A new analysis of Obamacare prices says the much-touted taxpayer subsidies for young people are smaller than promised.
The missing subsidies will jack up costs for young, healthy people who are single and childless, which may deter many from joining the government-run network. This, in turn, would likely boost Obamacare’s costs to all taxpayers.
The new data also shows that officials are choosing to steer the promised subsidies to older people, despite their relatively fewer expenses for children, student loans, careers and housing.
The politically-determined flow of subsidies, however, allow Democratic officials to pressure young people to vote Democratic in the hope that their subsidies can be boosted via higher taxes on companies, investors and job-creators.
The new gap between reality and President Barack Obama’s promises were discovered during a review of pricing data at 15 government-run “exchanges” where health companies are allowed to offer government-mandated, taxpayer-subsidized insurances to buyers.
In “11 of 15 [Obamacare] exchanges, the [taxpayer] subsidies disappeared for people aged 18-34 even before $34,470 annually,” well below the promised cut-off at $45,960, says the new study by the National Center for Public Policy Research.
The government “released data on 36 federal exchanges, and in 23 of them the subsidies disappear before 300 percent [of the FPL, or the family poverty level] for [people aged 18 to 34]” said a statement from David Hogberg, a senior fellow for health care policy at the center.
“That’s going to be a problem because young people are being told they’ll be getting subsidies up to the 400 percent level,” or $45,960, he said.
“This will give them considerable incentive to forego [Obamacare] insurance and just pay the individual mandate fine,” and to only sign up for Obamacare if they get injured or fall sick, he said.
Overall, the data suggests that 1.3 million young people aged 18 to 34 will lose the promised subsidy.
Roughly 800,000 people in that age group earn above $45,500, or above the promised subsidy threshold.
So the number of young people who are required by Obamacare to buy expensive coverage without subsidies will reach roughly 2.1 million people, said the study.
The study also shows that officials who control the exchanges have ensured that subsidies are still going to people aged 52 and older who earn up to four times the family poverty level.
“The study found that in 12 of the 15 exchanges, subsidies extended to 400 percent FPL for every person age 52 and older,” said Hogberg.
“The subsidies will make the exchanges look much more attractive to people [who are] older and sicker,” Hogberg said.