Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Once Again, Returning to The Flowchart...


Electorally, setting the cap at 300% versus 400% of the Federal Poverty Level isn't a big deal. Roughly four million Americans—people, not households—are currently uninsured and have household incomes between 300% and 400% of FPL. These are households that will suddenly find themselves with a government mandated expense that's going to pinch them at some point in the next five years. Most people at that income bracket have employer-provided insurance; those that do not frequently purchase insurance on the individual market. By comparison, 44 million seniors will immediately see the donut hole in out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses shrink in half. Do I think that the subsidy level ought to reach higher than 300%? Yes, particularly because people earning 250% of FPL are going to need more help than the bill currently provides. Do I think leaving the subsidy level at 300% will lead to electoral disaster? No.
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