Thursday, October 9, 2014

An Obamacare Monster Update

It's been a while since I've posted specifically on the Obamacare Monster, so I thought I'd rectify that by sharing two articles out this week that can bring you up to speed.  First up is an article by Reason.org's Peter Suderman who says that, contra Obama's recent claims that Obamacare is actually working well, the reality is that it's still a disaster.  From his article:
Obama's fellow Democrats aren't exactly enthusiastic either. Just 36 percent of Democrats campaigning for Congress this year have explicitly supported the health care law, according to research by a pair of scholars at the Brookings Institution. This is the party that passed the law and is home to virtually all its political support—and yet a majority won't fully stand by the law in public.
Why not? Perhaps because the evidence for its success is so underwhelming. It's true that the worst-case scenarios that seemed plausible last year, when the exchange system crashed, failed to occur, and also the law has posted some successes in recent weeks: low premium growth, 7.3 million paid enrollments, an increase in insurer participation in the exchanges.
But the law has also continued to generate a steady stream of bad news—more glitches, more failures, more misfires, more unhappy providers and customers, with more challenges on the way as the second open enrollment period begins. And even the success stories are not quite as positive as the headlines make them out to be.
In the second article, scholars at the Mercatus Center report research findings showing that Obamacare is set to hammer employment in the US:
Starting this year, the United States’ working population will face three major employment disincentives resulting from the very benefits the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides: (1) an explicit tax on full-time work, (2) an implicit tax on full-time work for those who are ineligible for the ACA’s health insurance subsidies, and (3) an implicit tax that links the amount of available subsidies to workers’ incomes.
A new study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University advances the understanding of how much these ACA taxes will reduce overall employment, and why. It concludes that the reduction will be nearly double that projected by previous analyses. Labor markets ultimately will reduce weekly employment per person by about 3 percent—translating to roughly 4 million fewer full-time-equivalent workers.