Comparing the House and Senate subsidies
Some plucky staffers in Rep. Jim Cooper's office (D-Tenn.) have been spending a few long nights huddled before Microsoft Excel, but the result is an uncommonly clear look at the way the House and Senate finance bills help the working class.
To understand the graphs, remember that they're measuring two things. The bottom half tracks premiums. The top half tracks maximum out-of-pocket costs. You'll notice that the House has a steady out-of-pocket maximum, while the Senate's changes alongside income. You'll also notice that the House is moderating costs primarily through subsidies, while the Senate is relying on regulations that limit the out-of-pocket maximum in insurance plans. The House's approach costs taxpayers more, but the Senate's approach probably costs individuals more, as insurers will pass those costs along.
One last note: These charts go further than most in looking at both premiums and out-of-pocket costs, but they don't account for the differing levels of generosity in the two benefit packages. As I understand it, the numbers for the House are based on the expected average of the three lowest-cost plans, while the numbers for the Senate are based on the "silver" plan.
Update: I'm informed that credit should go to James Leuschen, Cooper's legislative director. Nice work, James!
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