Latest Obamacare ‘Fix’ Could Cost Billions
Another day, another leaked attempt to make an end-run around Congress.
In the wake of the widespread insurance policy cancellations forcing individuals onto Obamacare exchanges, Obama administration officials are letting it be known that they are working on an “administrative fix” that would somehow provide financial relief for those affected that don’t qualify for federal subsidies to offset the health law’s higher premiums.
This trial balloon seems to be the necessary corollary to President Barack Obama’s promise Thursday night “to work hard to make sure that [people losing their individual policies] know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.”
Even if that means rewriting the law without Congress, and exploding the cost of Obamacare.
As written, Obamacare subsidies are capped at 400 percent of the federal poverty line, which translates into an annual income of no more than $46,000 per year for an individual.
But, “In June 2009, the CBO evaluated a draft proposal from the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee that offered subsidies as high as 500 percent of the federal poverty level,” writes Philip Klein.
“In the period from 2014 through 2019 alone, CBO estimated that the exchange subsidies would cost $1.2 trillion.” Dropping the cut-off level to 400 percent of FPL reduced the cost estimate to $458 billion over the same six year period.
If the Obama administration elects to go this route, Klein says expect to see another famous presidential pledge come under fire: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. I will sign if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.”