Byron York reports that a sizable proportion of people entering the healthcare exchanges, the very people who are supposed to gain most from Obamacare, will actually be hurt by it.
So, of 29 million people who might enter the Obamacare exchanges, about 17 million would be eligible for subsidies. That's about 59 percent who would be eligible for taxpayer-paid assistance, versus 41 percent who are not. That's a majority on the subsidy side, but not a huge one. Then figure that some of those who are eligible for help will only be eligible for very small subsidies. For example, a family of four in St. Louis, Mo., with one parent who earns $48,000 and another who earns $37,000 would be eligible for a subsidy -- all of $13 per year to pay for an $8,088 policy -- that is virtually no help at all. (The numbers come from the Kaiser Foundation's online subsidy calculator.)Compare this with Oregonian reporter Nick Budnick's "good news" assessment that less than half of the 400,000 Oregonians expected to benefit from Cover Oregon exchange subsidies will get subsidies.
Out of the 59 percent who are eligible for subsidies, then, some portion will receive subsidies that do not cover the increased cost of their new coverage. For them, Obamacare will be a net loss. So, it's unlikely Obamacare will actually help the full 59 percent of those eligible for subsidies by Kaiser's estimate. The bottom line is, Obamacare could very well hurt substantially more than 41 percent of the people who are currently uninsured or purchase coverage on the individual market. That's not exactly making the system work "better for everybody."
Nearly 190,000 Oregonians could qualify next year for federal tax credits to bring down health insurance costs by using the state's health exchange.And, of course, none of this touches on the impact of people being dumped on the individual market when the employer mandate kicks in and employers start to cut the employee work week to 29 hours to avoid the mandate.
That's less than half the state's previous estimate. But in an odd twist, that's actually good news because it reflects lower premiums in Oregon than in most other states.
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The Kaiser report estimates that 187,000 Oregonians are eligible for tax credits, half the projection earlier used by the exchange of 400,000-- prepared by the group Families USA.