Barack Obama seems very confused about the poor in America. At one point in his campaign, he set the income bar for the rich as low as $75,000, promising a middle-class tax cut to those who made less than that figure. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that Obama’s health-care reform plan proposes to subsidize medical-coverage expenses for families of four making as much as $88,000.
So are they rich or poor? It depends on how one defines … political expediency:
Most versions of the proposed overhaul floating around Capitol Hill, including the one endorsed by Mr. Obama, define “low-income” people who would be eligible for government subsidies to buy health insurance as including those with incomes almost twice the median household income.
Under the proposal, slightly more than one in five of the nation’s households -– through the redistribution of income in taxes they pay –- could be subsidizing the health insurance of the other four in five families, even though many of those who would receive government largess have incomes well above the national average.
The government, under Mr. Obama’s overhaul, would help buy health insurance for families of four that earn up to $88,000 a year.
To put this in perspective, the median household income in the U.S. — the point at which half the households make more and half earn less -– is roughly $50,000.
Obama proposes to subsidize more than half of all families in the US. Who will end up paying for these subsidies? Obviously, Obama wants to argue that only the wealthiest earners in the US will pay the bill, but they don’t make enough money to do so — even if the government confiscated all of their earnings.
The ratio itself shows the ludicrous construct of ObamaCare subsidies. If ObamaCare actually controlled costs better than the present system, why would the government have to subsidize families that by any measure are earning a significant income, a level more than 60% greater than the median? And who will argue that families earning $88,000 cannot afford to find health insurance without a federal subsidy?
The real reason for that figure is simple. Peter Brown notes that 80% of the population would qualify for subsidies at that income level cutoff. It’s a vote-buying scheme, a way to mollify political rage by giving 80% of people the sense that they’ll get something for nothing. By the time the bill actually comes due, it will be far too late for the anger and opposition to effectively stop ObamaCare.