Dec. 2010: Report warns, it's time to 'put up or shut up'

Entitled, "The Moment of Truth," a report by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform warns of a pending catastrophe, and offers ways to help. "After all the talk about debt and deficits, it is long past time for America's leaders to put up or shut up," the commission writes. "We do not pretend to have all the answers. We offer our plan as the starting point for a serious national conversation in which every citizen has an interest and all should have a say."

Among the commission's proposals: a revised tax code for employer-sponsored health insurance and retirement savings and pensions.

In July, the Employee Benefit Research Institute released analysis indicating that if the tax treatment for employer-based health insurance is eliminated or cut as part of federal deficit reduction, workers would face an increase in taxes on a benefit that currently isn't taxed, and they may begin to question the value of keeping their workplace coverage. A movement toward state-based health exchanges due to this tax reform could lead employers to drop coverage all together.

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