What happens when you combine partisan politics with an unaccountable regulatory regime? You get the White House’s decision Tuesday to extend ObamaCare subsidies beyond what is legally permitted by tax law. The Biden administration’s new rule to remove what’s been cleverly framed as the “family glitch” is a political play that should worry anyone concerned with regulatory transparency in Washington.
As I’ve written in these pages, the White House has long sought to expand coverage on ObamaCare exchanges in this way. But the law is clear; it made subsidies for exchange plans available if the employee had to pay more than about 10% of income for a self-only plan. Basing subsidy eligibility on the cost of self-only coverage meant that families that had to pay more than 10% of income for a family plan lost out on the subsidy. This created the so-called family glitch—even though the vast majority of families in these situations were insured on an employer plan.