The Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill dedicates about $36 billion in temporary subsidies for Obamacare plans.
The Washington Examiner noted the money is being set aside to help make it more affordable for those in the middle class.
Right now, only those earning between 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level are eligible for premium tax credits to help them pay for Obamacare policies on exchanges.
The funding in the relief bill will expand tax credits for those earners but will also expand them to anyone making above 400% for the first time, according to the Examiner.
“We know that about half of the people under 200% of federal poverty who are eligible for coverage on the exchange don’t get it, most likely because it is unaffordable to them,” said Frederick Isasi, executive director of the nonpartisan Families USA. “And for people above 400%, coverage can be completely out of reach because there is no subsidy available.”
But others view it as adding even more problems to the healthcare plan.
“Obamacare made premiums unaffordable,” said Brian Blase, the head of Blase Policy Strategies and senior fellow at the conservative Galen Institute. “But instead of pursuing policies to lower premiums, Democrats are sending tens of billions of dollars to insurance companies so upper-income households can get relief from the high cost of the plans.”
The expansion is slated to last from 2021-2022,
Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., insisted Wednesday he's not going to "get punked" into voting for the Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID bill because it's a "fraud.”
"You put out a bill, you call it COVID relief," he said. “The problem is that’s not what the bill is.”
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