Most Families Can Afford Coverage Under Health Law, but Poor Still Lag

Federal assistance available under the health reform law will make private insurance affordable to 90 percent of Americans living above the poverty line even though poorer people may end up struggling more to pay out-of-pocket costs, a new report by the Commonwealth Fund found. “Basically, the Affordable Care Act is affordable for virtually everyone,” said Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of the report. “The only sort of black mark is that very sick, low-income people are not as protected as they should be.” The report uses consumer spending data to analyze family budgets across income levels, and compares them to the costs of buying coverage through subsidized “exchanges,” virtual insurance marketplaces, and out-of-pocket health care spending.

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