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January 28 2016

Tax Dollars at Work: Doctor Helps Rich People Get ObamaCare Subsidies

Patrice J. Lee

One Florida doctor and financial advisor is helping her wealthy clients qualify for ObamaCare subsidies  even though they don’t need them.

Carolyn McClanahan proudly explains how she has steered a handful of clients whose net worth were between $1 million and $3 million towards buying into ObamaCare--and then receiving taxpayer-funded subsidies. Despite their trepidation, the clients along with her advice and managed to save between $4,600 and $8,800 in annual premiums each year. In addition, she got them help to pay for out of pocket costs like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

 McClanahan is doing nothing illegal. ObamaCare subsidies are calculated based on income not net worth. Many of her clients have high net worth from investments and real estate but are retirees with no salary.

She simply worked with their investments to set up a low stream of income they could live off or that fell between the $11,770 and $47,070, the range of taxable income that qualifies a person for ObamaCare. They had to submit a lot of paperwork, but are now fully covered on our dime.

The architects of the fundamentally flawed ObamaCare system were more concerned with luring as many people as possible into the system by bribing them with subsidies, regardless of whether they actually need the assistance.

Currently, more than 80 percent of ObamaCare customers use tax credits to lower their monthly premiums, because without them, ObamaCare would be too expensive to purchase. That alone invalidates the affordability argument of the Affordable Care Act.

CNBC reports:

"Everybody was like, 'Are you sure this is going to work?'" McClanahan said of her clients' reaction.

"And I'm like, 'Yes, I'm sure it's going to work.'"

And it's legal as well, because of the way the Affordable Care Act focuses on income rather than net worth to establish eligibility for Obamacare aid.

"The law was set up that way, so I'm going to help them take advantage of it."

McClanahan said she helped the clients structure their income stream — and the taxable component of it — "just right."

Lieb said that some clients initially "were pretty disgusted about the subsidies and how it all works" when Obamacare first began taking effect.

"Then they said, 'Well, shoot, I'm going to try to qualify myself,'" Lieb said. "I think they were more, 'If I can't beat them, join them.'"

If a law has loopholes this wide, people are going to drive through them, regardless of whether it's right to do so.  

We have to wonder how many people are taking advantage of the subsidy system across the country and whether federal agencies overseeing ObamaCare know about this, and, if so, are doing anything to address this.

 With entitlement programs or government subsidies, we need to ensure that only the truly needy, and not the truly greedy, receive these benefits, which come at an expense to all of us.  

 Instead of tinkering with a fundamentally broken ObamaCare system, let’s start over. We need patient-driven solutions that don’t break the bank and use the market to make medical care really affordable.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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