THE REAL DEAL ABOUT THE TRUMP/RYAN HEALTH CARE REPLACEMENT
Trump says Obamacare 'is collapsing.' Here's what he's getting wrong.
By Noam Levey
The Los Angeles Times
Feb. 28, 2017
President Trump, as he has repeatedly in the past, said Tuesday that the Affordable Care Act is a disaster.
"Obamacare is collapsing, and we must act decisively to protect all Americans," he said during his address to a joint session of Congress.
This is a major exaggeration.
Health insurance premiums on marketplaces created by the law did increase markedly this year in many parts of the country as insurers dealt with higher-than-expected medical claims from patients.
But most consumers are still able to get health plans for less than $100 a month on the marketplaces, thanks to insurance subsidies made available by Obamacare.
More broadly, Trump's attacks miss a much larger part of the Obamacare story.
Marketplaces represent a fraction of the overall system, providing coverage to only about 11 million people, most of whom cannot get coverage through an employer or other government program.
By comparison, more than 150 million Americans get health coverage through an employer. An additional 55 million elderly and disabled Americans get coverage through the federal Medicare program.
Healthcare costs in the employer market and in Medicare have been rising at historically low levels since the enactment of the 2010 health law.
In 2016, for example, annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of just 3%, according to an annual survey by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.
And since 2011, premiums have risen 20%, far lower than in the previous five years, when premiums jumped 31%, and even lower than in the five years between 2001 and 2006, when they shot up 63%.
Medicare has seen a similar slowdown, as the cost per enrollee has grown by an average of just 1.4% annually since 2011, according to the last reportby the program’s trustees.
That was the lowest growth rate in Medicare’s history, dating to 1965.
Meanwhile, the law's coverage expansion has helped more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans get health coverage.
And new research shows the law is dramatically improving poor patients’ access to medical care , particularly in states that have used the law to expand their Medicaid safety nets.
At the same time, contrary to charges from Trump and other Republicans, there is little evidence that Obamacare is destroying jobs.
In fact, the private sector has added jobs every month since President Obama signed the law in March 2010, a stark reversal from the months before the law was enacted when the economy was hemorrhaging jobs amid the recession.
NOTE: To hear Ryan, Trump and Republicans, one would think that the entire country is in a death spiral because of Obamacare. But the facts are that the vast majority of Americans get their health insurance through their employers and are not affected at all by Obamacare. Only about 3% of Americans get their insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. And those "exploding premiums" they've all been yapping about? Not true. Yes, there are states - Alaska and Colorado, for example - where premiums have spiked but these are anomalies and not what's happening across the country.
So what we are facing - Again! - is a Republican scare campaign that has no basis in reality. In facts and data, let's say. This is just like Trump's Muslim Travel Ban which also has no basis in reality and isn't based on factual information or data and is totally ineffective given its goals. The Muslim Ban? Not gonna have a huge impact for most of us. Trumpcare? It will be an unmitigated disaster for most of us.
Have A Great Day! (If You Choose To Get Out Of Bed!)
P.S. Let's see how the crooked, corrupt, biased, liberal bunch of effete technicians from the Congressional Budget Office score the American Healthcare Act! It might be fun!!