Yes folks, the NYT is trying to dislodge Fox News. What they may lack in outrageousness they make up in credibility. Here they are with a front page story telling us about the tragic situation of the Chapmans, a New Hampshire couple making $100,000 a year who will have to spend $1,000 a month for insurance with Obamacare. This would come to 12 percent of their income. The piece tells readers:
"Experts consider health insurance unaffordable once it exceeds 10 percent of annual income."
That's interesting. If we go to the Kaiser Family Foundation website we find that the average employee contribution for an employer provided family plan is $4,240. The average employer contribution is $11,240. That gives us a total of $15,470. Most economists would say that we should treat the employers payment as a cost to the worker since in general employers are no more happy to pay money to health insurance companies than to their workers. If they didn't pay this money as health insurance then they would be paying it to their workers in wages.
If we say that this family has a $70,000 annual income (roughly the median for two earner couples), then the cost of the health care policy would be close to 20 percent of their income, even adding in the $11,240 employer contribution to their income. This would mean the experts consulted by the NYT would think that most of the families with insurance have unaffordable insurance.
In this respect, the $1,000 a month that the Chapmans are paying under Obamacare looks pretty damn good. It is more than 20 percent less expensive than the average policy in the Kaiser survey. Of course a lot depends on what is covered and the extent of the deductibles, but based on the information given in the NYT article there is no reason that anyone should be shedding tears for the Chapmans.
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