Thursday, March 18, 2010

ObamaCare Would Kick Middle Class Where it Hurts

Who will suffer the most under ObamaCare?

Once rationing begins to kick in, everyone. But in the short run it looks like those who will be hit the hardest will be those in the middle class. In other words, the people President Obama promised to protect from his tax increases.

Scott Gottlieb, writing at the American Enterprise Institute today, explains:

Health reform will leave many of them newly priced out of a transformed market for health insurance.

The hardest hit won't be those earning more than $250,000 a year--the group that he says needs to "pay their fair share." Rather, it's families whose combined annual income is around $100,000 who could be crushed under this plan.

These folks will be too "rich" to qualify for ObamaCare's subsidies, but probably too poor to easily afford the pricey insurance that the president's plan forces them to buy.

Many of these $100K families will be obliged to buy a policy costing an average of $14,700 for the mid-level, "silver" health plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office's estimates. After income taxes, they'll be spending almost a quarter of their net income for health insurance.

That's what we used to say people would spend for their home. Of course, with the federal government planning its assault on home ownership by encouraging defaults and then "renting" from Uncle Sam, maybe this is where they expect your dollars to go.

Again, let me remind you that the U.S. Constitution does not give the federal government the power to force individual citizens to purchase a product, not even health care!

Why will this health insurance be so expensive? Gottlieb is happy to explain:

First, it limits most consumers to choosing only one of three basic health plans. (These will offer the same basic package of health benefits--the main difference is that the higher-premium plan has lower co-pays, while the lower-premium one has higher co-payments.) And even the cheapest option--the "bronze" plan--will start at about $12,500 for a family, says the CBO.

People buying insurance outside the workplace won't be able to shop around to find cheaper options: ObamaCare effectively outlaws that, because the president wants everyone to have the same package of generous benefits. It's a noble ideal--but it forces people to buy coverage that may be pricier than what they need, want or can afford.

I wonder: if I go to prison for not buying their health care, will I get free medical care there?

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