Kevin Drum runs the numbers on Obamacare premiums, and they’re essentially the difference between no insurance and affordable insurance for families in the gap between Medicaid eligibility and jobs that generally include employer-sponsored insurance:
What follows is back-of-the-envelope stuff, but I think it’s in the right ballpark. Let’s take a family of four where the policyholder is age 35 and has an income of $40,000. How much would insurance cost them? According to this handy calculator from Kaiser, here’s what that family would have to pay (converted into a monthly premium):
* Premium cost: $925
* Federal tax credit: $760
* Net cost of policy: $165
However, this overstates things because it’s based on the cost of a “silver” policy. But you don’t have to buy a silver policy. You can pay more and get a gold or platinum policy, and more importantly, you can pay less and get a bronze policy. Bronze policies don’t provide great coverage, but they do provide the basics and they also cover health emergencies. It’s a reasonable option for someone who just can’t afford more. By my rough calculation, a bronze policy would cost about $125 less than a silver policy. This means that the net monthly premium for our family of four would be about $40. […]
Drum’s point is that, overall, the ACA is probably such a good deal that a mandate will be unnecessary in practice. That’s why we needed two years of screaming about socialism and all the other boogity-woogity bullshit that’s going to culminate in tomorrow’s unbiased, disinterested ruling from the apolitical Supreme Court. Republicans had to convince their group of base voters who would benefit from the ACA that this is such a good deal that they should be ashamed to take it.
Also, too: singles under 30 will get a catastrophic care policy for nothing or next to nothing. Remember that next time someone under 30 asks you why they should vote for Obama a second time.