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June 21, 2014

Taxes pay the premiums

IF YOU ARE ONE of the 5.4 million Americans who have health insurance through Obamacare, you’re probably pretty content right now.

A new report shows that almost 70 percent of the people who signed up are paying premiums of less than $100 a month.

It’s not that their insurance is that cheap, but rather other taxpayers are subsidizing 76 percent of the costs for them — an estimated $12 billion in 2014.

Then there are the expanded Medicaid rolls. The Urban Institute estimates that if all states expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, federal and state spending would increase by $808 billion over a decade. The state and federal cost without any expansion was estimated at $220 billion.

None of this is very encouraging for people who aren’t getting a break on their premiums.

But at least now all Americans have insurance, right? Well, no. The latest Gallup poll found that 13.4 percent of Americans are still uninsured. That compares to the peak uninsured number of 18 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

Health care coverage needed reform, but we question whether all the billions of dollars being spent are worth a 4.6 percentage point change.

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