Tag: Obamacare

Debunking Myths About Trump’s Obamacare “Repeal”

In passing his historic tax overhaul at the end of 2017, President Donald Trump included rules that ripped the heart out of Obamacare by repealing the individual mandate, which fined individuals who didn’t purchase health insurance. “We have essentially repealed Obamacare” Trump said after the tax bill passed.

Healthcare is the number one issue that Democrats are campaigning on as the midterms approach, so it’s worth clarifying some myths about Trump and Obamacare. Despite fear-mongering from liberals, and Trump’s claim that he “essentially repealed” Obamacare, Trump only repealed a single (albeit major) component of Obamacare (the individual mandate). That was the least popular aspect of the law, and more popular components such as the Medicare expansion and the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26 are still in effect.

That being said, the alleged benefits of Obamacare have all been oversold.

Obamacare Didn’t Reduce Healthcare Costs

The debate over the effects of repealing Obamacare (in part or full) overlooks the fact that Obamacare failed to live up to its promise of reducing healthcare costs. “”I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year” Obama said out on the campaign trail in 2007.

Clearly that did not happen. The average family coverage plan cost $16,351 in 2014 (the year Obamacare fully took effect), and rose to $18,764 by 2017 (a year which the law was still in full effect despite Trump’s presidency).

Private Obamacare Insurance is Glorified Catastrophic Insurance

Those who receive insurance through ObamaCare exchanges are essentially covered with the equivalent of a catastrophic healthcare plan, as the deductibles render the insurance “insurance in name only” for most. The average “silver plan” has a $3,937 deductible, and “bronze plans” $5,873. Overall, the average deductible is roughly $4,000. Most purchase silver plans, which cover 70% of health expenses.

Most Were Insured Through Medicaid

Has Obamacare succeeded in reducing the number of uninsured? To give some context on the pre-Obamacare statistics, at the beginning of 2008, a Gallup poll found that 14.6% of Americans did not have health insurance coverage. The uninsured rate rose to an all-time high of 18% in 2013 after Obamacare was passed but before people were required to have insurance. That rate declined to 8.8% by 2017 (with 28.5 million uninsured), which was virtually unchanged from 2016.

It must be noted that all statistics are inflated, as illegal aliens are counted in population statistics (and thus drive up the uninsured rates). A Center for Immigration Studies study found that illegals accounted for roughly 1 in 7 people without insurance in 2006. If that figure holds, the adjusted uninsured rates would be 12.5% in 2008, 15.4% in 2013, and 7.5% in 2017.

Obamacare did indeed reduce the percentage of people uninsured, though nearly all of the newly insured were insured by parts of the law that Trump did not touch.

The Department of Health and Human Services released a report at the end of 2016 claiming that 20 million were newly insured as a result of Obamacare (leading to the inevitable untrue headlines that 20 million would lose insurance without Obamacare). Of that 20 million. 5.8 million are insured through the subsidized individual market (through Obamacare exchanges), 2.3 million from the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s health plans until 26, and the remaining 11.9 million were insured through the Medicaid expansion.

Still, the “20 million” figure is an overstatement. Nearly five million of those now insured through Medicaid were already eligible for it before Obamacare, and some percentage of the 2.3 million who remained on their parent’s plans would’ve otherwise purchased their own private plans.

If Trump were to take action to shut down the Obamacare exchanges, that would simply be speeding up the inevitable, as nearly all exchanges have already failed. Only four Obamacare exchanges remain in 2018, after 19 have failed.

Surprisingly, insuring people through Medicare is cheaper than through Obama’s faux-private insurance. Figures from the Congressional Budget Office show they plan to spend an average of $6,300 on each individual who purchases subsidized health insurance through Obamacare’s exchanges in 2018. However, they’re set to spend “only” roughly $4,900 for each Medicaid recipient who enrolled. In other words, it would’ve been simpler and more cost-effective for Obama to have simply expanded an existing public healthcare program than implement Obamacare.

Trump’s Actions Can’t “Take Away” Anyone’s Healthcare

Despite any hysterical rhetoric you’ve seen, there is no grand scheme to “take away” anyone’s healthcare, and nothing Trump has done has come close to doing so.

You can only lose insurance through Trump’s individual mandate repeal voluntarily if you stop purchasing insurance in absence of the penalty. Interestingly enough there seems to be an ideological divide evident in those voluntarily ceasing to purchase insurance. Over the past two years the uninsured rate among Republicans rose from 7.9% to 13.9%, while it remained flat among Democrats at 9.1%.

 

Ep. 839 Don’t Fall in the Trap Being Set For You

In this episode I address President Trump’s new plan to end a controversial component of our immigration policy. I also address the growing problem of social media and internet censorship and a new plot being hatched by liberals to attack free speech. Finally, I address the embarrassing lies being told about Obamacare in an effort to get liberals elected.

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Would Repealing ObamaCare Kill 50,000 People a Year?

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

Liberals have made it very clear what they think would happen if ObamaCare were fully repealed (as opposed to the individual mandate repeal we got).

“Repealing the Affordable Care Act will kill more than 43,000 people annually” reported the Washington Post. “Nearly 36,000 people could die every year” in absence of ObamaCare, cautioned the far-left “Think Progress.” Meanwhile Bernie Sanders informed us that “When you throw 23 million people off of health insurance — people with cancer, people with heart disease, people with diabetes — thousands of people will die… there is study after study making this point.”

Coming to those figures is relatively simple. Simply estimate differences in mortality between the insured and uninsured, and then multiply the difference to the number of expected newly uninsured. It’s common sense, but doesn’t accord for the fact that there’s insurance, and then there’s ObamaCare insurance.

But first, let’s examine the source of the claims.

  • The study which concluded with the “43,000 deaths” figure compared mortality in states that expanded Medicaid in the early 2000s that didn’t to estimate the health benefits of Medicaid (as most of those insured by ObamaCare were insured by the Medicaid expansion). This study was conducted in part by David Himmelstein, founder of Physicians for a National Health Program.
  • The “36,000 deaths” figure is from a Think Progress study that compared morality rates in Massachusetts before and after the enactment of RomneyCare, of which ObamaCare is based off of.

So what’s wrong with the studies?

  • The entire premise of the Himmelstein study is working under the assumption that Medicaid improves health outcomes – as it appeared to in the data from the early 2000s he’s relying on. However, many studies dispute this. Most notable is the famous “Oregon Medicaid health experiment” that analyzed the 2008 Medicaid expansion in the State. The study concluded that Medicaid has “no statistically significant impact on physical health measures.” The main benefit to recipients is that Medicaid acts as a financial cushion.
  • The Think Progress study is based on the assumption that 30 million people would lose coverage if ObamaCare were repealed. In other words, the study assumes that roughly twice as many people would lose coverage, than gained coverage as a result of ObamaCare initially. Additionally, Massachusetts has among the highest quality medical care in the nation, the State is an outlier in regards to health outcomes.

But who cares what two studies say, when they’re in light of the objective fact that mortality rates have increased since the enactment of ObamaCare.

If you look at the death rate after excluding all external causes (such as drugs, alcohol, murder, suicide; anything where medical intervention would be impossible), it increased from a rate of 247.4 per 100,000 people from 2004-2013, to 252.9 in 2014-15.

If we were to round up Himmelstein’s study to “45,000 deaths,” we’d expect the death rate to have dropped to 238 per 100,000. Clearly, liberals are designing their studies about as well as their healthcare systems.