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What would health-care reform mean to you?

This is a bit of a reductive way of looking at it (as it's just about subsidies), but the Kaiser Family Foundation has worked up a calculator where you can put in your income and family size and age and see if the plan will help you pay your premiums. For most people, and almost everyone who has employer-based health care, it won't. But for some it will. And of course there are other regulations on insurers and cost controls and so forth that will help people but aren't captured in this calculator.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 5:29 PM ET
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I am sick of Republican law makers .
Pass the bill now.

Posted by: reformss | March 19, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, it would save our family almost $5000/year. Anthem Blue Cross is going to raise our premiums another 39% in May (after raising our premiums 41% last year.)

Congress, please pass this bill! Maybe my kids and I won't have to drop our coverage after all.

Posted by: katerina1 | March 19, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I get my health insurance through work, but I work in a very small office. What it means for me is that I'm less likely to have my boss cancel my insurance because it is too expensive.

Posted by: nisleib | March 19, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

sadly it means the government subsidizes my income. Ms. Nancy I don't want your welfare! I want cost control.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 19, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, what's your take on Altmire's statement.

Posted by: synnott | March 19, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Vision - Really? I didn't peg you as someone that was likely to recieve health care subsidies to pay for insurance.

Or am I misreading your comment? How, exactly, is HCR going to subsidize your income?

Posted by: nisleib | March 19, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Here is an interesting experiment, go to Kaiser and pick the reconciliation bill and select 64 year old, single adult, $43,000 income with no employer coverage. You get a $7,911 premium cost and a $3,826 federal subsidy.

Then use the exact same info except use an income of $44,000. You get a $7,911 premium cost and a zero subsidy.

That's a pretty big cliff.

Posted by: cautious | March 19, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse


I won't get subsidies.

I'm a health insurance agent. I help employers like yours manage the ever growing costs. Met with a client today that got a 56% increase from Cigna (all this in a state (NJ) that has an MLR at 80% and in the last year on record (2008) insurers were at 85+%)

What i do is the reason i know as much as I do about the system and, like the industry I call for cost controls on the system. My income for many clients (mostly smaller ones) is based upon a percentage of their premium (an ever decreasing percentage, but still a percentage). The less cost control and the more I personally get subsidized (the more insulation from cost the consumer is)

Its also why I get called a shill from time to time. But when I spend my day working with clients to ensure doctors, hospitals, insurers don't take advantage of them I'm fine with it even if some aren't.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 19, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The biggest perceived benefit for folks like me in Bay Area is this - in Tech Industry it is a jungle our there. Routinely competent engineers are thrown under the bus either because company's Tech Bet does not work out in market place or the start up finishes the funding before selling the product or VC looses the patience or plain and simple politics where one faction looses to another or the jobs are outsourced to my mother country (India). In short, competence and loosing job in this hyper competitive world are not related. You can loose job very easily. My current employer is doing good, but we are still loosing people because 'cash hoarded by the company is not enough' to invest in newer areas.

When you loose the job, we can get COBRA for one or two months at the most. This bill gives an option to have health insurance for you & family at some affordable money.

People have no idea (especially those GOP folks and those who oppose the bill) how helpful to have this backup arrangement when we want America to be competitive, when we want American companies to compete with rest of the world while retaining their ability to kick out engineers & employees at will.

If this backup arrangement materializes, it will help folks like me.

Posted by: umesh409 | March 19, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

What passage really means is that the feds will, eventually, tell you which doctor you can see, who you will buy insurance from, and what treatments you will be allowed. This is the first step to single-payer healthcare...just like Canada! The progressives and the entitlement folks are happy. But wait until middle income citizens figure out what this is going to cost them and it will hit the fan! This whole process has been a "sham!"


Posted by: my4653 | March 19, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this is my very first posting of any kind. While I personally think the present health care bill stinks, a bigger problem than that has surfaced. The ugly villain is "Deeming". After this health bill is finished, one way or the other, both sides of the political fence need to set a rule that there will be no more "deeming". It's not what our country or system is about. Both sides need to vote. Obviously, that is a lost concept.

Posted by: pierredu | March 19, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

It will mean that you will not be able to search for the best treatment in the country for your critically ill child. You will take what is available locally, and be grateful for that. You are NOT going to St. Jude's in Memphis (unless a bureaucrat says so); you are NOT going to that fancy cancer place in Houston. (Unless you are Sean Penn or a member of the Axelrod family.) You will take what is available locally and you will like it.

Posted by: truck1 | March 19, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

It looks like it is going to cost me about $10,000 per year in taxes. I expect it to cause health insurance prices in the non-subsidized employer sector even faster than the 5% we've been averaging. Over the next 10 years or so, I see this costing me well over $1M in higher premiums.

Isn't it funny how anytime the government starts subsidizing the costs of things for some people, the unsubsidized cost rises? Housing, college education, and health care, just to name a few.

Posted by: staticvars | March 20, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

The CEO of Catepiller says Obamacare will cost his company over $100 million!

Posted by: JakeD | March 20, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

People who have no insurance will benefit. Everyone else, and that's the majority, will suffer. The diminution in the financial well being of the majority will be called "having skin in the game." A number of profiteers will be enriched off this legislation.

Posted by: truck1 | March 20, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I can't believe how much the reconciliation bill sucks.

As self-employed/self-insured I'd end up paying close to the exhorbitant rate I do now!


Why can't we have the House or Senate bill as is?

Posted by: dadada | March 20, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

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