The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has roiled America since the day it was signed into law in 2010. From the start, the public was almost evenly divided between those who supported it and those who opposed it.
They still are. The November monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 50 percent of those polled had a favorable view of the health law, while 46 percent viewed it unfavorably.
As part of their giant tax bill, Republicans in Congress are about to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Their objective is not sensible health care reform but rather insensible arithmetic that could satisfy the byzantine rules governing the Senate’s reconciliation process.
The purpose of the mandate is to evenly distribute risk among healthy and unhealthy Americans on the individual insurance market so that costs are shared and no one is left out.
Will killing the mandate ruin Obamacare exchanges? No, but it will transform them into an extended form of Medicaid by another name. Americans with subsidized policies will stay in the system, with help from the federal government.
Unsubsidized individuals, however, will be driven out of the market, because a repeal of the mandate will cause premiums on exchange plans to skyrocket as healthy people exit.
If a bill to fix Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments were paired with a repeal of the health care law’s individual mandate, the CSR fix wouldn’t do much to lower premiums or increase coverage, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says.
The budget scorekeeper said that previous estimates would remain roughly the same under the above scenario: 13 million fewer people would have coverage in 2027 and average premiums would rise by 10 percent in most years of the decade.
The White House says it’s willing to strike a health-care provision from Senate legislation to cut taxes and overhaul the tax code if the provision becomes an impediment to passing one of President Donald Trump’s top legislative priorities.
The provision would repeal a requirement that everyone in the U.S. have health insurance or pay a fine, but has emerged as a major sticking point for Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, whose vote the White House needs. Collins said Sunday that the issue should be dealt with separately.
Doomsday headlines about Obamacare enrollment may be having an unforeseen consequence: booming sign-ups in the troubled insurance marketplaces.
Obamacare’s fifth open enrollment season, the first under President Donald Trump, is off to a surprisingly robust start despite the brutal developments of the past year — skyrocketing premiums, dwindling competition, unremitting Republican efforts to eradicate it.
A paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Consumer Research, published by Oxford University Press, sheds light on their thinking by observing that conservative consumers are prone to “right-wing authoritarianism” and “system justification motivation.”
Those are fancy ways of saying conservatives are more willing than liberals to accept what their leaders say as true and have little appetite for rocking the boat.
Kiju Jung, a lecturer at the University of Sydney Business School and coauthor of the paper, told me conservatives are basically more inclined “to believe in society’s institutions, and thus to avoid challenging these systems.”
While it’s true that premiums for the popular silver Obamacare plan could shoot higher for 2018, most enrollees could actually end up paying less for coverage next year.
In fact, more consumers will be able to snag policies that will cost them nothing each month.
How can that be?
It’s because premium subsidies are soaring too, making many plans on the exchanges more affordable.
Consumers can now check out how much Obamacare will cost them in 2018.
The window shopping tool for the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, went live on Wednesday, allowing folks to start comparing plans a week before open enrollment begins.
What they find may shock them, especially if they aren’t eligible for federal premium subsidies. Premiums for silver plans — the most popular on the exchanges — will rise an average of 34% in the more than three dozen states that use the federal exchange, according to a new analysis from Avalere, a consulting firm. The hikes vary by state, with Iowa seeing the largest average silver plan rate increase at 69%.