The Republican Party is in danger of becoming a one-horse pony. Unfortunately, they are chasing one — “Obamacare” — that has left the barn and is generating so much momentum that it has become virtually impossible to stop without doing irreparable damage to the U.S. economy. There is even a new FreedomWorks campaign asking young adults to “burn your Obamacare draft card!”
As one health care industry official noted, “It unwittingly illustrates the desperation of hardcore Affordable Care Act (ACA) haters as they watch traditional GOP supporters in the business world embrace the law.”
The official said, “Even in red states like Texas and Oklahoma, health insurers are launching major enrollment marketing campaigns. They’ll soon be joined in those efforts by 8,000 Walgreen stores, vast numbers of hospitals and health care companies and state insurance exchanges.”
On the same day that House Republicans voted for the 37th time to repeal Obamacare (or was it the 39th?), New York health regulators said Obamacare has reduced premiums in the state’s individual health care market. The New York Times said premiums are expected to be 50 percent lower under the plan.
Another example cited even by people close to the White House is that the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), which represents insurance agents and brokers, will soon begin developing and administering a training program for health insurance brokers. According to NAHU, “Once brokers receive required training from NAHU, they will be able to assist consumers and small businesses with their health insurance needs through the D.C. Health Link. This new online health insurance marketplace is scheduled to open October 1, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.”
There was also a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that states the cost of typical exchange plan rates are lower than expected. HHS analysts found the average cost of a silver plan in the individual market exchanges will be about 18 percent less than what HHS had estimated, based on early predictions from the Congressional Budget Office.
There, the administration estimated that the lowest-cost silver plan will be 18 percent less expensive in 2014, on average, than a comparable plan would cost if the pre-PPACA rules were still in effect. People are also discounting a new report by AFLAC that nearly half of America’s health insurance brokers say they are considering exiting the health insurance business altogether.