Archive for the ‘ObamaCare – CBO estimates’ Category

If you’re one of the 155 million people on employee-based health insurance plans …

July 18, 2017

Here’s the main reason why YOUR health insurance premiums have gone up.

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All the repeal & replace attention seems to be on the 20 million people who are getting insurance via Extended Medicaid or ObamaCare Exchanges.

Virtually no light is being shined on the vast majority of folks who are covered by employer plans.

Case-in-point: the soaring premiums being paid by employees … hardly the $2,500 reduction that was promised.

Here’s one of the reasons that premiums have gone up not down …

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Most people – probably bordering on all – would agree that people with pre-existing conditions should be able to get health insurance.

I accept that as a non-debatable point.

But, I got curious about the economics of so-called “guaranteed coverage”… i.e. how much does it cost, and who pays for it?

Specifically, for folks covered by employer plans, how much of their increase in health insurance premiums over the past couple of years is attributable to guaranteed coverage?

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Let’s take a whack at the numbers …

(more…)

Killer chart: OC’s middle class crunch …

June 30, 2017

Yesterday’s post recapped articles from the NYT and WSJ that made a common, largely unrecognized point:

The expansion of “free” and near-free healthcare to approximately 15 million currently uninsureds (out of about 45 million uninsured citizens) is – to a large extent – being funded by the working middle class.

Case in point: the net insurance premiums paid after subsidies on the Obama Exchanges.

Using the Kaiser Foundation subsidy calculator , I picked off the net premiums for single, non-smoking 25 year olds across a range of incomes … and calculated the net premium as a percentage of income.

image

Here are the fundamental takeaways …

(more…)

If you’re one of the 155 million people on employee-based health insurance plans …

March 21, 2017

Here’s the main reason why YOUR health insurance premiums have gone up.

=======

All the repeal & replace attention seems to be on the 20 million people who are getting insurance via Extended Medicaid or ObamaCare Exchanges.

Virtually no light is being shined on the vast majority of folks who are covered by employer plans.

Case-in-point: the soaring premiums being paid by employees … hardly the $2,500 reduction that was promised.

Here’s one of the reasons that premiums have gone up not down …

========

Most people – probably bordering on all – would agree that people with pre-existing conditions should be able to get health insurance.

I accept that as a non-debatable point.

But, I got curious about the economics of so-called “guaranteed coverage”… i.e. how much does it cost, and who pays for it?

Specifically, for folks covered by employer plans, how much of their increase in health insurance premiums over the past couple of years is attributable to guaranteed coverage?

image

Let’s take a whack at the numbers …

(more…)

About the “Extended Medicaid” bruhaha …

March 16, 2017

It’s center stage in the current debate.

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So, I dug in a bit to understand the issue.

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Here are my takeaways ….

(more…)

Another hidden cost of ObamaCare …

March 15, 2017

For most doctors, Medicaid patients are a losing proposition.

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It’s hard to find anybody opposed to healthcare for the poor.

In the past, most doctors took on Medicaid patients –- which were relatively few in number — as a public service.

Some took Medicaid patients to fill empty appointment slots and, thus, increase capacity utilization (think, airlines filling empty seats).

But, an increasing number of doctors are demotivated to serve Medicaid patients.

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What’s the problem?

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Remember when an ObamaCare architect called you stupid?

March 7, 2017

Let’s flashback to a November 2014 post ….

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Even if you believe that “the end justifies the means”, this has gotta make your skin crawl.

Some background: Prof. Jonathan Gruber is an MIT economist who helped on RomneyCare in Massachusetts and was one of the primary architects of ObamaCare.

He was caught on video  speaking quite frankly about the crafting of ObamaCare.

His basic message:

“The bill was written in a tortured way … to be sure that the CBO didn’t score the mandate as a tax …  otherwise the bill would die … so, it was written to do that.

With regards to the subsides … if people figured out that healthy pay in to give sick people money, it wouldn’t have passed … lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.

Basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or what … that was critical to getting the bill to pass … yeah, it would be better to be transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

Watch the video … it’s even more chilling to hear Prof. Gruber say the words: Obfuscate and bank on American stupidity.

How do these guys sleep at night?

 

 

P.S. Another Gruber video got some wide play..

He’s on tape saying that the specific language in the bill that only provided subsidies for folks going through state exchanges was intentional to motivate states to build exchanges,

ObamaCare supporters started claiming that  it was just a typo that didn’t represent intent.

The Supreme Court agreed with them … with life & death consequence for ObamaCare.

As Forrest Gump would say:” Stupid is as stupid does.”

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#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

Who is Dr. John Gruber?

October 11, 2016

Trump referenced him in the debate as an ObamaCare architect.

Why the shout out?

Let’s flashback to a November 2014 post ….

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Even if you believe that “the end justifies the means”, this has gotta make your skin crawl.

Some background: Prof. Jonathan Gruber is an MIT economist who helped on RomneyCare in Massachusetts and was one of the primary architects of ObamaCare.

He was caught on video  speaking quite frankly about the crafting of ObamaCare.

His basic message:

“The bill was written in a tortured way … to be sure that the CBO didn’t score the mandate as a tax …  otherwise the bill would die … so, it was written to do that.

With regards to the subsides … if people figured out that healthy pay in to give sick people money, it wouldn’t have passed … lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.

Basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or what … that was critical to getting the bill to pass … yeah, it would be better to be transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

Watch the video … it’s even more chilling to hear Prof. Gruber say the words: Obfuscate and bank on American stupidity.

How do these guys sleep at night?

 

 

P.S. Another Gruber video will get wide play in the next couple of months.

He’s on tape saying that the specific language in the bill that only provided subsidies for folks going through state exchanges was intentional to motivate states to build exchanges,

Now, ObamaCare supporters are claiming it was just a typo that didn’t represent intent.

Well, the Supreme Court has signed on to settle the matter … with life & death consequence for ObamaCare.

This is gonna get interesting …

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#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

Would your boss fire you if your project underperformed plan by 50% ?

October 20, 2015

Answer: Apparently not if your boss is President Obama …  and your project was ObamaCare.

In a conference call with reporters last week, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said “We believe 10 million is a strong and realistic goal” for 2016 enrollment in ObamaCare Exchanges.  That represents an increase not significantly different from zero.

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Let’s put that number in context … and show how performance against plan is even worse than it initially appears.

(more…)

This will take your breath away … guaranteed!

November 11, 2014

Even if you believe that “the end justifies the means”, this has gotta make your skin crawl.

Some background: Prof. Jonathan Gruber is an MIT economist who helped on RomneyCare in Massachusetts and was one of the primary architects of ObamaCare.

He was caught on video  speaking quite frankly about the crafting of ObamaCare.

His basic message:

“The bill was written in a tortured way … to be sure that the CBO didn’t score the mandate as a tax …  otherwise the bill would die … so, it was written to do that … with regards to the subsides … if people figured out that healthy pay in to give sick people money, it wouldn’t have passed … lack of transparency is a huge political advantage … and basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or what … that was critical to getting the bill to pass … yeah, it would be better to be transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

Watch the video … it’s even more chilling to hear Prof. Gruber say the words: Obfuscate and bank on American stupidity.

How do these guys sleep at night?

 

 

P.S. Another Gruber video will get wide play in the next couple of months.

He’s on tape saying that the specific language in the bill that only provided subsidies for folks going through state exchanges was intentional to motivate states to build exchanges,

Now, ObamaCare supporters are claiming it was just a typo that didn’t represent intent.

Well, the Supreme Court has signed on to settle the matter … with life & death consequence for ObamaCare.

This is gonna get interesting …

=====

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

What would your boss say if your project estimates were off by a factor of 3 or 4?

July 17, 2014

Probable Answer: “You’re fired!”

Not so in ObamaLand …

There, bossman would be ordering pizza for the victory celebration.

Let’s look at the facts …

Flashback to March 2010, when Obamacare was being steam-rolled though Congress.

At that time, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that Obamacare would cost $938 billion over a decade, that the Federal deficit would shrink and 19 million uninsured people would be insured as of 2014.

As a frame of reference, those estimates work out to be about $5,000 in annual cost per newly insured person … about par for private market medical insurance.

 

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Unfortunately, but predictably, those estimates were wildly off the mark …

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Red Herring Alert: Don’t focus on the 8 million number … here’s why.

April 22, 2014

I love David Copperfield.

For that matter, I like practically all illusionists.

One trick that illusionists use is to get the audience focused on a decoy … to redirect the audience away from where the “trick” is really happening.

On Wall Street, the decoy is sometimes called a “red herring” …  “something that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue.”

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Like a deft illusionist, President Obama now has the country focused on the 8 million folks who have signed-up on the ObamaCare Exchanges.

This decoy fell into Obama’s hands when the web site crashed and Republicans, started spotlighting the number – assuming that it would be a clear indicator to the country that ObamaCare failed.

Bingo: GOP gets everybody focused on the 7 million number ,,,, Obama hits the Ferns … sign-ups blow past 8 million … GOP loses its talking point … Obama takes a victory lap.

Not so fast.

Guess what?

The 8 million number is a red herring – plain & simple.

Here’s what we should all be focusing on …

(more…)

Number Games: “The latest cost estimate is 15% lower than the prior estimate”

April 21, 2014

Say, what?

During last Thursday’s impromptu press conference, President Obama ballyhooed that the OC Exchanges had passed 8 million sign-ups (whatever the heck a “sign-up” is) … and that the CBO’s “latest estimate” says the ObamaCare “costs are down 15% from the prior estimate”.

Oh, really?

My BS detector auto-starts when I hear well-parsed, weasely words like those.

Wonder when the latest estimate was made?  What were the assumptions?  How does it tie to the miracle of 8 million?

 

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So, I took  a  moment to dissect that statement … the digging didn’t disappoint

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6 million is a “sliver”, but 7 million is a huge success … say, what?

April 2, 2014

Yesterday, President Obama took a victory lap for getting over 7 million folks to put a free or heavily discounted ObamaCare policy in their shopping basket or to click the “I tried, don’t fine me” button.

Still no word on how many folks “bought” policies … i.e. paid the 1st months premium  … insurance companies say that 20% haven’t.

And, McKinsey says 73% of the 7.1 million are from the pool of over 6 million folks who had their insurance policies cancelled because of ObamaCare.

Focus for a second on that 6 million number.

At the time the cancellations were announced, Jay Carney – Obama’s front man — said the 6 million is “just a sliver or cut of the  5% of the people on the individual market who are affected.”

Here’s the video clip.  The killer quote comes at about the 2:20 mark

 click to view video
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Let me be sure that I understand: 6 million is a “sliver” but 7 million is a big number.

Hmmm

What if the 7.1 turns out to be only 1.5  … [7.1 X 80% X 27% = 1.5]

Won’t that be smaller than a sliver?

#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma                          >> Latest Posts

Work: Maynard G. Krebs was just ahead of his time …

February 11, 2014

Last week, the CBO reported that 2.5 million people will likely quit their jobs to cash in on ObamaCare subsidies and other government programs.

That brought to mind a famous TV philosopher … Maynard G. Krebs.

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In the late 1950s and early 1960s. there was a popular TV show called “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” … it feature a bon vivant girl-chaser (Dobie) and his beatnik friend Maynard G, Krebs (played by Bob Denver who was Gilligan on Gilligan’s Island).

  • Technical note to younger readers: a beatnik was a self-proclaimed member of the “beat generation” – think early day hippies and slackers.

Maynard had a philosophy of life that wasn’t exactly work-inclined.

In fact, whenever Maynard would hear the word “work” he’s have an immediate reflex action…..

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“Liberating workers to pursue other activities” … say, what?

February 10, 2014

Hopefully everybody has heard about the CBO report that estimates 2.5 million current workers will either intentionally cut the number of hours they work, or quit work altogether in order to qualify for ObamaCare subsidies.

That estimate is up threefold from the CBO study that was used to justify ObamaCare economics.

Hmmm.

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Read the full CBO Report

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Today I’ll try to stick to the technical aspects of the CBO Report…

 

First, the literal CBO finding:

The reduction in CBO’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.

The decline in fulltime-equivalent employment stemming from the ACA will consist of some people not being employed at all and other people working fewer hours.

The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked.

English translation: the unemployment rate will decline because there will be fewer workers in the labor force.

That’s one way to fix an unemployment problem.

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Why the original CBO miss?

The CBO notes that their earlier projection – supportive of ObamaCare – recognized these labor force dynamics, but underestimated them (by a factor of 3).

Why the new upward revisions?

There are several reasons for the difference in the former and current estimates:

CBO has now incorporated into its analysis additional channels through which the ACA will affect labor supply, reviewed new research about those effects, and revised upward its estimates of the responsiveness of labor supply to changes in tax rates.

English translation: Oops, dropped the ball … nothing changed in the world, just our view of the world.

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What new research?

What the CBO is referring to is work done by University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan. Prof. Mulligan’s work isn’t “new”, though.  He was touting it before ObamaCare was enacted.

Putting that technical point aside, the WSJ says that the CBO’s intellectual conversion is directly attributable to Mulligan’s ideas.

Mr. Mulligan’s premise is what economists call “implicit marginal tax rates“.

ObamaCare make work less financially valuable for lower-income Americans.

Because the insurance subsidies are tied to income and phase out as cash wages rise, some people will have the incentive to remain poorer in order to continue capturing higher benefits.

Another way of putting it is that taking away benefits has the same effect as a direct tax, so lower-income workers are discouraged from climbing the income ladder by working harder, logging extra hours, taking a promotion or investing in their future earnings through job training or education.

Specifically, as the CBO put it in their report:

For some people, the availability of exchange subsidies under the ACA will reduce incentives to work both through a substitution effect and through an income effect.

The income effect arises because subsidies increase available resources — similar to giving people greater income — thereby allowing some people to maintain the same standard of living while working less.

The substitution effect arises because subsidies decline with rising income (and increase as income falls), thus making work less attractive.

As a result, some people will choose not to work or will work less — thus substituting other activities for work.

English translation: Workers will be liberated from their personal responsibilities to earn a living and support themselves.

Is this a great county or what?

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Follow on Twitter @KenHoma                         >> Latest Posts

Killer chart: OC’s middle class crunch …

November 21, 2013

Yesterday’s post recapped articles from the NYT and WSJ that made a common, largely unrecognized point:

The expansion of “free” and near-free healthcare to approximately 15 million currently uninsureds (out of about 45 million uninsured citizens) is – to a large extent – being funded by the working middle class.

Case in point: the net insurance premiums paid after subsidies on the Obama Exchanges.

Using the Kaiser Foundation subsidy calculator , I picked off the net premiums for single, non-smoking 25 year olds across a range of incomes … and calculated the net premium as a percentage of income.

image

Here are the fundamental takeaways …

(more…)

Nums: The CBO estimates re: ObamaCare … Medicaid impact.

November 19, 2013

A couple of numbers have gotten a lot of press coverage in the past couple of days …

The 2014 target enrollment for the Exchanges … 7 million.

The number of cancelled individual policies … 5 million.

The latter (5 million) is referred to by administration spokespeople as a “small sliver”.

The former (7 million) is generally positioned as a big, potentially unreachable number.

Gee, are 5 million and 7 million really that different?

Got me thinking and drove me to the official CBO estimates to do some digging re: ObamaCare numbers.

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A couple of interesting points from the chart …

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Nums: Some key ObamaCare ones from the CBO …

November 18, 2013

A couple of numbers have gotten a lot of press coverage in the past couple of days …

The 2014 target enrollment for the Exchanges … 7 million.

The number of cancelled individual policies … 5 million.

The latter (5 million) is referred to by administration spokespeople as a “small sliver”.

The former (7 million) is generally positioned by pundits as a big, potentially unreachable number that could sink ObamACare

Gee, are 5 million and 7 million really that different?

Got me thinking and drove me to the official CBO estimates to do some digging re: ObamaCare numbers.

 

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Let’s highlight a couple of the numbers …

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