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.