Who Pays for ObamaCare?

Here is Paul Krugman’s answer in today’s New York Times:

Mainly, though, those insurance subsidies will cost money, and that money will, to an important extent, be raised through higher taxes on the 1 percent: tax increases that have, by the way, already taken effect.

Paying for health reform by taxing the rich was what Barack Obama promised when he was campaigning back in 2008. It’s also what Hillary Clinton said. In fact, I don’t think a single Democratic candidate for president even hinted that ordinary Americans would have to foot the bill. Ah, but now we get to the fine print. Courtesy of the Joint Tax Committee and the CBO:

  • ¬†Of the $1.5 + trillion ObamaCare will cost over the next ten years, only about 20% will come from taxes on the rich.
  • Almost half will come from cuts in Medicare spending, including $156 billion from the Medicare Advantage program (whose enrollees have below average incomes) and $145 billion from the DSH program (which funds medical care for people who can’t afford to pay their bills).
  • Taxes on insurance, medical devices and even tanning solons fall on the whole population and probably in a regressive way.

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Sal says:

    Good points. This will be more costly for the average tax payer, as it usually has been the case for many things in this country.

  2. Tom says:

    I’d like to know how these numbers were calculated. The links don’t provide sufficient data to accurately determine these estimated numbers are right

    • Sam says:

      True. I had trouble finding these calculations myself. A lot of projected revenue tables from all of the new provisions are laid out but I don’t know how these stats were calculated. Seems a bit premature based on this data to make these assumptions.

  3. Dewaine says:

    It is ridiculous to say that the middle and lower classes won’t be affected. So many of these taxes obviously affect people across income groups.

    • JD says:

      Even if they didn’t, taxes on the rich change their behavior and adversely affect the 99%. The “trickle-down” effects are economic science.

  4. JD says:

    Tax on tanning salons? Wouldn’t this disproportionately harm white people? ObamaCare is racist!

    • Dewaine says:

      It also disproportionately harms women, continuing Obama’s War on Women.

      • Craig says:

        Sexism and Racism, wow. I thought he was supposed to be liberal…aka the defender of all rights human, non-human, and semi-human.

  5. Bart says:

    “To an important extent” = “many” = “some” = “more than zero”

  6. Buster says:

    I think the answer to the question is: our grandchildren.

  7. Bob Hertz says:

    History suggests that the Medicare cuts will never occur.

    Or, the fee reductions will occur but utilization will grow so fast that Medicare spending will go up anyways.

    Uwe Reinhardt pointed out recently that doctor’s fees went down 5% over a decade in Medicare and spending increased by 20%.

    Taxes on the rich will not be enough. I agree that this means more deficits.