Saturday, July 15, 2017

The truth: Obamacare is not "collapsing."

Perhaps the biggest talking point for Republicans trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act is that "Obamacare is collapsing."  Trump says it;  McConnell says it;  Cruz says it, as do most conservatives.  That line is repeated routinely, as though it's a given fact, like gravity or oxygen.   The truth is that it is simply not true.

It's not true, in spite of Republican attempts to sabotage the plan.  Insurance companies hate nothing as much as uncertainty.   They set premiums in advance, of course;  and they have to fix rates based on prediction of the amount of claims they will receive.

Republicans continue to malign Obamacare as ruining our economy;  and they dither and delay about what they will do about it, which leaves companies unable to calculate their risk.    So they run the rates up, just in case, so they don't get put out of business.

But now we have some new data to help.  It comes from our own Department of Health and Human Services.   You know, the one run by Tom Price, who is one of the doom-sayers predicting the failure of Obamacare.

In a just-released annual report, Tom Price's own HHS states that key programs are "working as intended," protecting insurers from unexpectedly large risks and moderating premiums for consumers.  Further, the figures in the report actually say that the customer base is "getting healthier and the risk pools have been stabilizing."

The Kaiser Foundation added its voice.   They confirm that the ACA is not collapsing and is on track for it's best year.   They also mention that the mixed signals from the Administration and Congress tend to destabilize the markets.

In other words, we're right when we say that it's Republican sabotage that is the negative, harmful factor in health care financing -- not Obamacare itself.


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