While President Barack Obama emphasizes that it’s the wealthy who will help finance his healthcare reform, the middle class would get socked pretty hard too, says Scott Gottlieb, a physician and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Health reform will leave many of them newly priced out of a transformed market for health insurance, he says.
“The hardest hit won't be those earning more than $250,000 a year — the group that he (Obama) says needs to ‘pay their fair share,’" Gottlieb says.
“Rather, it's families whose combined annual income is around $100,000 who could be crushed under this plan,” he wrote in a recent New York Post opinion piece.
People at that income level make too much too qualify for subsidies under the Democrats’ reform plan, but probably too little to easily afford the expensive insurance that the plan requires them to buy, Gottlieb argues.
Many families who earn about $100,000 a year will have to purchase a policy costing an average of $14,700 for the mid-level, "silver" health plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office's estimates, he writes.
“After income taxes, they'll be spending almost a quarter of their net income for health insurance.”
And what will be the end result? “Many of these middle-class families will probably opt to pay the federal fine and go without health insurance until they get sick,” Gottlieb explains.
Families making more than $250,000 don’t escape pain either. They will face a 2.9 percent surcharge tax on unearned income and a 0.9 percentage-point increase in Medicare payroll taxes.
Who does benefit from Obama's plan?
Drugmakers, device companies and health insurers all got some good news when Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives released changes to healthcare reform legislation on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
Hefty taxes on those three industries were delayed by at least a year, among other adjustments to the bill that seeks to overhaul the nation's healthcare system.
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