More Downsides


Are you kidding? Says TPM Reader JB, in so many words …

I just read “Do I Have the Politics Wrong?” on your web site. I am always appalled at the idea of paying subsidies to the poor and moderate income people so they can buy private insurance policies.

The people supporting the subsidy concept seem to have no idea how expensive private policies are! Perhaps they have good coverage from their employers and they’ve never researched the cost of private health insurance plans.

My husband and I retired early and have been paying for our own health insurance, so I’m well aware of the costs. For example, our policy costs $1260 per month. My younger neighbors with a husband and two kids pays $1000 per month for a similar policy. This happens to be the most economical policy I could find in the Seattle area.

Our policy has a $1500 yearly deductible (per person). After we pay the first $1500 of costs, the policy starts paying 70% of our health care bills. My husband and I have been quite healthy, so our yearly expenses rarely exceed $1500. This means we’re paying for almost all our own health care costs plus we’re paying $1260 per month just in case of an emergency.

I can’t imagine that the government could subsidize this type of cost. Also, how can a poor family afford that $1500 per person plus 30% of the costs over $1500? My plan is a “full coverage” plan. A catastrophic plan would have much less coverage. So even if the government subsidized the cheaper catastrophic plans for poor people, the poor would have even less coverage.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of