$15 minimum wage and health insurance

Typically most workers want more money.  In the case of one man, however, an increase in the minimum wage may force him to work less.

At $15 an hour, his annual income would become too high to qualify for CountyCare under the current income limit. So any salary gains could be wiped out by the price of his medications and supplies, including two kinds of insulin at $403 a month and drugs to control high cholesterol and blood pressure that add an extra $330 a month…

At $15, he figures he’d need to reduce his total work hours to ensure his new income didn’t disqualify him from his current benefits.

Although giving health insurance benefits to the poor improves equality in the nation, taking away these benefits using a means test creates a perverse incentive to work less. Clearly, government benefits need to be structure to incentivize people to work more, not less.

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