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You can’t spell Obamacare without ACA

Family.jpgForget all the bunk about the Affordable Care Act being the largest tax increase in history – it’s simply not true. Lost in the fog of political war is certainly much nuisance and truth, but also some really cool facts – like the reason behind that Affordable descriptor. It’s not there just for show.

Yes, Obamacare is a huge new entitlement, though as new entitlements go, this one is remarkably lean.

Health care is close to one-fifth of the U.S. economy, and we spend about 50 percent more on it than any other industrialized country, yet we have vast gaps in coverage. Obamacare is an attempt — the best so far — to fix that.

Coverage through the exchanges will be subsidized for people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level — close to $90,000 a year for a family of four, though subsidies shrink as income rises.

Here's an illustration from the Kaiser Family Foundation's online calculator:

A household headed by a 45-year-old with $75,000 in income, above the national median for a couple with children, would get a tax credit worth about $7,100, or about half the $14,000 cost of a family policy. If the premium were higher, the subsidy would rise, though the premium would be capped at 9.5 percent of income. Additional out-of-pocket expenses would be capped at $8,333.

Bottom linke: does that solve the affordability problem for health insurance? Probably not.

But it's a step in the right direction and worth keeping in mind during the election-year fog.  It is probably the reason Romney was so strongly for the idea – before he was against it, of course.

Seriously... does he have a better idea?