Expanding the ACA Subsidies to Quell the Storm

Earlier I wrote a post suggesting that the Obama administration would tough out their current problems with the ACA and that the promises to administratively fix the issues they were encountering with those losing their individual insurance policies amounted to not much more than “stall ball.” I didn’t consider that they might actually increase the subsidies above the current 400% of the poverty level to ameliorate the problem. Actually, they might.

Stein writes that, “According to the administration source, the White House is ‘looking at an administrative fix for the population of people in the individual market who may have an increase in premiums, but don’t get subsidies.’”

Right now, subsidies for individuals to purchase insurance through an exchange top off at 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which is the equivalent of an individual earning about $46,000.

According to Stein, the theoretical administrative fix would seek to address those who don’t qualify.

That’s from the Washington Examiner and the Stein their referencing is Sam Stein who has lots of good connections to the White House. The Examiner notes that the CBO originally estimated a cost of $458 billion for the subsidies over a six year period. If you push it to 500% the estimate was for 1.2 trillion. Read the entire article for more context.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, at least that would seem to me to be the best reading of what’s going on here. And indeed desperation would be the best word to describe an administrative effort to bend the law this far without Congressional approval if indeed that is what they’re contemplating.

About Tom Lindmark 401 Articles

I’m not sure that credentials mean much when it comes to writing about things but people seem to want to see them, so briefly here are mine. I have an undergraduate degree in economics from an undistinguished Midwestern university and masters in international business from an equally undistinguished Southwestern University. I spent a number of years working for large banks lending to lots of different industries. For the past few years, I’ve been engaged in real estate finance – primarily for commercial projects. Like a lot of other finance guys, I’m looking for a job at this point in time.

Given all of that, I suggest that you take what I write with the appropriate grain of salt. I try and figure out what’s behind the news but suspect that I’m often delusional. Nevertheless, I keep throwing things out there and occasionally it sticks. I do read the comments that readers leave and to the extent I can reply to them. I also reply to all emails so feel free to contact me if you want to discuss something at more length. Oh, I also have a very thick skin, so if you disagree feel free to say so.

Enjoy what I write and let me know when I’m off base – I probably won’t agree with you but don’t be shy.

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