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The Insidious Truth Behind the COVID-19 Relief Bill (Guest: Brian Blase)

February 24, 2021

Congress is gearing towards passing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that boosts subsidies in all the wrong ways.

As of February 24, 2021, it appears Congress will pass the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act that, among many things, will boost subsidies on the Obamacare exchanges. Brian Blase, president and founder of Blase Policy Strategies, did an analysis of the bill and finds the subsidies will help wealthier households over lower income ones, may discriminate against older women, and may discourage smaller businesses from providing insurance to their workers, especially now that many are switching to health reimbursement arrangements that give workers more insurance flexibility.

Blase’s analysis also shows how the premium boost will make consumers less sensitive to health care price jumps which will likely happen in markets with limited competition. The paper can be downloaded here:

Expanded ACA Subsidies Exacerbating Health Inflation and Income Inequality

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AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform. @HCPolicy