Search This Blog

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Obamacare: Still Unpopular

Despite the Supreme Court decision in favor of subsidies, Obamacare remains unpopular.  Politico explains:
For one, the public is frustrated with insurance premium increases that they view as directly related to Obamacare. A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that 2016 premiums are up by a greater percentage than in 2015. Benchmark silver-level plans are rising by an average of 4.4 percent in a select group of cities but could be much higher in parts of the country — with a Wellmark plan in South Dakota wanting to raise rates by 42.9 percent, CareFirst seeking a nearly 30 percent increase in Maryland and Health Care Service Corp. going after a 51.6 percent hike in New Mexico.
While premiums were on their way up before the law passed, the public faults Obamacare — and that’s something the White House hasn’t been able to shake.
Some people who have signed up have been shocked to discover the size of their deductibles or that they can’t go to the doctor they want because insurers have imposed narrow “in-network” care. Several states are trying, with mixed success, to respond by requiring that insurers include an adequate number and variety of providers in their networks.
The law’s future is also threatened by the potential repeal of a few elements that are particularly vulnerable to Democratic opposition.
Repeal of the medical device tax passed the House last week with nearly enough votes to override a presidential veto. A Medicare payment board that is tasked with controlling health care spending is unpopular with House Democrats, too, and likely to get a repeal vote soon.
The ruling “still doesn’t change what the law is doing,” said Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.). “I just had lunch with some people looking at the 40 percent Cadillac tax. We’ve still got a lot to do.”
The “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employee health insurance plans, which goes into effect in 2018, is vehemently opposed by labor unions and some Democrats on Capitol Hill.