Saturday, October 17, 2015

Careful Calculus Guides Obama Administration in Health Insurance Projections

This week, secretary of health and human services Sylvia Mathews Burwell predicted that there will only be small gains in enrollment in private health insurance plans (under the Affordable Care Act) during the upcoming year. She predicts that enrollment will be millions of people below earlier projections. The White House aims to have 10 million people enrolled by the end of 2016, but at this point it is hard to find and insure people who have refused to sign up for the past two years.

Recently, Hillary Clinton has suggested that the ACA may not be affordable enough for some people. Some fail to pay their monthly premiums or can't pay for medical services. Those with the lowest incomes receive the largest subsidies, but those with higher incomes receive less financial assistance and thus marketplace coverage has begun to look less attractive. It seems that it will take much longer than expected for the marketplace to reach equilibrium.

The ACA was passed without any Republican votes and it seems that they are continuing to criticize the program, making many have doubts about its possible benefits. What will happen to Obamacare if GOP wins the White House?

This reminds me of class discussions about the ACA and the controversy surrounding the act. Do you think the Obama administration might give up on Obamacare? Is the ACA working? If it's beneficial for some but harmful to others, how can we balance those different sides of the spectrum to make more people content? How highly do you think people value health insurance? Should government be restructured so that an act cannot be passed when it only receives votes from one party?

NY Times


Jack Loar said...

Obama administration is not going to give up on Obamacare. They have invested too much time into getting the proposed legislation through Congress and the courts to back out now. Even if Obamacare does not reach as many Americans as the White House would like, it still helps millions of families get medical insurances they need to be safe. People value healthcare, but maybe not as much as they should. No one expects to have any sort of medical emergency, and most see medical issues as things that happen to "other people," but they do have the chance of affecting everyone and affordable health insurance is a necessity to continuing to have a healthy and safe population.

Maggie Yeung said...

I also do not think the Obama administration will give up on Obamacare. Also, it will be hard for future administrations to suddenly abandon the program as so many people are not dependent on it. I agree that people do value health insurance, but like Jack said, people do not value health insurance enough. Yes insurance is expensive but I agree that the Affordable Care Act may not be affordable enough for many people to feel that insurance is worth the cost.

History shows that many issues will be partisan and controversial, but this is due to natural our human tendencies to form factions, as we read about in Madison's Federalist #51. I do think the Act should be altered so that it is more fair for everyone but eliminating the program altogether would not be beneficial.

Lea Tan said...

I agree with both Jack and Maggie in that the Obama administration will not give up Obamacare. Because people spent so much time into getting it started, I doubt they would suddenly abandon it. However, I'm curious to see what will happen to Obamacare if the GOP wins the White House because that could cause controversy once again, this time with the administration probably being in favor of no Obamacare.