The Spokesman-Review

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Beneath ACA numbers

The Spokesman-Review’s “Healthy numbers” headline on April 24 doesn’t tell the whole story. Hopefully, some readers read on for the details. In your giddy trumpeting of the “success” of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) enrollment in Washington, your readers may have missed some key points.

For 73.5 percent of 619,000 who signed up for Medicaid, there is no cost. An easy sell. At least, for now, that tab is picked up by the federal government – that is, the half of us that pay federal income tax. Fear of that subsidy stopping in a few years worried 20 states, causing them to decline this Medicaid expansion in the ACA.

Of the remaining 26.5 percent who bought private plans, three-quarters of them got a 73 percent taxpayer subsidy. Bottom line: Fewer than 7 percent paid the entire cost of their Obamacare enrollment, giving new meaning to “affordable” in the ACA.

At least we didn’t blow it like Oregon, where all federal taxpayers (including us) will pay $250 million for their website failure.

Government figuring out how to sell something with someone else paying for it should be a no-brainer (unless you’re in Oregon).

Spike Lynch

Spokane



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