The Right Way To Kill ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate

November 29, 2017

While this hypothetical isn’t necessarily an ideal model, it is eminently possible to combine the health care security Democrats insist upon with the freedom that Republicans believe in, killing the mandate while dramatically reducing premiums and continuing to provide moderate-income households ample reason to get covered instead of rolling the dice.

The key point is that every dollar of the projected savings from killing the individual mandate depends on keeping ObamaCare just as consumer unfriendly as it was in 2017. In other words, taking those savings – all that extra tax revenue lying around because even more people leave their health insurance tax credits unclaimed — and applying it to tax cuts means that a significant chunk of the funding now available for health insurance premium tax credits will essentially disappear, all but ruling out consumer-friendly and coverage-increasing reforms of the ACA in a fiscally fraught future.

Full article.

Obamacare Hikes for 2018 May Top 80 Percent in Some States 

November 19, 2017

Your premiums are going to go up in 2018. The national-average increase is a smidge over 27 percent, but depending on the state you live in, the hike could skyrocket to as much as 81 percent. Freedom Partners has created a state-by-state 2018 “Premium Increase Tracker”.

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The problem of doctors’ salaries

November 2, 2017

But an unavoidable part of the high cost of U.S. health care is how much we pay doctors — twice as much on average as physicians in other wealthy countries. Because our doctors are paid, on average, more than $250,000 a year (even after malpractice insurance and other expenses), and more than 900,000 doctors in the country, that means we pay an extra $100 billion a year in doctor salaries. That works out to more than $700 per U.S. household per year. We can think of this as a kind of doctors’ tax.

Source: The problem of doctors’ salaries

Estimating The Effects Of Health Insurance And Other Social Programs On Poverty Under The Affordable Care Act | Health Affairs

November 2, 2017

The effects of health insurance on poverty have been difficult to ascertain because US poverty measures have not taken into account the need for health care and the value of health benefits. We developed the first US poverty measure to include the need for health insurance and to count health insurance benefits as resources available to meet that need—in other words, a health-inclusive poverty measure. We estimated the direct effects of health insurance benefits on health-inclusive poverty for people younger than age sixty-five, comparing the impacts of different health insurance programs and of nonhealth means-tested cash and in-kind benefits, refundable tax credits, and nonhealth social insurance programs. Private health insurance benefits reduced poverty by 3.7 percentage points. Public health insurance benefits (from Medicare, Medicaid, and Affordable Care Act premium subsidies) accounted for nearly one-third of the overall poverty reduction from public benefits. Poor adults with neither children nor a disability experienced little poverty relief from public programs, and what relief they did receive came mostly from premium subsidies and other public health insurance benefits. Medicaid had a larger effect on child poverty than all nonhealth means-tested benefits combined.

Source: Estimating The Effects Of Health Insurance And Other Social Programs On Poverty Under The Affordable Care Act | Health Affairs