Pity the parents who have two children and earn $89,000 per year. They are members of America's last true victim class -- the unsubsidized ones.
These are the Americans who pay for every thing the federal government does but receive in return only those general benefits that derive from the few federal activities that actually serve the common good -- such as incarcerating terrorists at Guantanamo or securing our borders against illegal aliens.
Obamacare will bring a big, expensive surprise for these unsubsidized ones.
Provided you suspend disbelief and accept the analysis of the Congressional Budget Office, the version of the health care plan approved by the Senate Finance Committee complies with President Obama's vow that the plan will not increase the federal deficit.
Under this bill, the government will force individuals to buy health insurance but not employers.
If it is enacted, people earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level would qualify for a federal subsidy to buy health insurance. But they would only receive this subsidy if their employer decided not to provide them with health insurance and they agreed to use the subsidy to buy a federally approved plan in the federally regulated exchange.
Employers who choose not to provide workers with health insurance will pay a price -- in the form of fee payable to the government for every one of their workers who ends up using a federal subsidy to buy insurance. But, according to the bill, the sum of all fees any employer pays cannot exceed $400 times the total number of workers on the employer's payroll.
So employers will face a choice: Pay many thousands of dollars per worker to private health insurance companies, or pay $400 per worker to the government.
This is an offer employers cannot refuse. Predictably, companies all over America will dump their private health insurance and force most of their workers into the government system.
Where will that leave the unsubsidized ones? They will soon discover that the federal government is attacking their family finances on two new fronts -- through the taxes they must pay to fund the new national health care system and through the premiums they must pay to buy their own insurance.
As determined by the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal poverty level this year for a family of four is $22,050. A family earning 400 percent of that makes $88,200 per year.
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