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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Will The Costs Of ObamaCare Be Sustainable?

U.S., Taxes, Politics, Quality of Life, Healthcare, Economy

The Los Angeles Times published a story today (June 18, 2014) citing the fact that of the some 8 million enrollees in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), sometimes better known as ObamaCare, 9 in every 10 received government assistance to pay for their premiums.  This assistance helped lower the premiums by 76% on average.

The premiums would’ve normally cost $346 per month on average and instead now cost just $82 per month after the subsidy.  That is great for those who enrolled but it may not be such good news for the rest of Americans.  Obviously this subsidy money has to come from somewhere and you can very likely guess the somewhere…the people who will be footing that bill.   That is the taxpayers of the country.  The article pointed out that the federal government is on track to spend at least $11 billion this year on those who bought coverage on the federal website.

The Times also pointed out that this doesn’t include the states that enrolled people on their own websites.  This simply includes the enrollees from the healthcare.gov site.  About a third of these 8 million enrolled on state-run websites and those are not included in these numbers.  The estimate is that, if the subsidies continued at the same pace, then the total annual bill would run to some $16.5 billion this year.

The Congressional Budget office (CBO) estimated that these subsidy costs would climb to $23 billion next year and to as much as $95 billion by 2024.  Will this level of spending be sustainable over time?  That seems doubtful and this brings the question of what programs will be cut to make the subsidies available.

That is anyone’s guess at the moment, but it is easy to see that there will be tough decisions needing to be made by a future Congress.

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