Schumer is pushing for what remains of Biden’s grand economic agenda. Manchin is being Manchin
There are also brewing issues with the Manchin enabled Home Sabotage Squad, that group of reactionary Democrats who helped him kill Biden’s big Build Back Better agenda. Interestingly enough, they are now ready to sabotage Manchin. He wants higher corporate taxes in this package. A small group Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) is trying to assemble would draw his line in the sand: No new taxes on anyone. Now Manchin might be smart enough to be the one pulling the strings here, duplicating the bill, but probably not. Gottheimer is perfectly capable of being a weasel on his own.
While that unfolds, Manchin is also delaying addressing a critical issue for Democrats before midterm: keeping Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance affordable for about 13 million people. West Virginians face some of the highest insurance costs if Democrats don’t address the issue. But as Charles Gaba was followed on ACASignups.net, premium costs that insurance companies set for next year are rising in every state. The average premium increase so far is about 10%, but it’s up to 20.7% in Washington, DC.
The insurers are pointing to increased use as people seek delayed care during the pandemic, inflation and labor costs. They’re also trying to cushion Congress’ blow by not solving the subsidy problem and assuming that healthier people will drop their insurance altogether, leaving them with a sicker and more expensive group to cover.
This causes widespread panic. “Big picture, the trend I see is pretty big proposed rate increases for 2023,” said Sabrina Corlette, co-director of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at the University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. of Georgetown. Hemi Tewarson, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, said: “It is all the more concerning that rates are likely to increase in some states because the cost to the consumer will be higher in the absence subsidies that will make it more affordable to buy insurance.
The people who will suffer the most are those who, of course, can least afford it – people who earn 150% of the federal poverty level, or about $20,000 for an individual. It was primarily people in non-Medicaid expansion states who were able to purchase insurance, often at zero cost to them, due to expanded ACA grants that were created by the US bailout the year last. Without an extension of these subsidies, they are screwed.
But it will also affect the middle class, those who are 400% poor and more. That’s about $50,000 per year for an individual and $110,000 per year for a family of four. They will have to start paying the full price of the bounties if Congress does not act. They will receive notices of these increases starting in September and throughout October before the mid-term. Because insurers have to make these pricing decisions now, they have to assume the fix won’t pass, which means factoring in the higher costs due to people they believe will drop out entirely.
Thank you Manchin!
The Senate, however, did something on Tuesday. They confirmed—for the first time in nine years—a new director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The last permanent director was confirmed in 2013. Since 2015, the agency has been led by a series of acting directors. So that’s… something. And that only lasted a year and a half.