By Andrew Cohen
Assistant Professor of Law David Gamage has been named Special Counsel and Senior Stanley S. Surrey Fellow in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy. As a result, he will oversee the drafting of the tax regulations for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—the 2010 healthcare reform legislation.
An expert in taxation, budget policy, and public finance, Gamage will also provide advice on other new tax legislation. This temporary appointment will likely last either one or two academic years, after which he will return to Berkeley Law.
“This came as a complete surprise,” Gamage says. “I view it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on such a fascinating set of tax regulation challenges that intersect across agencies in this way. It’s arguably one of the largest attempts to enact social policy through the tax code.”
Gamage has written extensively on both state-level and U.S. federal tax and budget policy. He has testified often before the California State Legislature, and is regularly interviewed by television, radio, newspapers, and magazines on various tax-related topics.
In his new role at the Office of Tax Policy, Gamage will work with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in writing the tax regulations and other tax-related administrative guidance for the healthcare reform legislation. Specifically, he will coordinate individual income tax regulations associated with the legislation—including most credits, deductions, and expenditures—as well as other tax issues such as those related to Indian tribal members and education tax credits.
Drafting the regulations needed to implement the healthcare reform legislation requires a joint effort by the Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services (HHS), and Treasury, which includes the IRS. In addition to partnering with IRS leaders to write the tax regulations, Gamage will work with HHS and White House officials on coordinating the implementation of healthcare reform.
“It’s crucial,” he says, “to ensure that regulations issued under the tax part of this legislation work with what (HHS) and the states are doing to create the health care exchanges, with how Medicaid is being restructured, and with the responsibilities charged to other agencies, so that healthcare reform can be implemented cohesively.”