Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Obamacare Schadenfreude Revisited

Only a little, but something new.  The bill is starting to come due. Subsidies bust Obamacare budget predictions: Obamacare subsidies push cost of health law above projections
The large subsidies for health insurance that helped fuel the successful drive to sign up some 8 million Americans for coverage under the Affordable Care Act may push the cost of the law considerably above current projections, a new federal report indicates.

Nearly 9 in 10 Americans who bought health coverage on the federal government’s healthcare marketplaces received government assistance to offset their premiums.
Premiums that normally would have cost $346 a month on average instead cost consumers just $82, with the federal government picking up the balance of the bill. While the generous subsidies helped consumers, they also risk inflating the new health law’s price tag in its first year.

The report suggests that the federal government is on track to spend at least $11 billion on subsidies for consumers who bought health plans on marketplaces run by the federal government, even accounting for the fact that many consumers signed up for coverage in late March and will only receive subsidies for part of the year.
Why, who could have predicted that when the government offers a valuable resource to people below the cost the market assigns to it, that the government would underestimate the costs? How often do government programs come in under budget?

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