Obamacare will cost taxpayers an extra $9.8 billion of direct subsidies in 2017, according to a report released Thursday from the Center for Health and Economy.
Though tax credits accounted for $32.8 billion in 2016, the report states that “If we assume that the proportion of enrollees receiving premium tax credits remains the same from 2016 to 2017, then the expected federal spending on premium tax credits for 2017 would be $42.6 billion.”
The Obama administration already admitted in October that the Affordable Health Act was becoming less affordable with double-digit rate hikes anticipated.
In a press release that buried the bad news about huge premium increases and insisted that 70 percent of the public could still find a health plan “for less than $75 per month,” the federal government admitted that “for the median HealthCare.gov consumer, the benchmark second-lowest silver plan premium is increasing by 16 percent this year, before taking into account the effects of financial assistance.”
But according to the Center for Health and Economy report, this estimate was low-balled and the silver benchmark plan premiums will “22 percent more expensive, on average, than 2016 benchmark plans.”
Again, the statement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that “tax credits … bring down the cost of coverage” and “tax credits increase dollar-for-dollar with the cost of a consumer’s benchmark plan, so they protect the large majority of consumers from rate increases.”
But the report says that “because of the distributions of the population in the marketplace and the lack of household income growth to match premiums, we expect the average monthly tax credit to increase by 26 percent to $367.”
In a statement provided to The Daily Caller from Freedom Partners, senior policy advisor Nathan Nascimento said: “Today’s report is a reminder that Obamacare has failed on multiple levels, with customers having to pay lots more for their health care, and taxpayers being soaked for even more than the billions of dollars they’ve already had to fork over to prop up the law. Throwing good money after bad won’t fix Obamacare, but it will inflate the cost of health care for everyone. The solution to this mess is for Congress to repeal Obamacare, and then pass smart, targeted solutions that help people get the care they need at prices they can truly afford.”