Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Tennessean's Frank Daniels hits the nail on the head with, "it pays to be poor."

In Tennessee, of the 268,867 people who enrolled in plans for 2016, 85 percent received a tax credit. Per HHS data, the average monthly premium for people receiving tax credits increased $2, from $102 to $104 per month, in 2016.
So, in a perverse way, it pays to be poor, at least to access health insurance.
If you are one of the 15 percent who do not qualify for a tax credit, TDCI said the average “silver level” premium for a 35-year-old living in the greater Nashville area will be $518.34 per month; the average premium for a 45-year-old will be $612.50. (link)
Tennessean's Frank Daniels  acknowledges a modern truth with his recognition, "that it pays to be poor."  We have already seen the truth of this with low income people who are better off trapped in poverty than losing public housing, food stamps, medicaid, AFDC, and myriad other entitlements; now we will see this for those who get subsidized healthcare who have incomes above the medicaid level. It is bad social policy to incentivize people to be poor but that is what the Affordable Care Act does.

If you subsidize something you get more of it. When we subsidize poverty we should expect more poverty. A side effect of  Obamacare is less upward mobility and more people trapped in poverty. There is also an incentive for employers to not grow their company beyond 50 employees and to keep the number of hours some employees can work below 30 hours a week. The law also provides a motivation for a couple with children to avoid marriage and unstable families is known to be a contributor to poverty.

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