By Brian Blase
Forbes, May 13, 2021
Last week, the Galen Institute released a short analysis I conducted explaining why an administrative fix to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) so-called family glitch would be both illegal and harmful. Dania Palanker, with the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, criticized the analysis I conducted, saying it was not based on the administrative fix the Biden administration is considering. Although her critique contains substantial error about my analysis, it provided more detailed information about the administrative fix currently under consideration than was previously disclosed publicly…
An administrative fix to the family glitch causes three inter-related and significant policy problems: 1) displacing private spending with government spending as dependents replace employer coverage with subsidized exchange coverage, 2) making coverage more complicated for families, and 3) significantly increasing federal spending.…
The most significant concern with any administrative fix is that it would show that the IRS’s enforcement of the tax code is subject to the political desires of the White House and powerful policy advocates rather than compliance with statute. The IRS, along with the Department of Treasury and the Government Accountability Office, extensively studied options to fix the family glitch a decade ago. They determined, as did the Joint Committee on Taxation and CBO, that the law was clear and unambiguous—the affordability of coverage for the purposes of PTC eligibility was a function of the price of self-only coverage and not family coverage.
Nothing with the law has changed since the last time the IRS reviewed this issue.
The main reason that the Left and business groups want an administrative fix to the family glitch is that they do not want Congress to have to pay for it. They simply want the Biden administration to issue more government debt to deliver ever greater subsidies to health insurance companies for their latest political goals.
Read the full post at Forbes.