It Turns Out That They Don’t Actually Know What’s in the Health-Care-Reform Law

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"Hooray! We're on Medicaid!" Photo: iStockphoto

Critics of the health-care-reform legislation passed last year are fond of pointing out that the law is so long and complex — way more than three pages! — that it's impossible to really know what's in it. And it turns out they're kind of right! The AP reports that the law would unintentionally grant up to 3 million early-retiree couples access to Medicaid — the insurance program for the poor — despite earning as much as $64,000 a year. Nobody realized it until after the bill was signed.


The Medicare actuary's office roughed out some examples to illustrate how the provision would work. A married couple retiring at 62 in 2014 and receiving the maximum Social Security benefit of $23,500 apiece could get $17,000 from other sources and still qualify for Medicaid with a total income of $64,000.

That $64,000 would put them at about four times the federal poverty level, which for a two-person household is $14,710 this year. The Medicaid expansion in the health care law was supposed to benefit childless adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level.

While this may appear to all be part of President Obama's secret scheme to gradually bring every American under the freedom-killing umbrella of government-run health insurance, it's actually just a mistake, and the administration is "exploring options" for fixing it.

AP Exclusive: Medicaid for the middle class? [AP]