Would the Senate Health Care Bill Keep the Poor Poor?

Policy Forum
February 22, 2010 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST


Featuring Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute; and C. Eugene Steuerle, Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair, Urban Institute.

Congressional leaders are weighing their options for moving the Senate‐​passed health care overhaul through the House. That legislation would have the undesirable effect of discouraging low‐​wage workers from climbing the economic ladder. A new Cato Institute study by Michael F. Cannon finds that implicit tax rates would often exceed 100 percent for low‐​wage workers, which could trap millions of Americans in low‐​wage jobs. Cannon also finds that the Senate bill creates incentives as large as $8,000 per year for people to purchase health insurance only when they are sick.