From John R. Graham:
Thank providence for USA Today, which has given us yet another story describing how poor access to health care is under Obamacare.
People who fell for navigators’ sales pitches and signed up for Obamacare are discovering that it is junk insurance:
“The exchanges have become very much like Medicaid,” says Andrew Kleinman, a plastic surgeon and president of the Medical Society of the State of New York. “Physicians who are in solo practices have to be careful to not take too many patients reimbursed at lower rates or they’re not going to be in business very long.”
Kleinman says his members complain rates can be 50% lower than commercial plans.
“I definitely feel like a bad person who is leeching off the system when I call the doctors’ offices,” she says. Shawn Smith of Seymour, Ind., spent about five months trying to find a primary care doctor on the network who would take her with a new, subsidized silver-level ACA insurance plan.
Note: This person had a silver plan, not a bargain basement bronze plan.
More: Government Buries Evidence of Poor Access to Care under Obamacare | Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org.
From David Hogberg at the National Center for Public Policy Research:
When millions of people in the individual health insurance market lost their health plans in late 2013, ObamaCare supporters claimed those lost plans were “substandard” or “crappy.” However, they failed to support that contention.
This study examines the claim that the policies on the individual market were inferior in quality to those on the ObamaCare exchanges. First, it compares the premiums and the size of the deductibles as well as maximum out-of-pocket costs of policies on the individual market prior to the exchanges to those of current polices on the exchanges. Second, it examines the quality of provider networks by comparing the number of plans that are HMOs versus those that are PPOs in the individual market prior to the exchanges and those now on the exchanges.
The study finds that there were many policies on the individual market that had lower premiums and lower or equal deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than the cheapest plans now available on the exchanges. It also finds that the individual market prior to the exchanges offered a greater choice of hospitals and physicians since it contained far more PPO policies than HMO policies, whereas the exchanges offer more HMO policies.
Read the whole study: Despite ObamaCare Supporters’ Claims, Health Insurance Plans Prior to ObamaCare Exchanges Were Neither ‘Crappy’ Nor ‘Substandard’.
Via the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Michael Cannon at Cato:
This is part of a deliberate, consistent strategy by the Obama administration to throw money at individual voters and key health care industry groups—lawfully or not—to buy support for this consistently unpopular law.
More: ObamaCare Exchanges Recklessly, Often Unlawfully, Throwing Taxpayer Money At Health Insurance Companies | Cato @ Liberty.
Michael Ramlet writes:
We estimate that within 10 years, the number of uninsured Americans may increase by 10 percent. At the same time, premiums will rise faster than federal subsidies. The latter problem will be most severe when insurers release their 2017 rate increases in the summer and fall of 2016—perhaps the most awkward timing for the law’s supporters.
More: A 10-Year Prediction for the Affordable Care Act – NationalJournal.com.
See also Risky Business: Will Taxpayers Bail Out Health Insurers? by John R. Graham.
From a recent NCPA Washington Update:
As the implementation of Obamacare moves forward, more people are buying insurance and many of the early problems that plagued the website seem solved. But public approval ratings remain dismal. Maybe it is the complex labyrinth of paperwork. Or the rising cost of premiums. Many businesses are still coping with the effects of the new health care law, while many individuals are still trying to send the right documents to the government.
It turns out that health insurance premiums tend to be more affordable in states with more competition among insurance companies. That is a predictable outcome based on what we learned in Econ 101. Another predictable conclusion: Congress will always try to play by their own rules. You may remember that the Obama Administration exempted Congress from a provision in the law that requires members of Congress and their staff to purchase health insurance in the Obamacare exchange without a taxpayer subsidy. That’s why Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and other Republicans opposed the exemption. Now there are a group of Democrats who are introducing legislation that would require Congress to play by the same rules as everyone else. Just in time for the election.