Thursday, May 01, 2014

Obamacare's ups and downs

Goin' up!  Megan Mcardle: "Watch Obamacare Make Health-Care Costs Soar" "After all the speculation that Obamacare might be bending the cost curve, we now know that so far, it isn’t. That doesn’t mean expanding coverage was a bad idea, of course. It just hasn’t turned out to be as cheap as some were hoping."

Goin' down! Amy Ridenour: "New ObamaCare Enrollment Report Shows Death Spiral Is Likely."  "We’ve seen hints that the ObamaCare exchange risk pools are in trouble, from greater use of expensive prescription drugs, to hefty premiums increases coming for 2015.  That, along with today’s enrollment report, means the exchanges are poised for a death spiral."


Brainy Amy said...

Wow, that second column is a big bag of stupid. Two of Ridenour's "analyses":

But the fact that over half of that age group chose their plan during the last month should worry ObamaCare supporters. People who are flakey enough to wait until the last minute are probably also flakey when it comes to paying premiums.

Probably? Try definitely! And the few who do pay will probably just send in partly-used gift cards for iTunes and Starbucks, or hackysacks with "IOU" scrawled on them.

68 percent of 18-34-year-olds on the federal exchanges chose a silver plan. Why does this matter for the death spiral? Because so many enrollees choosing silver plans suggests that the risk pool may be sicker than is optimal. For enrollees at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level, silver plans tend to offer the most coverage for the lowest price.

As the economist Adam Smith wrote, "People choosing the best product at the best price? IT'S A TRAP! RUN!!!"

It is likely that many if not all of these so-called young invincibles are already dead, their cold, rigid index fingers still on the mousepads where their final act was to click "Enroll me."

Anonymous said...

Re: youths choosing silver plans

Brainy, of course didn't quote the very next sentence:

For persons under 250 percent FPL, ObamaCare offers help with copays and deductibles, but only if the consumer chooses a silver plan.

So the young person would choose the more expensive silver over bronze if they wanted help with deductibles and copays.

Ergo this suggests (doesn't prove) they may skew away from optimal healthiness.

Brainy Amy said...

Because that's so very different from the last sentence I quoted. You certainly "caught" my "omission."

America's youth: "Give me a sweet silver plan, a frayed bungee cord and some heroin! Who cares what happens to me - my catastrophic care is free!"