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The Obamacare Train Keeps Not Wrecking

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by gifford1967, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. gifford1967

    gifford1967 Contributing Member
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    Driving that train..


    The Obamacare train keeps not wrecking
    by Ezra Klein

    Vox


    [​IMG]

    ...


    OBAMA'S SIGNATURE ACCOMPLISHMENT IS SUCCEEDING BEYOND ALL REASONABLE EXPECTATION

    A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that in seven major cities that have released data on 2015 premiums, the price of the benchmark Obamacare plan — the second-cheapest silver plan, which the federal government uses to calculate subsidies —  is falling.

    Yes, falling.

    "Falling" is not a word that people associate with health-insurance premiums. They tend to rise as regularly as the morning sun. And, to be fair, the Kaiser Family Foundation is only looking at 16 cities in 15 states and the District of Columbia, and the drop they record is, on average, a modest 0.8 percent (though this is the same methodology they used in 2014, and to good results). But this data, though preliminary, is the best data we have  —  and it shows that Obamacare is doing a better job holding down costs than anyone seriously predicted, including Kaiser's researchers.

    "I expected premium growth to be modest in most of the country," Larry Levitt, a co-author of the report, told Vox's Sarah Kliff. "But what we saw were some decreases instead."

    [​IMG]

    Obamacare's surprising successes

    Obamacare is doing better at a lot of things than anyone seriously expected. The law's initial premiums came in cheaper than the Congressional Budget Office projected when the law first passed. In April 2014, the Congressional Budget Office said the unexpectedly low premiums meant Obamacare would cost $104 billion less than they previously thought. If Kaiser's estimates hold nationally, Obamacare's cost will have to be revised downward yet again.

    The fear about government programs in general, and government health-insurance programs in particular, is that they are overly generous because they spend other people's money. But Obamacare's competitive insurance marketplaces are actually doing what they promised to do: forcing insurers to compete for customers by cutting costs. The Congressional Budget Office explains that Obamacare's premiums are cheaper-than-expected because its insurance features "lower payment rates for providers, narrower networks of providers, and tighter management of their subscribers' use of health care than employment-based plans do."

    OBAMACARE IS FORCING INSURERS TO RUN LEANER THAN EMPLOYERS ARE

    That is something of an extraordinary statement: Obamacare is forcing insurers to run leaner than employers are. The CBO is so surprised by this that it basically refuses to believe it will last. They expect that Obamacare "will not be able to sustain provider payment rates that are as low or networks that are as narrow as they appear to be in 2014," though they think it will continue to run leaner than employer-based insurance. And perhaps that's right. But CBO has underestimated the law before, and the addition of more insurers into the marketplace, and more customers into the marketplace, should mean even more pressure for lower prices.

    Obamacare's premiums aren't its only victory. The law, despite its famously disastrous launch, beat expectations and enrolled 8 million people in its insurance exchanges. In part for that reason, more insurers are joining Obamacare's exchanges, which will increase competition and put even more downward pressure on prices. All that speaks to the subsidized private insurance Obamacare offers through its exchanges, but Obamacare's Medicaid expansion is, well, expanding too; Pennsylvania's Republican governor signed his state up just this week.

    All this is happening amidst some genuinely remarkable news for spending in government health-insurance programs generally. Medicare's per-enrollee spending is actually going down —  a string of words I never thought I'd write in that particular order.

    This is, as Vice President Joe Biden might say, a big ****ing deal.
    As Margot Sanger-Katz and Kevin Quealy write at the Upshot, the reductions in projected Medicare spending for 2019 are, at this point, "greater than [what] the government is expected to spend that year on unemployment insurance, welfare and Amtrak  —  combined." It's not clear to what degree Obamacare's manifold efforts to save money in Medicare are contributing to those falling costs, as the trend predates the law. But many health economists do think Obamacare is contributing on the margin, and either way, it's more evidence that the federal government is figuring out how to run a tighter health-care ship.

    The 2010 time machine

    Imagine taking a time machine back to 2010 and telling Republicans in Congress, who were arguing that the CBO was wildly underestimating Obamacare's cost, that the law would be cheaper than predicted and, at least in the states that accepted its Medicaid dollars, cover more people than the Congressional Budget Office thought. After the laughing and mocking and the calling of security, let's say you offered this prediction in the form a of a bet. What odds do you think Obamacare's critics would have offered? 2:1? 5:1? 10:1?

    Or imagine it played out the other way. Imagine that Obamacare's 2014 premiums had come in higher than expected, and its 2015 premiums were growing even faster than projected. Imagine it had signed up 6 million people rather than 7 million people. Imagine Medicare costs were exploding. What would Fox News be saying about Obamacare right now? What would the Wall Street Journal editorial board be writing?

    ...
    http://www.vox.com/2014/9/5/6108493/obamacare-premiums-lower-2015
     
    #1 gifford1967, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  2. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

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    No real shocker here. but we still have a long way to go.
     
  3. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    Not interested int he thread but do you have any more peter orszag pics?
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga 80s
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    Good news for the nation and the American people. Hope it continues to succeed.
     
  5. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    lmao too early to measure the failboat this turd will become

    also -- need a link, OP
     
  6. gifford1967

    gifford1967 Contributing Member
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    li'l t you so crazy. Millions more covered. Across the board slowing of growth in insurance rates. LOWER rates in a number of areas. Obamacare is the Titanic!!11!!!
     
  7. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    gotta give the rates time to re calibrate -- far too early

    PREMATURE CELEBRATION
     
  8. Baba Booey

    Baba Booey Contributing Member

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    It's far too early...EXCEPT TO MAKE THE JUDGEMENT THAT IT'S THE WORST THING IN HISTORY!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. gifford1967

    gifford1967 Contributing Member
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    Somehow, li'l t managed to graduate from the Harvard of the South without developing the critical thinking skills necessary to comprehend the point you are making.

    bigtexxx aka Rice's Shame
     
    #9 gifford1967, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  10. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    I think you mean the Wake Forest of the Gulf Coast for Aspiring Non-Doctors or Lawyers
     
  11. fallenphoenix

    fallenphoenix Contributing Member

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    bigtexxx's hypocrisy in every one of his posts is delicious
     
  12. Nolen

    Nolen Contributing Member

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    Repped.
     
  13. rudan

    rudan Member

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    [​IMG]


    Why is the kenyan going to hit the Asian chick? Obamacare abortions?
     
  14. gifford1967

    gifford1967 Contributing Member
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    Found in my rep-

    Why post that in rep, instead of the thread?

    Weird.
     
  15. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

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    Who really cares what is posted in your rep??
     
  16. fadeaway

    fadeaway Contributing Member

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    LOL! So true.
     
  17. chrispbrown

    chrispbrown Member

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  18. Bandwagoner

    Bandwagoner Contributing Member

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    Not asian. She is african american.
     
  19. okierock

    okierock Contributing Member

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    I thought ending the war in Iraq was his signature accomplishment.
     
  20. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    More good news on a Monday morning!

    GOP's Obamacare Nightmare Is Coming True: It's Working

    For Republicans, the Obamacare reckoning has arrived sooner than expected.

    The politics of the health care law have undergone a sea change since its disastrous rollout last fall, when many conservative operatives were salivating at the prospect of a GOP wave in the midterm elections due to an Obamacare "train wreck."

    But the train never wrecked. The law rebounded, surpassing its signups goal and withstanding a flurry of attacks. The issue seems to have mostly lost its power as a weapon against Democrats, and a growing number of Republican governors — even in conservative states — are warming to a core component of Obamacare, the Medicaid expansion.
     

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