A new analysis by the Center for American Progress was released Friday. It discovered that lower than expected premiums on the Insurance Exchanges are reducing the deficit by $300 billion dollars. When passed, the law was projected to reduce the deficit by $109 billion. This is not a misprint; Obamacare will actually reduce the deficit. Republicans say Obamacare will bankrupt the federal government, but once again, facts are not the Republicans’ strong suit.
Obamacare working better than expected despite website
Moreover, lower premiums will actually lower the number of uninsured Americans by an additional 700,000 people, and the number of individuals who receive tax credits (subsidies) will decline because insurance is more affordable. In short, the Affordable Care Act is working even better than expected, producing more coverage for much less money.
President Obama reminded Americans that the Affordable Care Act is not a website, it is a law that provides affordable health care to millions who could not get insurance previously.
In other words, Republicans shut down the government costing the economy $24 billion dollars to repeal Obamacare just to add $300 billion to the deficit they pretend to abhor.
There has been a fog machine of misinformation about the Affordable Care Act swirling around the nation since Democrats first proposed it in 2009. Often times it is difficult to see the facts through the misinformation campaign. When the Affordable Care Law was passed it was scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which determined that the law would reduce the federal deficit by $109 billion over ten years.
The CBO estimated what insurance premiums would be on the exchanges based on the experience of Romneycare in Massachusetts and other data. However, now that the exchanges are up in running (even if the website is slow), actual premiums are known. Overall, they are lower than the CBO projected meaning the cost to the government for the subsidies is actually lower and the net result is an anticipated reduction in the deficit by an additional $190 billion for a total of $300 billion.
It is true that in some small rural markets, insurance companies have chosen not to compete, and those premiums are higher. Nation-wide, however, particularly in big markets where most uninsured Americans live, premiums are lower despite the GOP fog machine. In addition, the insurance product under Obamacare is far superior to previous policies because it prevents patients from big dropped when they get sick, and eliminates caps. It also provides free contraception and health screenings.
The Republican misinformation campaign has not missed a beat. Friday Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee and one of the GOP’s top spin doctors was confronted by CNN’s Carole Costello who demanded she substantiate the outrageous statements she was making about Obamacare violating the HIPPAA law.
When confronted with facts the spin doctor with a Congressional pin could say nothing more than “we don’t need a peeping tom who is going to look though our PII.” The fog machine is confusing the public saying Obamacare is somehow a peeping tom. That’s because they have nothing else of substance to say.
News of lower deficits, of course, will not stop Republican efforts to demand repeal of the law and a return to the good ole days of pre-existing conditions, high premiums and budget-busting deficits. We are on a glide path for another government shutdown in January because Republicans insist they will not let up on their efforts to de-fund Obamacare which they claim is equal to slavery and worse than the fugitive slave act.
Senator Rand Paul summed it up when he said “misinformation works.” What Republicans fear is that once Americans get through the fog and experience the Affordable Care Act, their gig will be up.