Good News for Obamacare Is Bad News for Conservative Pundits
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
Since: Apr 12
#1 Apr 18, 2014
Conservatives were sure at every turn that Obamacare would fail, but as the numbers roll in, those convictions are looking increasingly ideological.
First they said nobody would enroll. Then they said first-year premiums would be through the roof. And later, they warned of a "death spiral," wherein premiums would go up uncontrollably. My colleague Sam Baker has written an excellent analysis of the situation, the upshot of which is that Obamacare is on a winning streak.
The next great frontier of conservative hyperbole concerns premiums for 2015, with critics warning that costs will double or even triple next year.
As of this week, we have good evidence to the contrary. Health insurance premium rates are expected go up just 7 percent—a rate of increase much lower than what critics were predicting. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is predicting that premium hikes will be relatively modest.
"The double-rate increases we've been hearing are probably exaggerated," Dave Axene, a fellow with the Society of Actuaries, told USA Today. "That's not what we're seeing from the actuarial organizations—I guess we're being a little bit more optimistic."
"A little bit more optimistic" is something of an understatement. For weeks, pundits have been spouting apocalyptic notions about the costs of insurance premiums, warning Americans that "the worst is yet to come."
Writing in The Washington Post last month, Michael Gerson speculated that premium increases could hit triple digits. "Over the past several years, increases in insurance premiums have averaged nearly 6 percent," he wrote. "Because of the rocky launch, age distribution, and delayed provisions of Obamacare exchanges, insurance company officials expect far larger premium increases this spring—in the double digits, if not the triple digits, in many places."
He goes on to reprimand the Obama administration for failing to prepare Americans for these drastically increased premiums, calling it "another round of Obamacare overpromising." In fact, it's Gerson who's blown the expectations game—not that he's alone in that.
Just last week, Scott Gottlieb, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, wrote in Forbes that "health insurance premiums are showing the sharpest increases perhaps ever" and that "rate hikes have accelerated as Obamacare's regulations have started to get implemented."
#2 Apr 18, 2014
Obamacare is a failure. 2/3 of the new policyholders are on the govt dole and paying nothing. Middle class families are going hungry due to premium increases. Illegal aliens get free healthcare. If this is what you call a success, you are one getting the freebies.
Saint Paul, MN
#3 Apr 18, 2014
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