Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sufficient Obamacare Schadenfreude Having Arisen . . .

. . . since the last post, it's time to clean the decks again.

Obamacare continues its downward spiral, Western Missouri becomes a canary in Obamacare coal mine as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City drops Obamacare coverageNorth Carolina's big Obamacare insurer wants steep rate hike for '18 (but would be happy with some more federal $), Insurers Request Double-Digit Premium Rate Increases for Obamacare Plans Next Year and HHS notes that Premiums for individual health plans doubled between 2013 and 2017. Affordable indeed.

Speaking of the illegal cost sharing that Blue Cross Blue Shield wants, will President Trump stop it or not? Signs are mixed, one day Trump is leaning towards ending ObamaCare’s cost-sharing subsidies, the next, the White House wants to continue Obamacare cost sharing payments for another 90 days.

Meanwhile, Republican attempts to repair or replace Obamacare are going nowhere fast, GOP leader tempers ObamaCare expectations and Senate Republicans consider pushing Obamacare repeal back to 2020. The New York Times agrees that McConnell May Have Been Right: It May Be Too Hard to Replace Obamacare. As long as McConnell won't nuke the legislative filibuster, that's probably true. However, on the bright side, the House leadership now open to changes to the AHCA after learning new info about EHBs/the reconciliation process. A HuffPo survey hints that Women Are More Worried About AHCA Than Men, but as Instapundit retorts  WELL, THAT’S BECAUSE THEY CONSUME WOMEN’S MEDIA, WHICH IS EVEN MORE ABOUT DEMOCRAT-SHILLING AND FEARMONGERING THAN REGULAR MEDIA and It’s also the case, of course, that men pay for most healthcare, while women consume most of it. So perhaps both are being rational.

The new CBO report is in on the new version of the Republican plan, and the good news is that it still reduces the deficit. The supposed bad news is that it forces about 20 million less people into buying health insurance they may not want, and might not benefit from.The truth about your health care, ObamaCare and the CBO numbersCBO has never been very good at projecting how many people would sign up for Obamacare either, so there's that.

Brought to us by Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 05.30.17" Megan McArdle thanks the Republicans: Guys. You Broke the Congressional Budget Office. Thank You!
the Republican bill has a completely different problem: It relies so heavily on state level waivers that the CBO simply has no way of predicting, even imperfectly, what’s going to happen.

Just to get this week's estimates, the CBO was were forced to guess which states might use waivers, and how they might choose to implement them. But the CBO doesn’t want to be in the business of making political calls, because that opens up vast room for the political leanings of the analysts to substitute for budget analysis. So instead they try to look at structural factors within the states themselves -- which states have problems in their markets, which states are relatively stable.
Democrats have their gaze fixed on the socialist solution:  Will CA Dems go full tilt on single payer — despite the costs? Probably. Since when have untenable costs been a hindrance to democrats. All you have to do is raise taxes on the rich. In "In The Mailbox: 05.31.17" Wombat-socho brings us Megan again with States Where Single-Payer Health Care Could Work (If It Could Work Anywhere)
But it probably can’t, at least in the U.S. Before you argue for universal health care in America, look at the disaster in England
Hope springs eternal, however, and so do single-player plans. Their last run at the federal government having failed (along with a referendum in Colorado that voters rejected four to one), advocates are back at work in state legislatures. California and New York are both considering plans at the moment, and not just in the “Hmm, interesting. What’s for lunch?” sense. Say what you want about single-payer advocates, but say this too: You can’t stop them with much less than a Howitzer.

Of their plans, there are a few things to say. The first, and most obvious, is that none of them have solved the main obstacle to enacting single payer in the U.S.: the price tag. . . Analyses by single-payer-friendly sources (such as Gerald Friedman of UMass Amherst, and the heavily Democratic California State Senate) tend to indicate that moving to single payer would involve roughly doubling the budgets of even high-tax, high-spending states like New York and California. Less friendly sources suggest that the cost might be substantially higher than that.

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