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 By Michael Austin  January 29, 2022 at 12:20pm

President Joe Biden and the establishment media have spent the past week celebrating new milestones reached by Obamacare.

A record 14.5 million Americans have signed up for Obamacare since November, surpassing the previous record of 12.68 million set in the final year of President Barack Obama’s administration, according to USA Today.

Once one looks a little closer at why so many new enrollees have joined the program, that achievement appears much less impressive.

According to an analysis conducted by Forbes contributor Sally Pipes, president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, Biden has gotten so many Americans to join Obamacare by paying them unprecedented amounts to sign up.

“That strategy only masks the long-term rise of insurance premiums and does nothing to address the waning quality of exchange plans,” Pipes wrote.

Subsidizing premiums for families and individuals well above the poverty line is nothing new for Obamacare. Biden’s American Rescue Plan took this to the next level.

According to Pipes, the plan increased subsidies for people with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty line. It also “capped what anyone pays — even those who make more than 400% of poverty — at 8.5% of income.”

Last year, the cost of the program was estimated at about $20,000 per new enrollee, or roughly $34 billion.

What is perhaps most shocking about Pipes’ report is who this money is actually going to.

“A substantial portion of these new subsidies is going to people who are relatively well-off,” she wrote.

“Consider a 60-year-old couple with two kids making $212,000 annually who signed up for Obamacare this open enrollment season. … That family will receive a subsidy of over $11,000 toward their coverage.”

All of this to support a program that is “a dismal failure” even when judged by “its proponents’ own promises and expectations when they passed it,” Pipes told The Western Journal.

Original estimates from 2010 claimed that in 10 years, nearly 25 million Americans would acquire health insurance through exchanges at a 10-year cost of $576.3 billion.

In 2020, that number was a mere 10.4 million. Even the record-high enrollment numbers touted by Biden are far below the goal.

These new records were only achieved as a result of generous additional subsidies from the American Rescue Plan, Pipes noted.

“Those new subsidies will last just two years, but are estimated to cost taxpayers $34 billion. That’s on top of existing spending, which has far exceeded original estimates,” she said.

Pipes went on to underscore “just how egregiously wasteful these additional Obamacare subsidies are.”

A mere 1.3 million previously uninsured Americans will gain exchange coverage this year thanks to those expanded subsidies at a cost of roughly $26,000 per person, Pipe said. This is “significantly more” than the $22,000 cost of the average family plan.

“We’re torching taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars on one of the most inefficient programs imaginable,” Pipes told The Western Journal.

Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including numerous original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet’s video podcast, “WJ Live.”

Birthplace

Ames, Iowa

Nationality

American

Education

Iowa State University

Topics of Expertise

Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment

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