Forget the public option. Even without it, the health care bill presented in the Senate by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) would make some middle-class American families pay what amounts to a $15,200 annual federally-mandated insurance fee, according to facts revealed in analyses published by the Congressional Budget Office.A family of four--two parents and two children--earning $88,200/year would be at 400% of the poverty level: a family making $88,201 would not be eligible for the subsidy. And if the parents' employers didn't offer coverage, the family making $88,201/year would be required by law to purchase a policy out-of-pocket, estimated by the CBO to cost an average of $15,200/year.
The fee would result from the facts that the bill requires individuals—but not employers—to purchase health insurance plans and that families that earn up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level would be given government subsidies to purchase insurance in government-regulated insurance exchanges while families earning more than 400 percent of the federal poverty level would be denied government subsidies.
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