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Thursday, 4 March 2021

Biden’s COVID-19 Bill Expands Obamacare Subsidies That Benefit Affluent

 


Democrats are racing to pass President Joe Biden’s economic relief bill by mid-March, amid doubts about the price tag of the package. Buried in the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill is an expansion of Obamacare insurance subsidies, which could provide thousands of dollars to wealthy families who have been least hit by the pandemic, according to critics.


Democrats aim to make the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) premium subsidies available to more people through the end of 2022. It also expands the amount of those subsidies for currently eligible people.


The revised structure makes the subsidies much larger for older people and those with higher incomes, according to Brian Blase, senior fellow at the Galen Institute and former special assistant to former President Donald Trump at the National Economic Council.


The proposed change in the plan, “recklessly boosts federal subsidies for health insurance in a way that exacerbates tax inequities, substantially replaces private spending with government spending, reduces incentives for work and productivity, and significantly adds to already unsustainable family and government health care expenditures,” Blase wrote in a report.


He estimated that a family of four with a 60-year-old head of household and income of $159,000 a year, would qualify for an annual subsidy of $15,868 under the Democratic proposal.

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