Monday, July 29, 2013

The Republi-CON 'Obamacare is a Failure' Myth

UPDATE IX:  "[T]here’s a palpable sense of anxiety, even despair, among conservative pundits and analysts. Better-informed people on the right seem, finally, to be facing up to a horrible truth: Health care reform, President Obama’s signature policy achievement, is probably going to work.

And the good news about Obamacare is, I’d argue, what’s driving the Republican Party’s intensified extremism. Successful health reform wouldn’t just be a victory for a president conservatives loathe, it would be an object demonstration of the falseness of right-wing ideology. So Republicans are being driven into a last, desperate effort to head this thing off at the pass."

Read The New York Times, Republican Health Care Panic.  

The article notes that "[a]lthough you’d never know it from all the fulminations, with prominent Republicans routinely comparing Obamacare to slavery, the Affordable Care Act is based on three simple ideas. First, all Americans should have access to affordable insurance, even if they have pre-existing medical problems. Second, people should be induced or required to buy insurance even if they’re currently healthy, so that the risk pool remains reasonably favorable. Third, to prevent the insurance “mandate” from being too onerous, there should be subsidies to hold premiums down as a share of income.

Is such a system workable? For a while, Republicans convinced themselves that it was doomed to failure, and that they could profit politically from the inevitable “train wreck.” But a system along exactly these lines has been operating in Massachusetts since 2006, where it was introduced by a Republican governor. What was his name? Mitt Somethingorother? And no trains have been wrecked so far."

UPDATE VIII: "If Obamacare is 'collapsing under its own weight,' then why do Republicans have to work so hard to sabotage it?"

Read the Washington Post, The core contradiction at the heart of the GOP campaign to sabotage Obamacare.

UPDATE VII:  Why are premiums paid by individuals buying health insurance on their own 'tumbling'?  A provision of Obamacare called the medical loss ratio AKA 80/20 rule, which requires more of a health insurance premium be spent on health care. 

Read the Washington Post, The Obamacare provision that terrifies insurers.

Imagine that, health insurance paying for health care, not CEO salaries and company profits.  What will they think of next.

UPDATE VI:  "In the 11 states that have released rates for next year, premiums for a middle-of-the-road plan are an average of 18 percent cheaper than the Congressional Budget Office had expected. . .

Six states have released rate filings for plans available to small businesses through a separate exchange. Those policies are also an average of 18 percent cheaper than existing coverage options, HHS said."

Read The Hill, HHS: Premiums under ObamaCare lower than expected.

UPDATE V:  "Individuals buying health insurance on their own will see their premiums tumble next year in New York State as changes under the federal health care law take effect."

Read The New York Times, Health Plan Cost for New Yorkers Set to Fall 50%.  

UPDATE IV:  The Affordable Care Act "is an awfully complicated piece of work . . . [but] the fact that it’s complex doesn’t mean its implementation is anything like the train wreck that conservative Republicans (and Max Baucus) like to call it . . . and when you consider the magnitude of this challenge amid the blowback and underfunding of the effort, if I’m even close to correct, that will be a very impressive outcome."

Read The New York Times, The Path to Complexity on the Health Care Act

UPDATE III:  "The monthly cost of health insurance under President Obama's healthcare law is consistently coming in lower than expected.

Premiums for a middle-of-the-road policy have come in below earlier estimates in all nine states that have released their initial rate information.

A new analysis from Avalere Health says the lower-than-expected prices show that the central piece of the healthcare law — new insurance exchanges in each state — is working as intended."

Read The Hill, ObamaCare premiums lower than expected

UPDATE II:  "The United States spends more than $8,000 a person per year on health care, well more than twice what Sweden spends. Yet health outcomes are far better in Sweden along virtually every dimension. Its infant mortality rate, for example, was recently less than half that of the United States. And males aged 15 to 60 are almost twice as likely to die in any given year in the United States than in Sweden."

Read The New York Times, What Sweden Can Tell Us About Obamacare.  

UPDATE:  "For all the speculating in Washington about how the Affordable Care Act will work — much of it, I admit, from me — there’s been too little attention given to the best evidence we have on the subject: How the extremely similar reforms in Massachusetts have worked."
Read the Washington Post, Everything you know about employers and Obamacare is wrong.

Don't be conned by Republi-con wishful thinking and fantasy

“Obamacare got some very good news on Thursday. . .

The California exchange will have 13 insurance options, and the heavy competition appears to be driving down prices. The most affordable silver-level plan is charging $276-a-month. The second-most affordable plan is charging $294. And all this is before subsidies. Someone making twice the poverty line, say, will only pay $104-a-month. . .

[Competition is also driving down health care premiums in Maryland and Oregon. ]

Texas, meanwhile, is a bit of a mess. They didn’t allow the Medicaid expansion so the state’s poorest residents got nothing. They didn’t help with the exchanges, or the outreach, so there aren’t many choices, and premiums aren’t as low one might hope.”

Read the Washington Post, Some very good news for Obamacare