Video: Meet ObamaCare’s unintended consequences
posted at 9:41 pm on February 3, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham
This is really one in a series. A very long, sad series.
First, let’s crunch some numbers. Byron York flags the Brookings Institution’s conclusions on what Obamacare will do to wages. Brookings, as you may know, is no conservative outfit, but its research shows damage to wages for people in very modest income brackets and into the middle class.
A new study finds that Obamacare’s redistribution will be stunningly lopsided. Scholars at the liberal Brookings Institution have discovered that Obamacare will increase the income of Americans in the lowest 20 percent of the income scale, and especially in the lowest ten percent. But all other income groups — even people who make very modest incomes in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, as well as all income brackets above that — will experience a decline in income because of Obamacare.
In other words, Obamacare is going to cost some of the very people it was designed to help.
Brookings scholars Henry Aaron and Gary Burtless sought to determine the law’s impact on income in 2016, when almost all of Obamacare will be in effect. To do so, they adopted a broad definition of income — not just a person’s wages, but also pension income, employer health coverage, government cash transfers, food stamps, other benefits, and now, subsidies from Obamacare…
Aaron and Burtless’ first finding is no surprise: Obamacare will mean more for the lowest-income Americans. It will increase income by 9.2 percent for the lowest bracket — households making below about $21,000 a year — for those in their working years, age 25 to 64.
Then the surprise. Obamacare will reduce, by an estimated 0.9 percent, the incomes of working-age Americans in the next-lowest income bracket, households making between about $21,000 and $40,000 a year. And in the next income group, households making between about $40,000 and $65,000 a year — Obamacare will reduce their income, too, also by 0.9 percent.
A 1 percent reduction in income is relatively small. But it is still a reduction — and not at all what President Obama and Democrats in Congress promised. When the president pledged that Obamacare would make the health care system “better for everybody,” it’s doubtful Americans interpreted that as meaning it would reduce their income.
The full study is here.
This is yet another instance wherein Obamacare doesn’t just break a promise but its outcome is the opposite of the promise. This law was supposed to help everyone get lower premiums by $2,500 (oops, higher), people were supposed to be able to keep their plans if they liked them (oops, the thing outlawed millions of plans and incentivized businesses to drop many others), and it was supposed to benefit the middle class, but the middle class is being hit hardest by premium hikes because they’re often not eligible for subsidies, and now we find out their wages are going to drop off.
At what point do all the good intentions stop mattering when this is the result?
And, now to the video. This is fast-food fry cook Darnell Summers, who has been working with his union to get higher wages. He’s clearly pushing for a minimum wage raise, here, and President Obama is happy to talk about that. What he’s not happy to address is the part of the question where Summers notes he’s been knocked down to part time work because his employers are trying to avoid the expense of Obamacare. These are real people, who were promised far better than this, being hurt by a law that was supposed to help them. They are not figments of Fox’s imagination. They are not Republicans obstructing anything. They’re the people Obamacare has failed to serve.
Click to watch:
Fry cook asks Obama about getting cut back to part time b/c of Obamacare, Obama tells him Congress needs to pass a minimum wage increase
— BuzzFeed Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 31, 2014