I’m not entirely certain that the math is right, but the calculation sure is:
Bad coverage on the state exchange for my family, with $6,000 deductibles per person, would cost a total of about $9,000 per year. And unless you have a real sickly year, insurance with deductibles that high is just a very expensive form of not having coverage at all. Good coverage would run us about $15,000 per year.
But the maximum fine for refusing to buy coverage is 1 percent of your pay this year, and 2.5 percent in the future. That’s because if the plan included fines high enough to induce the purchase of coverage, the law would not have passed. So a family man like me has to make $360,000 per year, once the fine goes up, to make buying even the cheapest coverage a better deal than the fine.
I’ve run the numbers. There’s no scenario, when you can buy insurance after you get sick, in which buying it before you get sick makes economic sense. Open enrollment isn’t year-round, so you might face part of a year paying for your own treatment if things go wrong, but with the deductibles on many of these plans, that’s true even with coverage.
Bolding mine. The author of this piece finishes by noting that it’s not the glitches that make this deal unpalatable; it’s the deal itself. Which is very true; and I will merely add that the odds of those taxes – not fines; taxes – being raised by Congress to be pretty much nil. Which means that those penalties are locked in for the foreseeable future.
It is remarkable, how much defenders of Obamacare count on the supposed inability of Americans to do math; particularly since that supposed innumeracy famously goes right out the window whenever actual money is involved…