From Holman Jenkins at The Wall Street Journal, ObamaCare Beyond the Handouts
Of the eight million who have signed up, some 87% are receiving taxpayer subsidies. In other words, they are getting health care partly or wholly at someone else’s expense. The latest data reveal that the average monthly benefit amounts to $276 per person (up from $268 in February), allowing the typical HealthCare.gov user to buy a plan for $69 per month out of pocket.
To put it another way, the annual subsidy amounts to $3,312 per recipient. Which is excellent if you’re one of the recipients.
The right question about any program is whether the benefits justify the expenditure of taxpayer money. Obama Care’s cheerleaders provide not cost-benefit analysis but benefit analysis—as if money grows on trees or is donated by Martians or can be printed in limitless quantities by the Fed.
King is a threat to ObamaCare because, without subsidies, ObamaCare is nothing. It fixes no problem in our health-care system, except to subsidize more people to consume health care at taxpayer expense. Not that subsidies are always undesirable: They help some people get necessary care. But subsidies do the most good when used sparingly, because subsidies also tend to inflate prices for everyone as well as encourage inefficient consumption that doesn’t improve health and may even endanger health.
When you rob Peter to pay Paul you can often count on Paul’s approval.