States spend billions of dollars every year on tax breaks for businesses. A growing number of states require companies to disclose certain information on the tax breaks they have received. Disclosure allows states to evaluate the costs and benefits of tax breaks. States can monitor tax breaks by looking at job creation levels, job retention, wage bands, and benefits. With disclosure legislation in place, Washington legislators and private residents will have the information needed to change those tax breaks that are not working as intended and support those that are.
Health insurance is the most important vehicle for gaining access to health care services. It makes a substantial difference in the type of services people are able to obtain. The consequences for people without health insurance are serious: one study found that the uninsured are almost six times more likely than the insured to have postponed health care for a serious condition because they couldn’t afford it. Other studies focusing on health outcomes for uninsured individuals found that they are more likely to die in the hospital, implying that they may postpone care until it is too late.
In 1994, Washington State enacted the Business and Occupation (B&O) tax credit for Research and Development (R&D) and the sales tax deferral for R&D to, among other reasons, stimulate the economy and increase competitiveness in high technology. After nine years and extensive review by the Department of Revenue, it is clear that these tax incentives have not accomplished what they were set up to do.
With prescription drug prices on the rise, more and more states are pooling the purchases of their state agencies and are joining together with other states to negotiate large prescription drug discounts. As this report details, numerous states are already saving substantial sums using purchasing pools. But Idaho lags behind the Northwest and the nation in negotiating prices from prescription drug manufacturers.
This report provides an overview of the important contributions Medicaid makes to the economy of and quality of life in Idaho. Throughout the state, Medicaid spending directly purchases goods and services, and supports health care industry jobs for Idaho’s counties. These direct health care purchases trigger further cycles of earning and purchases that ripple throughout the economy, affecting individuals and businesses not directly associated with health care and generating jobs, income, and economic activity.