Professionals, skilled workers, fund Obamacare’s subsidies

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The Obamacare network artificially raises healthcare payments for single, middle-income young professionals and skilled workers, according to a detailed analysis by the 2017 Project, a think-tank seeking to create a conservative reform agenda.

The raised payments are used to subsidize cheap health-insurance for older and poorer people, says the group’s analysis.

A 26 year-old unmarried person with an income of just $35,000 would have to pay $1,863 a year for the cheapest insurance policy on President Barack Obama’s website. That person wold get no subsidy from other taxpayers, even though the insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles are much higher than those offered by pre-Obamacare polices in 2012 and 2013.

Obamacare redirects those revenues to buy expensive insurance for low earners, including many Democratic-leaning immigrants. It gives $1,568 to an unmarried 26 year-old earning $20,000, and $4,003 to a 56 year-old earning $20,000, says the study.

Obamacare’s rules also deliver subsidies to older people, even if they have no dependents. For example, it awards $1,299 to an unmarried 51-year-old earning $35,000, and $2,162 to a single 56 year-old earning $35,000.

Single people who earn more than $50,000 don’t get subsidies, because their payments are needed to subsidize insurance for lower-income and older people.

Crucially, the 2017 group also calculated the estimated payoff to healthy young people if they declined to buy Obama’s expensive policies.

For example, a 26-year-old earning $35,000 would save $1,655 by paying the 2014 tax-fine due for not buying an Obamacare policy, according to the study. A 31-year-old earning $35,000 would save $1,906 by not paying the 2014 fine.

The fine is slated to rise sharply after 2014, if the Obamacare law survives the 2014 election.

The 2017 group gathered the data by looking at prices offered to people in the 50 most populous counties, excluding some counties in Massachusetts, Maryland and Hawaii.

Median Obamacare Subsidies by Tim Cavanaugh

The numbers offered by the 2017 group include the counties’ average prices — which are skewed upward by big subsidies in New York — and the counties’ median prices, which show the midpoint cost.

Half of the people in the group of 50 counties will pay above that price, and half the people will pay below that price.

The 2017 group’s board members include Bill Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, as well as former GOP Sen. Spencer Abraham, a supporter of increased low-skill immigration.

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