I’m getting tired of ”studies” (mostly: subtle or not-so-subtle position papers) talking about whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchanges are wild successes or miserable failures based on:
- One shaky indicator.
- One small set of shaky indicators.
- In the case of PPACA supporters: joyous predictions of utopia based on numbers that an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, a fellow at the Urban Institute, or a cat’s Ouija board cooked up.
Example: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was supposed to get the exchange applications from would-be exchange plan sellers by this past Friday.
HHS has not posted any application quantity numbers, which might be a genuinely bad sign.
Some people who really dislike the exchanges have pointed out that some state exchanges might not attract all that many carriers.
But, let’s face it: A lot of states don’t have much effective competition in the health insurance market today. Some states might have 20 carriers today on paper and one or two that matter.
The Obama administration and its friends played the prediction game by coming up with estimates of how many people in each state will qualify for the PPACA health insurance premium tax credit in 2014.
Well, sure. Great. But let’s see what people really end up paying for coverage.
Then there are the people who say the PPACA sky is falling because rates for young guys in states that now have rate regulations that the health insurers themselves secretly probably think are kind of weak will go up.