The Corner

Fiscal Policy

Biden Classifies $200 Billion Obamacare Expansion as a Tax Cut

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in honor of the 500,000 U.S. deaths from the coronavirus in Cross Hall at the White House, February 22, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

It should not come as a huge surprise that President Biden, in his latest massive spending proposal, wants to expand Obamacare by $200 billion. But what takes real chutzpah is his decision to classify that spending as a tax cut.

In the White House fact sheet on Biden’s latest $1.8 trillion spending proposal, there’s a section headlined “Tax Cuts for America’s Families and Workers.”

The first item is, “Extend expanded ACA premiums tax credits in the American Rescue Plan.” The translation of this is that the “COVID relief” package passed earlier this year included money to increase the subsidies that Obamacare offers to individuals to purchase insurance on a government-run exchange. Now, Biden wants to use this proposal as a vehicle to make them permanent. The document refers to this as a “$200 billion” investment.

But there is nobody who would receive a tax cut as a result of this $200 billion. It would merely help subsidize health-insurance premiums for those who qualified.

This spending category has been classified as spending by the Congressional Budget Office going back to Obamacare’s initial conception. It is deeply dishonest to call it a tax cut.

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