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The Weekly Standard’s Jay Cost has a good read this morning about how Democrats are making up Obamacare “success stories” in hopes they can take the “Affordable Care Act” issue off the table come time for fall elections – especially for vulnerable incumbents like NC’s Senator Hagan:
• First, they say that premium rates are down. In support of this, liberals cite research from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), but they misinterpret it. In fact, the CBO’s most recent estimate of premiums shows a decline not from what they were in 2013, before the implementation of Obamacare, but rather from what CBO estimated they would be in 2014. Studies from many outlets have shown that rates have gone up since 2013, substantially for many people.
This is no mystery. Obamacare basically outlawed insurance underwriting, so rates must go up as healthy people pay the price for the sick. Insurers, moreover, have also increased deductibles and co-pays and narrowed doctor networks and drug formularies.
• Fourth, liberals claim the law is “working.” This omits the dozens of provisions that the president has suspended or delayed because they were not working—for budgetary or political reasons. The suspended or postponed provisions include the mandate that businesses cover full-time employees, the cancellation of noncompliant plans, and cuts to Medicare Advantage.
In fact, what is working is a very narrow segment of the law, the most politically salable part: the distribution of tax credits so people with low incomes can buy heavily subsidized insurance coverage. To say the law is working is like saying you “ate your dinner” when you gulped down your dessert and skipped the veggies. Just as your mother said you could not have one without the other, so the popular provisions of Obamacare are linked to the unpopular ones. Sooner or later, the administration will have to enforce the law—or watch a vast array of unintended side effects disrupt the national health care system.
He makes many great points. Make sure to read the whole thing.