Badger has updated an important paper from last year showing that some states are succeeding in lowering premiums and increasing enrollment in health insurance by doing a better job of targeting existing resources. Obamacare established a regime of subsidies, mandates, regulations, and tax penalties that resulted in substantial increases in premiums for individual insurance coverage. But seven states obtained waivers to target subsidies for high-cost patients, and they saw premiums fall by nearly 7.5%, while premiums in the other states rose by more than 3%. He examines estimated premiums in five additional states that have applied for risk-mitigation waivers for 2020. Premiums for benchmark plans rose in all five states in 2019, but actuarial analyses forecast that premiums will decline in all five states if the federal government approves their waiver applications.
Health insurance enrollment has declined among people who do not qualify for financial help under Obamacare, new federal data show. The data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday show that enrollment declined by 1.2 million people, or 24%, between 2017 and 2018 among people with incomes too high to qualify for Obamacare subsidies and who therefore face the full brunt of premium cost increases. In contrast, in the same period, enrollment ticked up among those with subsidized coverage by 300,000 people.
Obamacare wasn’t supposed to give free health insurance to everybody. The Affordable Care Act’s authors expected the poor would enroll in Medicaid, while those with higher incomes would buy coverage through the new insurance exchanges, with subsidies that decrease as income rises. It isn’t working that way. A study published this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that ObamaCare has turned out to be a giant welfare program, with millions of working- and middle-class Americans improperly receiving Medicaid—a reflection of the unpopularity of the exchange policies and incompetence of government oversight.