in effect, 40 percent of plans will exceed the standard deduction, according to a preliminary analysis of the proposal by the Tax Policy Center.” [CNN, 1/23/07]