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It’s not going to be a good year: “Ten Obamacare Predictions for 2014”

by | Jan 6, 2014

 

By Dave Andrusko

President Barack Obama Photo credit: AP

President Barack Obama
Photo credit: AP

A colleague at National Right to Life sent me a terrific post that appeared on National Review Online today. It’s titled “Ten Obamacare Predictions for 2014: It’s not going to be a good year for the law.” The analysis’s considerable strengths are not so much that Grace-Marie Turner tells us a lot we might not already know but rather that she pulls it all together in one place in an eminently readable manner.

It would unfair and unnecessary to paraphrase all the fine work Turner did, so let me bundle the ten items into a few categories and encourage you to read the full post.

#1. Many people won’t pay. Some unknown but likely considerable portion of the 2 million or so who selected a private insurance plan before the 2013 deadline won’t actually fork over the first premium payment, which is required before you actually “own it.” [And, oh by the way, some (maybe a GREAT deal) of those who took the first step were not people who lacked insurance to begin with but were people who “have been kicked out of their existing private plans because their policies didn’t comply with the mountain of Obamacare rules, mandates, and requirements.”]

Some/many of those who did enroll and do make the first payment will stop paying along the way because the premiums are huge and the deductibles stunningly high, Turner argues. And those who never enrolled will look at those dollar amounts and say they will pay the penalty.

#2. As critics of the critics are wont to say, you cannot categorically state NOW that at the end of 2014 the demographic mix will be heavily weighted toward “older, sicker, and more expensive patients” and not “younger, healthier people needed to offset their elders’ premiums,” as Turner writes. If that does prove to be the case, “This will mean premiums or deductibles will have to be even higher in 2015.”

But I have yet to hear any even marginally persuasive argument showing why this won’t be the case. What I have read is the feeble contention that somehow it won’t really be that bad if far more older people enroll than younger people do, which is preposterous on its face.

Turner’s ten predictions include some other truly important considerations but let me end with the ticking time bomb–her number 8:

“Most of the newly insured will be on Medicaid: The more heavily subsidized insurance is, the more likely people are to enroll. Medicaid is free to patients, or nearly so, so it’s likely to see the greatest enrollment. In Kentucky, for example, 85 percent of those enrolling so far are on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”

Take five minutes, please, and read “Ten Obamacare Predictions for 2014” at www.nationalreview.com/article/367619/ten-obamacare-predictions-2014-grace-marie-turner/page/0/1.

Please join those who are following me on Twitter at twitter.com/daveha. Send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com.

Categories: ObamaCare
Tags: ObamaCare