Willarda Edwards

Willarda Edwards

Willarda Edwards, MD, is president of the National Medical Association. She is an internist in Baltimore and has been in private practice since 1984.

Tax Insurers, Not Consumers

If the 35 percent tax is going to be passed on to consumers, I am definitely against that. However, it is clear that there are efficiencies built into other versions of health-care reform legislation with electronic medical records and meaningful use of health information technology. And it is clear that the ultimate benefit of electronic records will go mostly to the insurance companies; therefore, I think the tax on them is appropriate.

As a matter of fact, since the insurance companies will benefit the most with the added resources of health information technology, they should be paying largely for the set up, education and maintenance of electronic health records in physicians offices. That way, physicians can more efficiently provide services to the increased numbers of patients in the most need of medical help.

By Willarda Edwards  |  September 21, 2009; 4:09 PM ET  | Category:  Doctors , Electronic medical records , Insurance , Taxes Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Malpractice Matters. We Can Do Better. | Next: The Inequity of a Health Plan Tax


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You can only pass a tax on to consumers if the good is not price elastic. It isn't always true that companies pass their taxes on to consumers.

Since a large part of the reform effort entails increasing the healthcare price responsiveness of consumers, we have a strong reason to believe that reform, taken as a package, will not pass the costs onto consumers.

Posted by: zosima | September 23, 2009 3:22 AM
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Doctor, Doctor, Doctor......With all your years of education I would have "ASSUMED" you had some decent intelligence. Yet, your comments seem to indicate that during all your years in school, economics was the one area of education you avoided.

Have you ever heard the concept that CORPORATION DO NOT PAY TAXES, PEOPLE DO!
You can tax any insurance company (corporation) the full amount of revenue they bring through the door before they even pay out one dime in expenses or claims. It would do no good whatsoever, since they would just raise the amounts they collect in premiums. You need to understand that any tax they pay just becomes an expense. Once you understand that you will become a little better informed when you sit with your accountant who does your taxes and maintains your financial books for you.

Posted by: frankn1 | September 22, 2009 4:00 PM
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