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Sat Jun 17, 2017, 01:24 PM

President Trump's mangled facts about Obamacare

Source: Washington Post, by Glenn Kessler

“Americans were told that premiums would go down by $2,500 per year. And instead, their premiums went up to levels that nobody thought even possible.”

Obama, when campaigning in 2008, did misleadingly say that his plan would reduce premiums for families by $2,500. As we have noted before, Obama’s pledge came with a very large asterisk: He was not saying premiums would fall by $2,500, but that health-care costs per family would be that much lower than anticipated. In other words, if overall costs — not just premiums — were expected to rise by $5,000 by 2012, they would only rise by $2,500. That nuance often was lost in his campaign statements, and he was quickly called out by fact checkers...

...But here’s the funny thing: Health costs for employer-provided plans have grown much slower than expected since the Affordable Care Act was implemented. Experts debate whether the ACA played a significant role, but the average family premium is now almost $3,600 lower than if premium growth had kept pace with the rate in the decade before the law was passed, according to Kaiser.

“It was just announced yesterday that 2 million people have dropped out of Obamacare — 2 million additional. They are leaving fast.”

This statistic is courtesy of another dubious report issued by HHS, though Trump hyped it up even more. The report did not say 2 million people dropped out. Instead, it said that 10.3 million had paid for their first premium in February as of March 15, compared with 12.2 million who had signed up for coverage as of Jan. 31...

...The individual market has always had a lot of flux – people drop out when they get a job that provides health insurance – so the attrition rate likely would not have been unusual if HHS had not manipulated the numbers. An HHS spokeswoman said the report eventually will be updated with the full March data but otherwise would not explain why the report was done differently than in the past.

“Insurers are fleeing the market. Last week it was announced that one of the largest insurers is pulling out of Ohio — the great state of Ohio.”

Trump decries that some insurance companies have announced they are leaving the Obamacare marketplace. But he ignores that many say they are exiting the business because of uncertainty created by the Trump administration, in particular whether it will continue to pay “cost-sharing reductions” to insurance companies. These payments help reduce co-pays and deductibles for low-income patients on the exchanges. Without those subsidies, insurance companies have to foot more of the bill...

... Trump specifically mentioned Ohio. But Anthem Insurance, saying it would leave the state’s exchange, cited the lack of certainty about the cost-sharing payments and “an increasing lack of overall predictability.” So Trump, decrying the “broken promise” represented by the departure of insurance companies, blames Obamacare for problems that his administration has fostered.

All in all: [img][/img] Imagine that!

Read it all at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/06/15/president-trumps-mangled-facts-about-obamacare/?utm_term=.4969eb692b68&wpisrc=nl_health202&wpmm=1

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