This one weird trick can help even rich people buy Obamacare at sharply reduced prices. Really. A number of wealthy individuals, some of whom were “disgusted” with Obamacare when it first went into effect, nonetheless are now taking advantage of federal financial aid available under that health-care law to help significantly reduce their monthly insurance premiums. Carolyn McClanahan, a Jacksonville, Florida-based financial advisor and medical doctor, told CNBC that she’s steered at least five such clients, whose individual net worths range between $1 million and $3 million, toward buying Obamacare health plans because of the federal subsidies available due to their taxable income levels.
The Incidence of Mandated Health Insurance: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act Dependent Care MandateJanuary 12, 2016
The dependent care mandate is one of the most popular provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). This provision requires that employer-based insurance plans cover health care expenditures for workers with children 26 years old or younger. While there has been considerable scholarly and policy interest in the effects of this mandate on health insurance coverage among young adults, there has been little scholarly work measuring the costs and incidence of this mandate and who pays the costs of it. In our empirical work, we exploit the fact that some states had dependent care mandates in years prior to the passage of the ACA. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), we find that workers at firms with employer-based coverage – whether or not they have dependent children – experience an annual reduction in wages of approximately $1,200. Our results imply that the marginal costs of mandated employer-based coverage expansions are not entirely borne only by the people whose coverage is expanded by the mandate.
NIHCR: Limiting Tax Breaks for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: Cadillac Tax vs. Capping the Tax ExclusionNovember 18, 2015
A new National Institute for Health Care Reform analysis compares the Cadillac tax to capping the tax exclusion on employer health benefits. The analysis found only modest differences in progressivity—or the degree to which higher-income people bear a higher tax burden—between the Cadillac tax and capping the tax exclusion, primarily because employers are likely to avoid a substantial portion of the taxes by restructuring health benefits, particularly in response to the Cadillac tax.
Because employer-sponsored plans are exempt from payroll and income taxes, the benefit of the current exclusion is indeed relatively larger for higher-income people (who have high marginal tax rates) and relatively smaller for lower-income people (who have low marginal tax rates). However, as we illustrate with the numerical examples below, the Cadillac tax does not mitigate this inequity; it actually exacerbates it.
Is health care reform finding its footing—or fatally flawed? MIT economist and Affordable Care Act (ACA) expert Jonathan Gruber and Cato Institute Director of Health Policy Studies Michael Cannon share opposing viewpoints on the current state of reform.
Massachusetts’ reform failed to reduce racial and ethnic disparities | Physicians for a National Health ProgramApril 2, 2015
Massachusetts reform was not associated with significantly lower overall or racial and ethnic disparities in rates of admission to hospital for ACSCs. In the US, and Massachusetts in particular, additional efforts might be needed to improve access to outpatient care and reduce preventable admissions.
Obamacare has so far functioned as an income transfer program in which middle income people finance Medicaid expansions and health insurance subsidies for the poor and near-poor. Most uninsured middle class people have so far declined to purchase insurance because the coverage isn’t worth the price. Their taxes are subsidizing coverage for others. It seems unfair to hit them with an additional tax for refusing to buy insurance for themselves, especially when that coverage is less valuable than the coverage they are subsidizing for others.
Obamacare’s “pay more, get less” regime has made remaining uninsured an economically rational decision even for millions of people who are eligible for subsidies. Which may explain why the government is underachieving in its efforts to persuade millions of people to buy a product they just don’t think is worth the price.