These changes would fix a couple of long-standing problems with Obamacare on the “affordability” part: the subsidy cliff for people definitely still in solid middle-class income who made just too much to qualify for assistance and, at the other side, helping the people in the Medicaid gap making too much for Medicaid in their states, but too little for the subsidies in the current ACA. Most of these people are in the states that have refused to expand Medicaid, which Congress is also addressing in this legislation by providing incentives to those states to expand.
The COBRA fix is another key one. People who leave their jobs are eligible for coverage under COBRA for up to 36 months, an option many people prefer if they themselves or family members have medical history issues that make not changing up coverage important. But the premiums have to be paid in full by the subscriber, the part that the employer paid for previously as well as the part that was the worker’s responsibility. That’s very expensive, and now will be 85% more affordable. It’s a big deal.
This should help increase enrollments in Obamacare, which President Joe Biden is reopening for a three-month period starting next week, on Feb. 15. In other ACA news, the Biden Department of Justice has withdrawn the previous administration’s support for the lawsuit seeking to throw out the law at the Supreme Court. In fact, the Biden Department of Justice argues, the law is indeed constitutional.