How Obamacare may strain family budgets

Many people will feel the financial burden, with an average per-person cost of at least $2,988 and tax credits limited to fewer than half of buyers.

By Aimee Picchi Sep 25, 2013 11:57AM

Insurance Money (© Comstock Images, Jupiterimages)Updated 7:40 p.m. ET.


For many Americans, Obamacare will be a test of their budgets and their tolerance for the health care overhaul. 


That's because buying insurance through the health care exchanges will cost individuals "at least $2,988 a year on average" per person, Bloomberg notes.


While that price will be discounted for some people through tax credits, fewer than half of people buying coverage will qualify, according to an August analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. 


The costs of the Affordable Care Act remain a sore point for Republicans and other conservatives, who point to the law as potentially hurting businesses and workers' wages and are threatening to shut down the federal government as part of their battle to defund the legislation.


Obamacare may lead to a test of the U.S. economy, according to a white paper from Express Employment Professionals. Some companies are cutting employee hours to avoid paying for health insurance, for instance, although the evidence is mostly anecdotal.


But for some individuals, Obamacare's cost may mean a strain on their budgets. 


A two-parent, two-child family with annual income of $100,000 won't receive a government tax credit, for example, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's subsidy calculator. That family's unsubsidized annual health insurance premium would amount to $8,290 per year, based on the midlevel "silver plan." 


As the health care exchanges open on Oct. 1 for enrollment, the plans' affordability may make or break the overhaul. If people lack health insurance on Jan. 1, the government will levy a $95 per-year fine. That may prompt some consumers to gamble against coverage. 


As Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. insurance analyst Brian Wright told Bloomberg, Obamacare's success "will depend on the changes that are made over the next couple of years to address the affordability issue."


Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi


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639Comments
Sep 25, 2013 1:05PM
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Affordable Care Act?  Affordable for who.  It also kills existing coverages provided by business because almost all of them are considered Cadillac.  Obamacare is an Albatross!  It needs to be scrapped and everyone start over and come up with something that works.
Sep 25, 2013 1:51PM
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Can't beleive this was deemed constitutional!!!  Not only is it going to tank the economy, I really doubt health care coverage will be good.  The government will be deciding who gets what and when.  The government will ruin our healthcare like it has ruined everything else.  God help our children!!!
Sep 25, 2013 2:10PM
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IF HARRY REID AND WITCH PELOSI THINKS THAT THIS HEALTHCARE IS GREAT, WHY DON'T THEY GIVE UP WHAT THEY HAVE AND GET ON OBAMACARE ALSO LIKE ALL OF US.
Sep 25, 2013 1:42PM
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This is going to work so well.  The idiot in the oval office has no clue.
Sep 25, 2013 1:47PM
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The government and the media will continue to keep the lies going. As soon as this gets implemented the government is going to raise the payments and limit the benefits. Since day one we have heard nothing but lies and that is what we will continue to hear as long as Obama is president. You will remember that originally half of the country thought they were going to get free healthcare. They are doing nothing other than establishing another socialist program and they will change the program and costs at their will as soon as it is established. You have no idea what you are signing up for. You are signing up for the rules to change whenever government officials feel like making changes for any reason. These same government officials support higher taxes and more spending and more and more expensive programs now....that is the way government operates.
Sep 25, 2013 2:03PM
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DO YOU THINK, OBAMANUT KNOWS THAT MOST PEOPLE IN THE LOWER TO LOWER MIDDLE CLASS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT BUT THESE PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO PAY A PENALTY OF 1% OF THEIR GROSS INCOME OR $95.00 WHICH EVER IS GREATER FOR THE 2014 YEAR AND IT GOES HIGHER EACH OF THE FOLLOWING YEARS. OBAMANUT DID THIS NOT BECAUSE HE CARES ABOUT ANYONES HEALTH CARE BUT HE WANTS THE PENALTY AKA. TAX WITHOUT CALLING IT A TAX. THE DUMB POOR LIBERALS FELL FOR THIS CRAP AND VOTED THIS NUT IN.
Sep 25, 2013 1:55PM
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Not sure why health insurance isn't in an open marketplace like car insurance & homeowners insurance.  Employers & the government should have nothing to do with it to begin with.  We should be able to shop competitive plans on our own.  It would also create competition among insurers, as well as providers to lower costs.  I do believe everyone should have to be responsible enough to insure themselves and dependents.  Those who are not insured run to the emergency room for every little thing and who foots the bill for that?  They sure don't.  My friend told me how her UNINSURED father became catastrophically ill and by the time he was all said and done after the helicopter rides, and 2 years of treatments and surgeries, his bills were over $500,000.  She said he was so relieved that he didn't have to pay for any of it.  The State picked it up.  All I did was nod and smile.  Why on earth would anyone want to get insurance?? 
Sep 25, 2013 2:16PM
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Obamacare = derailment

Family Budget hurt

Employment goes part time to avoid health care

Employees still get penalized for no health care

Sep 25, 2013 2:13PM
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this was a great **** by the dems.  now I am supposed to pay 10% of my pay for a service I do not use.

I hope every lazy MFer in this country sends me a thank you note for subsidizing their worthless lifestyles.

barry and congress can go **** themselves.  fine me.  then go **** yourselves again.

Sep 25, 2013 1:34PM
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In CA Obamacare will not be affordable. Due to high cost of living median wages are higher than in most other states, but the subsidies assume even pay scales across the country. In low wage, low cost states the federal subsidies provide a much bigger benefit than in high wage, high costs states. In CA folks buying coverage may pay more than 15% of take home pay for health care premiums. That excludes deductibles and co-pays. Over time it will grow worse as health care costs continue to rise far greater than overall inflation rates. Either the subsidies will have to be increased, or Obamacare will collapse within a few years. 
Sep 25, 2013 2:17PM
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We know Obamacare is the biggest boondoggle in the history of the country. And here we have the debt  ceiling debate before us. It is so wonderful that we know how our wonderful President stands on this issue. Read on folks.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising Americas debt. Limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from the foreign countries to finance out government’s fiscal policies.

And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees: robbing our familes and out children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.

Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in Americas priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans. A debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies.

Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’a debt limit.

Sen. Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. (Senate speech March 16, 2006)

We ought to be so proud to have a individual with such honesty and integrity in the White House. Says what he means, means what he says.

 

Sep 25, 2013 1:58PM
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Ops, said the Obama sheeple! We thought we all be get it for free cause Obama go to tax the evil rich Republicans  (not the good rich Democrats) to pay for ours. 

 

If it sounds to good to be true, it is. Heard that one deer in the headlight liberals?  

Sep 25, 2013 2:08PM
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Obummer had to lie thru his teeth to get his awful law passed! I cant believe how uninformed most liberals are. Or, they are in total denial as to what is really going on in the country. I think most of them get their news from msnbc. Really sad, considering msnbc only tells listeners what they want them to know. It is also very scary the irs will be enforcing obummer care. The same irs that targeted certain political parties right before the 2012 election. I can almost guarentee that obummer and his mobsters knew about the targeting and deliberately kept quiet about it till after the election. Obummer is a total fraud! He doesnt give a **** about anyones health. I hope the brain washed libtards pull their heads out of obummers behind and stand up for what is right.
Sep 25, 2013 2:17PM
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Its a simple choice, Obamacare or economic recovery. which one will the Democrats be supporting before the next election. The Republicans need to stand up for their voters. Too many representatives are listening to the main stream media and worry about "bad" press. The only BAD PRESS they will hear will be for voters who are in an economic bind because of Obamacare.
Sep 25, 2013 1:55PM
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Where does the subsity money come from?  Oh well.   It's not another tax but you can get tax credit.

   

Sep 25, 2013 2:00PM
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The PPACA represents everything that is wrong with health insurance in our great nation. Citizens should purchase health insurance for coverage of major medical and catastrophic health care. Consumers should be willing to pay out of pocket for routine care, why would we involve multiple staff at the physicians office, multiple people at the insurance company and multiple people at the government for a tetanus shot. Do we expect our auto insurance to check the air pressure in our tires? 
Sep 25, 2013 2:11PM
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so if you are unemployed and cant afford insurance, they will fine you almost 1500.00 dollars. That makes perfect sense......NOT!!!
Sep 25, 2013 2:48PM
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Medicare Part G  You're a sick senior citizen and the government says there is no nursing home care available for you.  So what do you do?
Our plan gives anyone 65 years, or older, a gun (G) and 4 bullets.  You are allowed to shoot four Politicians. 

Of course, this means you'll be sent to prison, where you will receive three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating and air conditioning and all the health care you need. 

Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That's great.  Need a new hip, knees, kidney, lungs or heart? They're all covered. 

As an added bonus, your kids can come and visit you at least as often as they do now. 

And who will be paying for all of this?  The same government that just told you they can't afford for you to go into a home. 

And, you can get rid of 4 useless politicians while you're at it. 

Plus, because you are a prisoner, you don't have to pay any income taxes anymore. Is this a great country or what?
Sep 25, 2013 2:44PM
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We will just have to pass it to see what is in it?  Why Thank you Reid, Peeosee and MR President.
Great job of legislation.  The only winners;  people who sneak in to this country and those YOU said do not have to follow this because you are a special voting block..............?
Sep 25, 2013 2:16PM
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taking bets on how many people opt to pay the fine which will be cheaper than the medical insurance if I understand the program correctly. the national news ran a story on a guy making 36K a year who would be paying $285 a month after the tax credit with a $1300 a year deductible. this being one plan up from the highest deductible.  considering what net pay is after payroll deductions on 36K a year, how could this be considered affordable health care for all. maybe if the federal government could force the price of gas, food, shelter, ect. down about 20% or more it could work. single or 2 person small business owners are telling me it is going to put them out of business.
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