Pro-health reform group focuses spotlight on law's benefits for the middle class

Almost 29 million middle-income Americans will be eligible for a "historical tax cut" worth $110 billion in 2014 alone thanks to the healthcare reform law, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The national healthcare consumer organization Families USA commissioned the Lewin Group to use its economic models to estimate how many people would be eligible for the new premium tax credits created by the law. Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack said the report's release was a timely reminder of the health law's benefits to working, middle-class families at a time when much of the conversation in the nation's capital is focused on both rising healthcare costs and the need for tax cuts.

"This is one of the largest middle-income tax cuts in history," Pollack told reporters during a conference call. "And it will enable many hard-working Americans to afford private health insurance premiums that continue to stretch family budgets."

In addition to the expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor, the new law will offer tax credits to about 24.8 million people in families with a full-time employed worker and another 2.5 million people in families with a part-time worker.

The report also points out that the law will be especially helpful to workers in small businesses: 

  • More than half (52.9 percent) of those people eligible for the premium tax credit — 15.2 million people — work in businesses with fewer than 100 workers; 
  • About 40 percent of the people eligible for the tax credit (11.4 million people) are employed in businesses with fewer than 25 workers.

Families USA said it plans to release state-by-state information on the number of people eligible for the tax credits in coming weeks.