Thursday, September 26, 2013

Obamacare Rolls On

When this week's bit of theatre by Senator Ted Cruz was over on Wednesday, some of our colleagues in the media were almost disappointed that Cruz' absurdist performance piece was at an end. Personally, we thought both our popcorn and Cruz' shtick went stale long before he was ushered off the Senate floor. We were actually glad to see Sen. Cruz come back for an encore, when the Tea Party Senator from Texas joined his 99 other Senate colleagues in a hypocritical vote in favor of cloture - one of the things Cruz had just spent nearly a full day railing against.

Sure, folks like Ted Cruz get a lot of attention from the cable "news" channels, but the real news that caught our attention yesterday - along with that of many of our colleagues in the media - was published at midnight on Wednesday, when the Department of Health and Human Services released the latest details on what insurance premiums will look like under Obamacare - and the rates were far cheaper than anyone expected.

How much cheaper? As Igor Volsky of Think Progress noted, rates for health insurance look to be 16 percent lower, on average, than had been predicted across the nation. That average was already lower than current rate average rates for health insurance.

To say we were bowled over by that good news would be a bit much - though we had to think the extremist Republicans standing in the path of the rollout of Obamacare had to be terrified by that same information.

Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic went in-depth, outlining the details of several plans and family sizes thoroughly. What Cohn found was that not only are the costs for many plans lower, but the number and type of plans available to most Americans under Obamacare are also surprisingly large. Dylan Scott of TPM confirmed that, under Obamacare, 95 percent of Americans will be able to choose between two or more private health insurance carriers - which is more choice than many Americans have now.

While the rates for health insurance premiums vary, based on where you live, under Obamacare those rates look to be very manageable for most Americans, averaging $774 per month for a family of four that has an annual income above $94,200. For a family of four that earns around $50,000 a year, and receives subsidies under Obamacare, that monthly cost for health insurance drops to $282 or less per month in every state. Maggie Fox at NBC News even found that bare-bones health insurance for a family of four in Indianapolis could cost as little as $11 a month under Obamacare.

Many of the negative issues anti-Obamacare advocates have rumored about for months are now finally proving to be untrue, just in time for the next phase of Obamacare to click into place. As Rick Ungar of Forbes points out, Obamacare is turning out not to be a job killer after all. Further, as Rick Newman of Yahoo Finance notes, part-timers and other workers who are losing insurance through their workplaces look to be getting a better deal through Obamacare than many of them had access to through their jobs.

The fact is, the exchanges open up in less than a week, and while there look to be some relatively minor glitches as the program gets started - glitches that we're sure right-wing media will blow up into the next apocalyptic disaster - overall, Obamacare is already shaping up to be better than the system we've had.

Of course, we know at least one group that will still see this all positive news about health insurance costs as a disaster. Our recommendation to those unhappy extremists on the right is the same it's always been: Progress is rolling right toward you.

Either get with the program, or get out of its way.

No comments:

Post a Comment