p u b l i s h e r ’s c o l u m n
Rx for Healthcare Reform?
T he public is just beginning to get up
to speed on all the changes in store
under the new healthcare reform law, a
payments of $600 or more must be report-
ed to the federal government.
High earners will help pay for the new
sweeping piece of federal legislation 2,200 plan through taxes. CPAs will be advis-
pages long that will cost $940 billion to ing high-income taxpayers to plan ahead
implement over the next 10 years. Much for 2013, when an increase of 0.9% in
of it will be paid for through changes in the Medicare tax rate and a new tax on
the tax code. interest income are scheduled to take effect
Most members of the public don’t under- for individuals with incomes greater than
stand what’s in the new law, and some jour- $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples
nalists blame themselves. In writing for the filing jointly), according to congressional
Columbia Journalism Review’s March/April figures.
issue, the magazine’s contributing editor, Incentives for businesses to provide
Trudy Lieberman, said that healthcare healthcare coverage are also put into play
reform press coverage “failed to illuminate through the tax code. CPAs are already
the crucial issues, [and] quoted special inter- advising small businesses to take advan-
est groups and politicians without giving tage of the credits that took effect January
consumers enough information to judge if 1, 2010, which provide a maximum tax
their claims were fact or fiction.” credit of 35% of annual insurance pre-
Perhaps taxpayers couldn’t trust the miums for employees until 2014, when
press on this one, but soon both the changes are expected to be up and run-
press and the public—and that includes ning, providing—you guessed it—yet
members of Congress—will be turning to another tax credit. A new refundable tax
CPAs to decipher the dozens of tax pro- credit will help low-income individuals
visions that, according to a recently pub- purchase coverage.
It is the CPA profession that lished CCH Tax Briefing, contain more