During the online-only portion of Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” on Wednesday night, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer laid out his theory on what Obamacare’s real intended purpose is: an instrument to redistribute wealth.
Krauthammer made that claim in his column last week, but he explained how it works in practice to host Bret Baier and co-panelists former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano and The Hill associate editor A.B. Stoddard.
That panel was presented with a viewer who asked what would happen if an individual couldn’t pay an insurance provider in the event of some medical situation that limited that individual’s ability to pay.
But that might have been part of the plan, Krauthammer said. If an upper-middle class income earner is making too much to receive Obamacare subsidies, but winds up in a situation where they lose a significant amount of their wealth, that is part of the redistribution mechanism.
“OK, I’ve got a solution,” Krauthammer said. “You make [$80,000 a year] and you don’t have any subsidies. You’ve got a high premium and you lose a lot of money and you end up poor. Well then, you go back and reapply. Now you get a subsidy because you’re poor. So that’s how it would work in practice. Look that wasn’t a joke. That was serious. This is a way of transferring wealth from the upper middle class where you get no subsidies to the lower middle class who aren’t poor enough to end up in Medicaid.”
Krauthammer and Napolitano continued to play out how this works in theory, which is that this “wealth” would be moved around through the health care system via subsidies to those making too making too much to be on Medicaid, but are earning just little enough to qualify for those subsidies. It was a theory Stoddard questioned, but Krauthammer stuck to it, arguing this was something for which the White House had failed to see the political consequences.
NAPOLITANO: So the ’47 percent,’ which impaled Romney will go over 50 percent if this legislation succeeds in moving people below the poverty level and making them dependent on the government. And they vote.
KRAUTHAMMER: Which is part of the plan. However, if you were wealthier and you lose it and you end up on Medicaid, I don’t think you’ll vote Democratic.
STODDARD: I really don’t think the White House had a fantasy of this kind of a disaster. I just can’t imagine —
KRAUTHAMMER: You misunder — it’s a political disaster. But the geniuses, the economists — if you hear Ezekiel Emanuel say on the “Fox News Sunday” this was designed — you had to get people out of the individual insurance market, generally people of some means, you put them in the exchanges, they overpay and you use the subsidy. This was not an accident. What they never understood is how disastrous it would be politically. But economically, that’s the way they make it work.
BAIER: It is pretty incredible to try to get 5-7 million on the upside by March — the amount of money to try to get 7 million people in these exchanges.
NAPOLITANO: It would be less expensive if they just paid the premiums for the 7 million out of the federal treasury.