Bush proposes healthcare insurance-related tax deductions

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President Bush Tuesday night outlined his plan for healthcare reform, which included tax deductions for individuals and families who receive health insurance.

Bush spoke about healthcare and other issues during his State of the Union address. He proposed a tax deduction of $7,500 for individuals and $15,000 for families, regardless of whether they buy their own health insurance or receive medical coverage at work. He also plans to subject employer-sponsored healthcare benefits to taxation. This would allow those workers who get policies at work worth less than the deduction to receive a tax break.

The American Health Care Association, the largest nursing home association in the country, praised the president for "addressing the need to expand Americans' access to healthcare." They also noted that such an effort should not "compromise the funding and care needs" of the elderly.

On related topics, Bush acknowledged financial problems with Medicare and Social Security as challenges that needed addressing. But he did not offer any new proposals for dealing with them.