Obamacare ‘Time Bomb’ To Hit Right Before Midterms
BY TYLER DURDEN
Congressional Democrats have yet another thing to worry about going into this year’s midterm elections.
A temporary pandemic relief program aimed at lowering healthcare premiums under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is set to expire unless Democrats can revive a reconciliation bill that extends the financial assistance past the end of the year. And that means striking a deal with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
“There’s no denying that if they are not extended, then there could definitely be a political impact,” said healthcare policy analyst Charles Gaba.
Voters are set to receive notices about premium increases in late October, as they head to the ballot box for the November midterms. Others would find out during the ACA open enrollment period, which begins on November 1.
“If Congress lets the ACA premium help in the American Rescue Plan expire at the end of this year, middle-class people buying their own insurance would be hit hardest,” tweeted Larry Levitt, vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
If Congress lets the ACA premium help in the American Rescue Plan expire at the end of this year, middle-class people buying their own insurance would be hit hardest.
They could face a double whammy of inflation and the loss of premium assistance, costing thousands of dollars.
— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) May 20, 2022
Levitt noted that “a middle-class couple of 50 year-olds making $75,000 would see their premium go up by $8,304 on average,” adding “And, if the insurer hikes the unsubsidized premium by 10% for inflation, that’s another $1,468.“
While the 14.5 million ACA enrollees are a small share of the population, big premium increases from expiring subsidies could have outsized political implications.
The ACA is a signature program for Democrats.
And, notices of premium hikes would come right before the election.
— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) May 20, 2022
Gaba, the healthcare analyst, calculated potential premium hikes using different scenarios based on age, income, marital status and family size, and created two maps to illustrate how letting the ACA assistance lap would affect Americans by state:
In this scenario, a couple nearing retirement age in West Virginia would see their monthly premium soar $2,704 if enhanced Obamacare subsidies expire, the sharpest increase in the US. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has been open to reviving pieces of Biden’s agenda without committing to any specific plans and Democrats can’t revive a bill without his support. He has been publicly noncommittal on renewing the program in a smaller package. -Insider
Americans who make just enough to lose access to government help would feel the brunt of the increases. “If you’re in that situation, you’d see all financial aid removed and your net cost would increase pretty dramatically,” said Gaba.
Those who make under 150% of the federal poverty level – $19,320 for singles and $39,750 for a family of four – would also end up paying more if the ACA assistance lapses.
As Insider notes, 20 Senate Democrats urged President Biden to include an extension of Obamacare subsidies a priority in his Build Back Better plan.
In other words – extending the assistance is a no-brainer for Democrats. The only question is whether Manchin will be on board. According to Politico, “Staffers for Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have spent the last couple weeks exchanging preliminary ideas for what the framework of a bill might look like,” adding that “the discussions have boosted hopes that an agreement remains in reach, though there is little expectation of a breakthrough before Memorial Day.”
(TLB) published this article from ZeroHedge as written and compiled by Tyler Durden
Header featured image (edited) credit: Social worker/client/Twitter grab
Emphasis added by (TLB) editors
Stay tuned to …
The Liberty Beacon Project is now expanding at a near exponential rate, and for this we are grateful and excited! But we must also be practical. For 7 years we have not asked for any donations, and have built this project with our own funds as we grew. We are now experiencing ever increasing growing pains due to the large number of websites and projects we represent. So we have just installed donation buttons on our websites and ask that you consider this when you visit them. Nothing is too small. We thank you for all your support and your considerations … (TLB)
Comment Policy: As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, or personal/abusive attacks on other users. This also applies to trolling, the use of more than one alias, or just intentional mischief. Enforcement of this policy is at the discretion of this websites administrators. Repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without prior warning.
Disclaimer: TLB websites contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, health, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.
Disclaimer: The information and opinions shared are for informational purposes only including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material are not intended as medical advice or instruction. Nothing mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.