Reuters’ Definition of “Lower Income”

While describing a Congressional Budget Office report that projects government spending on healthcare programs will “more than double over the next decade,” David Morgan of Reuters writes:

Medicare, the federal healthcare program for the elderly, accounts for about half the projected growth, with Medicaid at roughly one-third and the remainder attributed to new federal subsidies to help lower income Americans purchase insurance under President Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare overhaul.

Far from being limited to “lower income Americans,” these new federal subsidies established under Obamacare will be given to individuals with incomes up to 400% of federal poverty guidelines. Using the 2011 poverty guidelines, this means the subsidies will go to households with annual incomes up to $55,590 for a family of three, $89,400 for a family of four, or $104,680 for a family of five.

For comparison, the median household income in 2011 was $49,445.

Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by James D. Agresti, president of JustFacts, a nonprofit research institute based in New Jersey. Send comments to