24 Aug 2014

CBO Keeps Revising Downward Its Estimates of Coverage Provided by ObamaCare

Health Legislation, Shameless Self-Promotion 7 Comments

My latest post at Mises Canada. An excerpt:

Yes that’s right: CBO now predicts that in 2019–nine years after passage of the Affordable Care Act, which was supposed to provide “universal coverage” to Americans–in fact only 26 million nonelderly people will have gained coverage, with 30 million Americans still lacking health insurance.

I’m curious, does that figure surprise anyone? I mean, I know ex post everyone likes to say, “Yeah I knew that, duh,” but seriously, is this the impression one would get from listening to President Obama discuss it–or reading Paul Krugman for that matter?

7 Responses to “CBO Keeps Revising Downward Its Estimates of Coverage Provided by ObamaCare”

  1. Transformer says:

    What is the reasons those 30Million will not have coverage ? Are these people who just ignore the mandate to buy insurance (and risk paying the fine) or is there another reason why they are not covered ?

    • Transformer says:

      Looked it up on Wikipedia and it says:

      Among the people who will remain uninsured:

      – Illegal immigrants, estimated at around 8 million—or roughly a third of the 23 million projection—will be ineligible for insurance subsidies and Medicaid.

      – Citizens not otherwise covered and opting to pay the annual penalty instead of purchasing insurance, mostly younger and single Americans.

      – Citizens whose insurance coverage would cost more than 8% of household income and are exempt from paying the annual penalty.

      – Citizens who live in states that opt out of the Medicaid expansion and who qualify for neither existing Medicaid coverage nor subsidized coverage through the states’ new insurance exchanges

      (interesting to know what % of the total each group makes up),

  2. John says:

    Yes, I’m not sure Bob’s point is that important on this. The CBO itself writes:

    Still, according to estimates by CBO and
    JCT, about 31 million nonelderly residents of the United States are likely to be without health insurance in 2024,
    roughly one out of every nine such residents. Of that
    group, about 30 percent are expected to be unauthorized immigrants and thus ineligible for most Medicaid bene-
    fits and for the exchange subsidies; about 20 percent will be eligible for Medicaid but will choose not to enroll;
    about 5 percent will be ineligible for Medicaid because
    they live in a state that has chosen not to expand cover-
    age; and about 45 percent will not purchase insurance
    even though they have access through an employer, an
    exchange, or directly from an insurer.

    The ACA does not provide automatic coverage, and the Reoublicans have literally been doing everything humanly possible it prevent sign-up in states they control, so I don’t think one can really charaterize the numbers as some kind of failure under the circumstances. Likewise, the CBO continues to predict that the ACA will lower the budget deficit and as far as I can tell (but I’m not an economist) the numbers bear that out.

    At some point, I do think it’s appropriate to recognize that the ACA has “worked” and in fact must “work” in that it will provide reasonably affordable health coverage to many many people — because every civilized nation in the world has a form of a program that does so and they “work” more or less — that is, they provide health results about like our former system, or slightly better. There is no reason in the world that Amica cannot do what every other first world country can do, so the ACA in some sense must “work,”simply as a practical matter. Countries know how to do this, and we’re a powerful country.

    Now, I certainly recognize that one can dislike government subsidized health care, or think it’s a bad thing. But that’s different from claiming the ACA is some kind of disaster or won’t work. I don’t know that that argument was ever very persuasive and it seems less so now. Personally, I would stick to attacking the policy behind the ACA, not the workability of it, because, as I think the politicians are finding, that argument is on the verge of being lost.

    • Brent says:

      The better question pertains to the quality of healthcare the “covered” people actually receive and at what cost in terms of its effects on the rest of the economy.

  3. Innocent says:

    Okay I think the point is that Government ‘forcing’ people and subsidizing them have coverage still will not ‘fix’ the problem of people NOT having health coverage. Second to what end is Coverage important anyway? It by default does not mean you will get better care then if you saved that money and then used it. So why do it?

    • John says:

      Well, is this correct though? The ACA will enormously increase the number of people who have medical insurance. With the implacable opposition to it in some quarters, it certainly won’t provide universal coverage, and I don’t think was ever really designed to. ACA is a market based system (not the way a libertarian would want it, but it uses market forces). Only a single payor system could practically do that and there’s no support for it. As for the idea one could save enough money to pay for one’s own medical care, as a practical matter that’s essentially impossible anywhere in the world except for a very few very wealthy people.

      • razer says:

        Nobody who understands markets would describe the ACA as market based. Sorry, you have a lot of learning to do. You buy into every slogan, talking point and euphemism you hear. You’re just regurgitating the state sponsored propaganda you’ve been fed.

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