Monthly Archives: January 2017

Redistribution: Mission Accomplished

There is much concern over income inequality.   President Obama and Democrats can claim that they achieved a wealth transfer from the “wealthy”[i]  to the poor and the not-wealthy.  The advertisements for Healthcare.gov (or if you like the “Affordable Care Act” or “Obamacare”) say the 85% of enrollees get some level of premium subsidy. (See also NYT http://preview.tinyurl.com/z2jt559).    The Motley Fool recently reports:

….it’s stressed that most enrolled Americans have access to the Advanced Premium Tax Credit, or APTC. The APTC is a federal subsidy that lowers what consumers pay for their monthly premium. Persons and families making under 400% of the federal poverty level (about $47,520 for an individual in 2017) qualify for the APTC, with about 85% of the 10.4 million paying enrollees currently receiving this subsidy. http://tinyurl.com/youllpay

          So who is paying for this large percentage? Proponents of ACA (including many unions) argued that health plans were already paying for the uninsured who had to resort to emergency rooms for uncompensated treatment.  Efforts were made to calculate that cost, and other costs, resulting from the uninsured.  The latest open enrollment ad campaign spells out clearly that at least as far as ACA goes, there are haves (who gets subsidies) and have nots (who don’t get subsidies).  EN has heard from teachers, restaurant workers and small business owners, including sole proprietors,  who advise that they do not receive subsidies.

            Fertile ground for Pres. Trump and the haters on Capitol Hill.

[i] Definitions or critieria differ as to whom is wealthy  or who “can afford to pay a little more”.