Blue Dog Compromise Would Impact About Three Million Uninsured

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July 27, 2009 8:21 a.m.

Last week, I noted that a number of progressive interest groups were urging House health care leaders to reject a compromise that would limit subsidies to the uninsured in order to push down the cost of reform legislation.

Blue Dogs have objected to the idea of taxing high-income earners to pay for about half the price of the Democrats’ health care bill, and have instead proposed eliminating a proposal to partially subsidize the cost of health insurance for uninsured Americans living between 300 and 400 percent of the poverty line.

But how many people is that? According to this paper (PDF) by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, the answer is a startling 2.7 million people. Note, these people–now uninsured–would be required under the terms of the legislation to buy insurance on the individual market, which averages over $12,000 a year per family nationwide. That figure would presumably decrease over time as a number of other price-controlling provisions kicked into high gear. But in the meantime, Blue Dogs are talking about forcing a great number of middle class American families to take on a significant expenditure in order to spare families making over $350,000 from suffering a small increase in marginal rates.

Late update: For more on this, check out this piece by Robert Pear in the New York Times

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