Willie Sutton famously said he robbed banks "because that's where the money is."
And if Obamacare boosters want to get the uninsured to sign up—in great numbers—they might want to go "where the uninsured are." A new study suggests that place may be their tax preparer's office.
The analysis urges government officials to "seriously explore" partnering with tax preparers to enroll people without health insurance in Obamacare plans, arguing preparers "could help most uninsured get covered" since they're already preparing returns for millions of them.
That partnership could "secure a good mix of health participants, which would help promote a balanced risk pool and marketplace stability," said the Urban Institute paper, prepared with assistance from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The analysis points out that 18.9 million uninsured people who qualify for Medicaid or Obamacare subsidies "will file a tax return next year, most with assistance from professional tax preparers."
"I'm not aware of any place in the world where you have as many eligible, uninsured people as in tax preparers' offices," said Stan Dorn, senior fellow in the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center, co-author of the analysis issued Thursday. The Urban Institute does not, as a matter of practice, take positions on policies it researches, but the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation does formally support the Affordable Care Act.