Friday, August 8, 2014

Obamacare and N.C.: A love-hate thing

Surveys and reports on health insurance and the Affordable Care Act highlight an interesting pattern:  North Carolina's elected leaders have done everything possible to avoid participating in "Obamacare,"  but significant numbers of residents are signing up for subsidized coverage.  As the News & Observer's John Murawski recently reported,  our state's 357,000 sign-ups during open enrollment ranked us fifth in the nation.

October sign-up in Charlotte
The seeming contradiction isn't limited to North Carolina.  Across the country there are signs that the act is meeting some of its goals,  with uninsured rates declining and insurance companies announcing plans to expand participation. Yet a recent health tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found unfavorable views of the Affordable Care Act rising in July, to 53 percent  (compared with 37 percent favorable).

The Brookings Institution recently offered an interesting hypothesis about political opposition and citizen participation:  Anti-Obamacare ads may  "backfire"  by increasing awareness and enrollment,  Brookings fellow Niam Yaraghi wrote in a July report.

"The four states with the highest per capita spending on anti-ACA ads are Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina,"  he wrote.  In fact,  the Kantar Media CMAG report he used as a starting point shows that the two markets with the highest spending on anti-Affordable Care Act ads are Charlotte ($967,429) and Raleigh ($707,997).  The states with high spending were those with competitive Senate races,  such as North Carolina's  Kay Hagan-Thom Tillis contest. 

"Although the volume of spending on anti-ACA ads is driven by the competitiveness of the Senate midterm elections and may be effective in reducing the votes for the targeted political figure, they may not necessarily reduce the popularity of the ACA,"  Yaraghi wrote.  "... In fact, after controlling for other state characteristics such as low per capita income population and average insurance premiums, I observe a positive association between the anti-ACA spending and ACA enrollment. This implies that anti-ACA ads may unintentionally increase the public awareness about the existence of a governmentally subsidized service and its benefits for the uninsured."


Wiley Coyote said...

..."if you like your hardship exemption, you can keep your exemption"...

Obamacare fines look less likely as exemptions swell

Almost 90% of uninsured Americans won't pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016....

...The exemptions are worrying insurers. The penalties were intended as a cudgel to increase the number of people signing up, thereby maximizing the pool of insured. Insurers are concerned that the exemptions could make it easier for younger, healthier people to forgo coverage, leaving the pools overly filled with old people or those with health problems. That, in turn, could cause premiums to rise.

We can only hope SCOTUS sticks a fork in Obamacare and call it done...

Anonymous said...

No love
Only hate

WeLikeItThatWay said...

You know after 2 years of being involved in this debate, I have finally figured out why I do not like ACA (aks Obamacare).

At first it was fear distrust and overall disdain for the federal government taking on and ultimately ruining yet another service. To say that this government is successful at anything it does, I point to all the examples that they failed at: Social Security, Border protection, the VA, the EPA, the IRS, the NSA.

All great examples of one failure after another followed by gross incompetence.

Then after all the normal arguments had fallen away, I was still looking in ward and I finally realized it.

It is the simple fact that I am sick and tired of paying for one more benefit that I will never receive. You are taking away capital from me and my family to fund health care to people that don't have it.

Well that's a nice feel good idea. But if you are going to approve and go this route, shouldn't EVERY citizen of this country get a benefit.

After all Social Security is offered/mandated for every person in the country not just the people that need it. We all pay in we all get a benefit (allegedly of course I have not withdrawn a benefit yet and i am very concerned if there is going to be anything left by the time i am eligible)

So for me that is the crux of the problem. My insurance premiums have gone up 400% since 2010.

My deductible has gone for 2000 to 11750 for a family of four.

So not only am i paying more. I am not getting anything back for it, unless of course I get hit by a train or a bus and have to spend 15 days in the hospital.

Meanwhile. Here i sit. Paying astronomical rates. and fully covering every bill i incur at the doctors office. I have a running joke with my provider. Forget submitting the bill to the insurance company just send it to my house. I am going to have to pay for it all anyway.

So if we want to give care to all then all should get it. It should not be structured like this that everyone pays so that less than 10% of the country gets free or subsidized care.....


We the people not specialized protection at the cost of everyone.

Took me awhile but i final realized why i hate it.

Ann Doss Helms said...

Interesting point, WLITW. So have you ended up at single-payer/socialized care for all, or something different?

Just curious: Do you have employer-provided insurance? We, too, have seen premiums and deductibles rise. I've heard that from a few other employer-covered folks as well. I think that's a challenging part of this puzzle.

Wiley Coyote said...

Watched a segment the other day on the news where two older, Democrat lesbians were outraged that they had to pay for birth control and maternity benefits.

Interesting twist eh?

Makes you wonder where Democrat's minds were as they rammed this down the country's throat.

I do believe it was before Obama decided he was FOR gay marrige.