The standard progressive pushback - Hey, what about those subsidies! - is provided by Talking Points Memo.
And I will now extrapolate from experience with the Connecticut website to point out the hidden flaw in that pushback.
For various reasons left unexplained here, in 2013 my family had an Anthem plan with a $3,000 deductible/$6,000 out of pocket maximum and monthly premiums of about $1,600 per month.
Anthem has cancelled that plan with the advent of ObamaCare (and dropped a major local hospital from their network). We will be switching to employer sponsored coverage and aren't eligible for subsidies but just for my own edification I went to the CT website. Their "Gold" offering in Connecticut will cost (unsubsidized) roughly $1,9000 for similar deductibles and co-pays. That would have been a bit of a blow.
But what about the subsidies? Ahhh! Connecticut seems to have attached a random number generator to their website to help with that calculation.
For estimated income of $50,00, the site advises that we would be eligible for Medicaid.
At $60,000 the estimated subsidy is $1,200/mo, based on "cost sharing reductions", which I infer includes state aid.
At $70,000 we would be eligible for $1,072/mo of "Federal Tax Credits".
At $80,000 that becomes $935/mo. of Federal Tax Credits.
At $90,000 that becomes $1,045/mo. Why is the subsidy rising with income? I have no idea.
At $100,000 the subsidy is estimated to be $966/mo.
At $110,000 the subsidy is estimated to be $887/mo.
And at $111,000 (and above) the subsidy is estimated to be 0. Yike! Earning an extra $1,000 costs a Connecticut family roughly $10,000 in tax credits? Geez, what happened to those halycon days where earning an extra $10,000 per year (rising from $80k to $90k) could result in a greater subsidy?
[ObamaCare and marginal tax rates are discussed by economist Casey Muilligan in this paper and the WSJ. The Kaiser subsidy calculator produces the same subsidies as the CT website; the subsidy cliff is at 400% of the poverty line, which varies by locale and family size.]
If I had to bet I would bet that the CT website is not producing accurate information, which is a problem. I am also open to the possibility of user error, but I have tried this multiple times and gotten the same answer; if a mistake is that easy to make and overlook repeatedly, I blame the website design.
But if the info is accurate (and it might be!), that is an absurd marginal tax rate, to say the least. As a random middle class entitlement I imagine any of these subsidy numbers would be appealing. But it might be nice if the underlying logic was discernible. [My current guess is that their are CT state subsidies that are phased out with income on a different path from the Federal subsidies. Or something - at lower income levels the Kaiser-estimated Federal subsidies are much higher than the CT website subsidies, but at higher incomes the match is exact. For comparison purposes I used a family of four, mom and dad are forty (non-smokers) and the kids are ten and twelve.]
BONUS PUZZLE: From 85k to 89k, the monthly subsidy falls from $876 to $844; it then rises to $1,045 at 90k, as noted above. So an extra $1,000 in income yields an extra $2,400 in Federal tax credits - cool. Maybe not quite as wacky as the plunge from $110k to $110k, but still not the sort of increasing progressive tax people seem to be comfortable with.