Early retirement, courtesy of ObamaCare

While I’m sure the Petersens have worked very hard throughout their lives and deserve a comfortable retirement, but let’s examine what this story actually represents: Two people who can easily obtain insurance on the individual market, despite their preexisting conditions, have to pay a lot for the health care they consume, but an amount they can afford at their income levels – but not at their expected level of retirement income. Because Obamacare provides direct subsidies from the federal fisc, and indirect subsidies from the higher premiums paid by younger people and healthier people, their rates have dropped low enough that they can now close their small business and live off of their retirement savings — at the expense of others.

Lots of decisions we all make involve implicit tax subsidies and social costs. But early retirement, needless to say, doesn’t really have much to do with the stated intent of Obamacare — expanding insurance to people who can’t get it or can’t afford it.