Wednesday, July 12, 2017

If you can't beat 'em, just screw 'em over

3 Ways Republicans Have Already Sabotaged Obamacare

Health care markets are struggling in parts of the country. GOP politicians did that on purpose.

Patrick Caldwell Jul. 12, 2017 6:00 AM, MotherJones.com

Republicans are telling anyone who will listen that Congress needs to repeal Obamacare immediately because the program’s insurance markets are collapsing around the country. “The situation has never been more dire,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price said this week. “Americans are continuing to lose what health coverage they have and are forced to choose from fewer options or pay the IRS for the right to go without.” President Donald Trump has even suggested that if Senate Republicans can’t pass a health care bill, they could simply let Obamacare fail.

Tales of Obamacare’s demise have been greatly oversold. In many states, the marketplaces are actually doing just fine, with moderate premium increases and healthy enrollment. There is no death spiral. An analysis released by the Kaiser Family Foundation earlier this week examining the current state of Obamacare’s marketplaces found that “the individual market has been stabilizing and insurers are regaining profitability.”

Many of the law’s troubles can be traced back to opposition and sabotage by Republicans. But Obamacare’s marketplaces have certainly encountered problems in some areas. Premiums have quickly increased in other parts of the country. And Kaiser lists 38 counties—covering 25,133 enrollees—that are at risk of having no insurers selling coverage on the marketplaces in 2018. That’s a small subsection of the more than 10 million people who signed up for 2017 insurance, but it’s a severe problem for the people in those 38 counties, since the government subsidies they are entitled to are only available for insurance offered on the marketplaces.

(More here.)

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