Obamacare is redefining how you spell “success.” And while it’s far from perfect, what it’s achieved has been needed for a long time.
It seems there’s a lot of good news about the act lately. A number of non-partisan budget analyses, including ones carried out by the Congressional Budget Office, have consistently proven that the ACA isn’t the disaster that the Republicans desperately want to pretend it is; rather, that it’s going to cut the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next few decades.
Who would’ve thought: government spending that helps cut the deficit?
Perhaps the best news, however, is that the price tag for the bill keeps falling. According to a CBO report, the healthcare law is projected to result in $142 billion in savings over the next 10 years:
Nearly five years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, a nonpartisan report announced Monday that the projected costs are continuing to fall.In the latest forecast by the Congressional Budget Office, provisions of the health care law will cost 11% less, or $142 billion in savings over the next 10 years, than what the agency originally projected in January. Additionally, the law will cost 29% less for the 2015-2019 time frame than the CBO’s initial forecast when the law was signed in March 2010.
It’s not all good news — like I said, the act was far removed from perfect; it was, however, good enough (and no reason to stop; while perfect is the enemy of good, good enough is the enemy of progress). I want a single payer system where people don’t have to deal with this “privatized insurance” bull. While a chat roulette that hooks you up with the best insurance company for your tax subsidy is nice, you’re still paying out of pocket for something the rest of the civilized world pays for with their taxes.
The bad news is that the lower cost of the ACA is a result of people getting left behind, as fewer Americans are receiving Medicaid benefits. This isn’t a byproduct of the law, though; this particular features is a part of the Red State death trip, whereby governors of these poor, benighted Eurostan-wannabes have refused to extend coverage to low-income families.
That’s a feature of the GOP plan, not a bug. After all, anything that remotely looks like it can make the government work is earmarked for the slaughterhouse by the GOP-Libertarian Bloc. They believe that government is the problem so sincerely that if it’s not the problem, they’ll get into office and make it the problem, just to prove themselves right.
The report is mostly good news, though. For instance, a large part of the lower price tag is a result of Obamacare successfully curtailing system-wide costs:
The revisions reflect growing evidence that health care spending in the country – which has traditionally grown much more quickly than the overall economy – is entering a new, more moderate era. It is still rising, but not very much anymore.That could eventually be not only a boon for consumers, but it could also have big implications for the federal budget: If the Congressional Budget Office is right, the amount the federal government pays for health insurance in the coming years will be hundreds of billions of dollars lower than it recently forecast, meaning a much smaller federal deficit.
Like most things here in reality, this is the opposite of what the Republicans said would happen. They predicted skyrocketing premiums, but like most things, the GOP had it backwards.
MSNBC notes that the Republicans are in for an uphill struggle if they think tearing this wall down is going to be a good thing:
Obamacare was affordable before, but as the law takes root, it’s becoming even more affordable. We can’t say with certainty that this will continue, but given the available data, the CBO believes it will. For those hoping to see the American system succeed, that’s great news.
And just as important is the fact that there’s been all kinds of great news lately. The list of successes is so long, it’s hard not to laugh at Republicans who stick their heads in the sand and pretend the system is failing. The law has quickly improved the uninsured rate while producing impressive results on premiums, enrollment totals, and customer satisfaction rates; we’re seeing the lowest increase in health care spending in 50 years; the number of insurers who want to participate in exchange marketplaces keeps growing; there’s reduced financial stress on families, the efficacy of Medicaid expansion is obvious, as is the efficacy of the medical-loss ratio and efforts to reduce medical errors system-wide.