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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Horrid headlines on the health-care bill are about an alternate reality

From the NY Post.

Democrats and much of the media are screaming over the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that 24 million Americans will “lose” their health insurance thanks to the GOP-proposed American Health Care Act. In fact, the CBO numbers are guesses based on an alternate reality.

Back when they wrote the ObamaCare law, Democrats gamed the system to get happy predictions out of CBO — numbers that never showed in this reality. Naturally enough, the push to replace ObamaCare now yields some scary estimates.

Proposed bill would let bosses fine you for refusing a genetic test
CBO said the Affordable Care Act would trim the deficit; reality’s been the reverse. It said 24 million people would be enrolled in the exchanges by now. Reality: below 11 million.

And the agency is still projecting the exchanges to cover 19 million by 2020 if nothing changes. In fact, enrollment leveled off this last year; at best, it’s on course to stay around 11 million. More likely, the program has begun its “death spiral,” with soaring prices prompting plummeting enrollment.

Then, too, CBO says the repeal of the “individual mandate” — the fine for going without insurance — would drive 18 million people to drop their coverage by next year. But that includes 6 million of the 11 million on the exchanges — suggesting that more than half of those people only buy insurance to avoid the fine.

Much as we hate ObamaCare, we don’t believe that — the fines aren’t high enough. And even if CBO’s right, then those people don’t really want their policies, so they wouldn’t be “losing coverage,” but fleeing it.

CBO also says 5 million would quit Medicaid — even though premiums are tiny. Anyway, everyone who qualifies can re-join Medicaid the instant they need it, so those folks wouldn’t truly lose coverage.

Plenty of other CBO assumptions are just as dubious. For example, the agency guesses that the bill would push up exchange premiums — when Health Secretary Tom Price has already started the process of pushing them down, by junking Obama-era regulations that forced every policy to cover a long liberal wishlist, from “free” contraceptives to chiropractors and other alternative medicines.

The GOP bill isn’t perfect, but it’s a realistic first step toward moving beyond a system that’s on track to implode. The scary headlines only describe a fantasy world where ObamaCare is a smashing success.
When an organization has such a bad track record on prediction, why would you believe them , unless your desperately want to.

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