Commentary

Editorial: Five myth-busting truths about Obamacare

There’s been a new round of hubbub about the Affordable Care Act in recent days as the do-nothing obstructionists who tried to block the highly successful law and have tried everything in their power to undermine it since it was enacted have seized upon recently announced rate hikes in an effort to make additional political points. Fortunately, sane and sober voices have started to speak up and push back. Syndicated columnist Froma Harrop has a good column in this morning’s News & Observer (“The ACA isn’t crazy; it’s working”) and the lead editorial in this morning’s edition of the Charlotte Observer (“5 things you should know about Obamacare’s rate hikes”) is worth your time too. Here is an excerpt:

1) Your insurance premiums are probably not going up at a double-digit rate

Republicans have rushed to trumpet the bad Obamacare news in campaigns across the country, but the premium spikes actually affect a relatively small number of people. Most Americans get their insurance through their employers, Medicare or Medicaid, with only 7 percent of Americans getting their coverage on the Obamacare exchanges. That’s about 10 million people – and 85 percent of them will have their premiums reduced with subsidies.

That leaves less than 1 percent of the insured who will be hit hard by premium increases, according to estimates. We shouldn’t minimize the impact an increase will have on those people, but Republicans also shouldn’t scare Americans into thinking their rates are also going up 25 percent.

2) The big increase is probably not an annual event.

So say health care experts, who believe the double-digit increase is a one-time correction from insurers who’ve lost money on the exchanges for too long. That doesn’t mean Obamacare isn’t struggling. It is. The rate hike is a symptom of larger issues that have caused insurers like Aetna and United Healthcare to announce they’re pulling out of state exchanges, including North Carolina’s.

3) Blame Republicans – and Democrats – for Obamacare’s ills.

The core reason for Obamacare’s struggles is simple: Too many sick people (and not enough healthy people) have insurance on the exchanges. That means insurers are paying too much money out, without getting the benefit of low-cost healthy folks paying premiums.

The fix, at least according to insurers, begins with some simple steps….”

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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