The White House is considering awarding ObamaCare subsidies, which are intended for the uninsured, to labor unions, Avik Roy writes in Forbes.
“The text of the Affordable Care Act is straightforward; if you have gained coverage through an employer-sponsored health plan, you’re not eligible for subsidized coverage in the exchange, because you already get a subsidy through the tax code: you don’t pay income or payroll taxes on the value of your health coverage.
“If, suddenly, the 20 million [workers who currently have insurance through labor-union sponsored] plans were eligible for subsidies, Obamacare’s costs would skyrocket… we’re talking $50 billion a year in additional insurance subsidies for those individuals. That’s more than half a trillion dollars over ten years, accounting for health inflation.
“I would say that it’s inconceivable that the White House would seek to impose such a ‘fix’ to Obamacare without the consent of Congress. But, given the other changes that the administration has made to the health law—of similarly questionable legality—we can’t rule anything out,” Avik writes.