who have rejected ObamaCare’s misguided Medicaid expansion completely misses the mark. He contends that Arkansas’ “Private Option” is really just a block grant for Medicaid. But the truth lies in the fine print, and while there is no question the Private Option puts state taxpayers at risk, it also creates a new entitlement and ceded most of the control for the program to the federal government. It’s like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
Is Arkansas’ “Private Option” A Block Grant? Insurance Expert Bob Laszewski Thinks So, But He Is WrongApril 17, 2014
UnitedHealth Group Inc, the largest U.S. health insurer, said on Thursday that first-quarter profit fell due to costs and taxes related to the national healthcare reform law as well as government cuts to private Medicare funding.
The company said the costs related to the Affordable Care Act and the effects of budget sequestration last year on payments from the government negatively affected earnings by about 35 cents per share. Its Optum technology-related division, which has worked on the online insurance exchanges created by that reform law, continued to grow.
How Americans Die. Bloomberg visualization showing trends in mortality in recent decades by age, cause etc.
Uninsured Americans’ likelihood of signing up for insurance differs depending on the amount of the fine they would have to pay for not carrying insurance. At a hypothetical $95 fine level, uninsured Americans are as likely to say they would not get insurance (46%) as to say they would (47%). At a $500 fine level, the percentage saying they would get insurance jumps to 60%, but this percentage levels off at a $1,000 fine level at 62%.
Overall, 11.8% of U.S. adults say they got a new health insurance policy in 2014. One-third of this group, or 4% nationally, say they did not have insurance in 2013. Another 7.5% got a new policy this year that replaced a previous policy. The rest either did not respond or were uncertain about their previous insurance status.
The key figure is the 4% who are newly insured in 2014, which most likely represents Americans’ response to the individual mandate requirement the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This estimate of the newly insured broadly aligns with the reduction Gallup has seen in the national uninsured rate from 2013 to the first days of April 2014. However, the calculation of the newly insured does not take into account those who may have been insured in 2013 but not in 2014.
About 12 percent of people said they got a new insurance policy in 2014, and Gallup says the drop is basically in line with their assessment of changes in the uninsured population. They’ve seen it drop over the last few months, from 18 percent to about 16 percent (this works out since surely some substantial number of Americans lost insurance – 4 percent newly insured, 2 percent newly uninsured).
The House of Representatives successfully included a valuable escape hatch from Obamacare in the recent “doc fix” legislation, but members are getting blow-back from critics who say the provision fixes and even expands Obamacare.
That is nonsense. The provision eliminated the cap on deductibles for small group plans, giving small businesses the freedom to offer high-deductible plans that may be paired with a Health Savings Account. This is a very good thing that gives them an option to offer more affordable insurance to employees.
Rory Cooper, a spokesman for House majority leader Eric Cantor, said, “This is another in a series of changes to Obamacare that the House has supported to help save Americans from being harmed by the law, and we’re glad to see the president signed it into law.”