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Health Reform’s Excise Tax Was Designed to Make Employer-Provided Plans Less Generous

In an attempt to defend health care reform against this absurd Wall Street Journal op-ed by Sen. Ron Johnson, Ezra Klein decided to use known falsehoods to advance his case. From Ezra Klein:

Here’s the odd thing: At no point in his op-ed does Johnson ever argue that the Affordable Care Act would’ve made his daughter’s surgery less likely. And that’s because it wouldn’t. Johnson’s daughter was covered under Johnson’s health-care insurance. Johnson’s health-care insurance was provided by Johnson’s employer, a plastics manufacturer based in Oshkosh, Wis. There is nothing in the law that would’ve made the insurance offered by Johnson’s employer less generous or would dictate what treatments can and cannot be covered. The story about his daughter is, in all respects save for one, a complete red herring.

This statement is just simply wrong. A major provision of the health care law is the excise tax, which was actually designed for the exact purpose of making employer-provided insurance less generous.

I know Klein is well aware of the effect the excise tax will have because he was one of the most vocal supporters of the excise tax during the health care debate, and fully admitted it could result in less generous insurance.

I find this highly ironic given that Klein points out the dominant emotion felt toward health care reform is confusion while implying people won’t be confused about the law if they read his explanations of it.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at