As we have noted, the initial health care proposal released by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus does not provide enough subsidies to make insurance affordable.
The Congressional Budget Office has now released an analysis of those subsidies and total cost sharing under the Baucus bill. A chart on the last page shows premium payment requirements and total health care costs — and the costs are steep.
A family of four that makes $66,000 per year, according to the chart, could pay $8,300 for a low-cost plan with an additional $5,000 in cost sharing for a total of $13,300 — or 20 percent of income.
A family of four making $30,000 would face $1,400 in premium payments and $1,500 in additional cost sharing for $2,900 in total annual costs.
Baucus says he will increase the subsidies, which is good news. The CBO letter makes it clear that the Finance Committee should look to the House and the Senate HELP Committee for guidance on subsidies. We can’t require everyone to purchase insurance and then put costs at 20 percent of income.