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Consultants: Bush Proposal Would Help High-Income Families

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Replacing current health insurance tax breaks with a deduction would cost about $7,440 per newly insured person in 2009.

Researchers at the Lewin Group, Falls Church, Va., a think tank, came up with that figure using the organization’s group benefits simulation model.

The researchers used the model to analyze the proposals President Bush presented in his State of the Union address.

Replacing the existing group health benefits tax exclusion with a deduction would increase the federal deficit by $62 billion in 2009, the first year the program would be in effect, and about 70% of the reduction in taxes would go to families with annual incomes over $50,000, the researchers estimate.

The Bush proposals could reduce health spending about $24.5 billion in 2009, the researchers estimate, and they could help the average family save about $732 on taxes, premiums and out of pocket spending, the researchers estimate.