Dec
21
2013

New York Times *finally* tells its readers: #Obamacare is awful for the middle class.

The New York Times is starting to get a bit nervous about this health care law thing.

Ginger Chapman and her husband, Doug, are sitting on the health care cliff.
The cheapest insurance plan they can find through the new federal marketplace in New Hampshire will cost their family of four about $1,000 a month, 12 percent of their annual income of around $100,000 and more than they have ever paid before.

Even more striking, for the Chapmans, is this fact: If they made just a few thousand dollars less a year — below $94,200 — their costs would be cut in half, because a family like theirs could qualify for federal subsidies.

So much so that they’re now gingerly starting to tell their readers what you and I already know: “While the act clearly[*] benefits those at the low end of the income scale — and rich people can continue to afford even the most generous plans — people like the Chapmans are caught in the uncomfortable middle: not poor enough for help, but not rich enough to be indifferent to cost.” I welcome this sudden decision by the New York Times to join us here in Reality Non-Unicorn, and hope that they enjoy their visit.  Indeed, the Old Grey Lady is more than welcome to settle here permanently.

But – again – what’s happening to the Chapman is not a bug in the system.  It is the system.  The idea behind Obamacare’s health care ‘plan’ was to transfer wealth from the middle class to the poor, the healthy to the sick, and from the young to the old.  It was simply couched as an ‘and everybody will have lower health care costs and better service!’ program because there was (and is!) no politically viable way to sell ‘higher premiums, higher deductibles, and fewer doctors’ to the middle class.  And President Obama’s stop-gap measure of offering access to horrible insurance to make up for Obamacare taking away the perfectly fine insurance people already had isn’t really going to help matters either. Not in the country, not at the voting booth.

Oh, and by the way: NO REPUBLICAN VOTED FOR OBAMACARE.

Via @tedcruz.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*It is not, in point of fact, clear that locking more people into Medicaid benefits those people.  And I am being polite in my statement, there: the system defaults to helping to keep poor people poor, and possessed of inferior health care.  Remember, the Democratic party loves poor people; that’s why it tries to make as many of them as possible.

2 Comments

  • Bartlett says:

    Please note that the $12,000 per year they’re talking about is 12% of their GROSS income, not their net after taxes. By the time you’re in the low six figures, you figure that the feds and the state are going to take a significant bite – at least 30-40%, by the time you figure in FICA, Medicare, federal dollars, and any state/local taxes (no income tax in NH, for what that’s worth). That means that their take-home is probably between $5K and $6K per month, and the new health care costs are going to chew up about 15-20% of that. Darn few households in 2013 are banking even 10% of their take-home with nothing else to do with it other than to give it to insurance companies.

    Nor does this article even MENTION deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, or the real expenses that this family will encounter if they need actual care. If this is the cheapest plan on the exchange, you can pretty much guarantee those costs are going to be significant (I’m getting used to seeing 5K as a floor and 12-15K as a ceiling for them – another 10-20% of the annual family take-home, thanks so much.)

    This is yet another family that is going to have to hunker down, figure out the cheapest way to get past the Obamacare tax, and hope like hell that they can avoid getting sick until some of this crap can be repealed.

    And there are a LOT of these families out there.

    • Freddie Sykes says:

      Yeah but they get free birth control! Believe me, the last thing a couple in their mid-50s want is to start a new family.

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