President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform creates a financial burden for the working class, says David Gamage, who worked on implementation of the law’s tax provisions at the Treasury Department and considers himself an Obamacare supporter.
“Without further reforms, the law will create unnecessary costs for working-class Americans,” the University of California at Berkeley law professor writes in The Wall Street Journal
“Consider a low-income American supporting a family of four deciding whether to take a part-time job that pays $36,000 a year or a full-time job that pays $42,000 a year. According to my research, accepting the higher-paying job could result in the family losing over $10,000 a year in health-care subsidies.”
The law also may encourage companies to switch low-income workers to part-time positions, Gamage says. That way businesses don’t have to offer these workers health insurance and can avoid the $3,000-a-year penalties under Obamacare for businesses that don’t offer their workers insurance.
“Without further reforms, many employers and employees will jointly benefit if employers make low-income employees part-timers rather than offering them health insurance,” he writes. “The losers will be taxpayers, who will need to fund the subsidies that these employees will be eligible for.”
Obamacare has plenty of flaws, Gamage says. But both parties agree there is a pressing need for reform. “If Republicans and Democrats will work together, they can build a system better than either Obamacare or what we had before,” he states. “Partisan warfare should not stand in the way of improving health care for all Americans.”
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