Letter: Who wins if Obamacare is repealed?
To the Editor:
We’ve heard VP Pence and others crow about the county-level map of the U.S. that shows Trump outperformed Romney and easily defeated Clinton on the basis of “area covered” (84% of 3,112 counties) whereas more frequently cited statistics are the 57% of 538 electoral votes or 46.1% of 136.6 million popular votes they garnered.
Now that the unified federal government of the Republican Party is moving to repeal and replace Obamacare, it is much more interesting to note that the biggest beneficiaries of that repeal — based on the bill making its way through Congress — happen to reside in the blue areas of that map. These are the counties that went for Clinton, tending to support improvements to Obamacare rather than ditching it.
The bill being debated includes a reversal of the 0.9% Additional Medicare Tax and the 3.8% Additional Net Investment Income Tax, instituted by Obamacare to help pay for the credits that lower income individuals would receive to purchase health insurance.
According to an analysis by Bloomberg’s data crunchers, “Taxpayers in counties that backed Trump would see an annual windfall of about $6.6 billion, a Bloomberg analysis of IRS data shows. In counties that backed Clinton, it’d be about $21.9 billion.” So, even before considering how many individuals may lose coverage or see an increase in costs, it’s informative to realize that almost 77% of the net annual tax benefit of the repeal being discussed will be flowing into areas that didn’t back Trump.
Ridgefield residents (who voted 56/39 for Clinton) are lucky enough as a group to be in the top third percentile among Connecticut’s 169 towns when it comes to median income. Some of the Obamacare repeal windfall will likely occur here; we should try to assist those who fall victim to its underhanded design.
Ridgefield, March 20