Friday, March 13, 2015

Obamacare and fiscal policies continue to prove GOP wrong

While the big story on Capitol Hill this week resulted from Republicans in the US Senate deciding to traitorously go over the heads of the president in trying to scuttle peace talks with Iran (and yes, (mo)Ron Johnson was one of them), there was another interesting development that didn't grab as much news. It involves another item that DC Republicans have been dead wrong about: Obamacare. The Washington Post had a good rundown of a new Congressional Budget Office report that shows yet again that the Affordable Care Act is working even better than we already knew.
The Congressional Budget Office announced on Monday that the Affordable Care Act will cost $142 billion, or 11 percent, less over the next 10 years, compared to what the agency had projected in January...

In revising their estimates, the agency noted two trends.

The first is the relatively modest increase in how much private insurance companies spend on their policyholders' health care. Between 1998 and 2005, spending on health care increased by an average of 5 percent per year, adjusting for inflation and demographics. That figure fell to 1.8 percent per year for the period from 2006 to 2013, the latest year for which data are available.

The administration has said that this decline in spending on medical care is at least partly a result of cost-saving measures in the Affordable Care Act. Critics have argued on the contrary that the decline was due to the recession, and that health care costs could begin to rise again. Independent experts have suggested that much of the effect is due to the weak economy, but not all of it.

The CBO had previously expected that the pace of increasing spending would rise fast again, but now they predict that "such a bounce back seems less likely in light of the further slowing of spending growth observed in the most recent data."

The agency also revised their estimates in response to new data on who was insured and how before the law took effect.

They concluded that fewer people were employed by firms that might stop offering coverage as a result of the law's passage, since their employees are now able to buy coverage individually through the exchanges. And they realized that fewer people were uninsured to begin with than they had thought.

As a result, fewer people will need to purchase insurance through the exchanges or need federal help to do so.
So let's review all the GOP predictions about Obamacare that were proven wrong in that statement.

1. Fewer employers dropped coverage.

2. The increase in costs of health care haven't gone up, but have slowed down.

3. Fewer costs in picking up Medicaid and related insurance (hilariously, some of this is due to Governors like Scott Walker who decided to TeaBag Obamacare).

Oh, and another prediction about Obamacare and Obama fiscal policy from right-wing world continues to be proven wrong by the CBO.
President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget proposal would shrink U.S. deficits by $1.232 trillion over 10 years compared to those expected under current tax and spending laws, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday.

The deficit reduction, although smaller than that claimed by the White House, is largely due to Obama's proposals for higher taxes on the wealthy, his plans for lower spending on military operations in Afghanistan and net savings from proposed immigration reforms, the CBO said.

For fiscal 2016, the first full year under Obama's fiscal blueprint if Congress were to adopt it, the deficit would fall to $380 billion from $455 billion, the CBO's latest forecast under current laws.
Huh, smarter health care policy, fewer wars, and higher taxes on the wealthy end up reducing the deficit better than the GOP's "trickle-down and spend on war" policies. Imagine that!

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