Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Time Can Run Back

One reason my fellow wingnuts put so much effort into preventing the ACA (it is no longer necessary to use the rhetorical term “Obamacare” now that we can point to actual facts) is they believed it could not be repealed since any attempt to repeal would be demagogued by leftists. It looks like there's enough opposition from people who can't enroll or whose premiums are increasing to overcome the demagoguery.

A second reason is the possibility that the repealable parts would not include the ban on using “pre-existing conditions” to set prices, leading to a “death spiral.” (I asked for an article on this topic and I got it.) This part is also wrong. New Jersey passed such a law in 1993:

It is instructive to compare New York’s individual-insurance market with that of another large northeastern state. In August 1993, New Jersey began enforcing guaranteed issue and pure community rating in its individual market, just as New York does currently. Unlike New York, however, New Jersey permitted some variation among its standard individual-insurance plans, including a range of deductibles. Before enacting guaranteed issue and community rating, New Jersey had 157,000 policyholders in its individual market. Despite New Jersey’s greater flexibility, this number had dropped to fewer than 86,700 by the end of 2001.[20]

New Jersey also passed a partial decontrol in 2001, leading to a partial reversal of the death spiral:

Concerned about falling enrollment, the New Jersey legislature in 2001 passed a law allowing “Basic and Essential” plans to be sold in the individual market. These plans, which went into effect in March 2003, may charge premiums that vary by a ratio of up to 3:1 to reflect a policyholder’s age, gender, and place of residence. Basic and Essential plans offer a limited benefit, which “covers only 90 days per year for hospitalization, $600 per year for wellness services, $700 per year for office visits for illness or injury, $500 per year for out-of-hospital testing, and limited benefits for mental health services, alcohol and substance abuse treatment and physical therapy.”[21] Carriers can sell a rider providing additional benefits.

At the end of 2002, before these Basic and Essential plans began being sold, New Jersey’s individual market had 79,870 policyholders, almost all of them covered by pre-reform standard plans.[22] By the second quarter of 2009, individual-market enrollment had increased to 105,158 (a gain of 32 percent). This increase was solely a result of the popularity of these new Basic and Essential plans. In fact, the number of people in the standard plan dropped from 78,698 at the end of 2002 to just 52,271 by the second quarter of 2009. The number of policyholders with Basic and Essential Plans went from zero, pre-reform, to 52,645 by the second quarter of 2009.[23] Of note, more than 26,000 standard policyholders, a third of the pre-reform market, switched to Basic and Essential plans during this same period.

Maybe a President Christie might not be a disaster after all, even if we cranberries disagree with some of his policies.


Anonymous Third News said...

I think embracing the ACA will crash the program faster. If the employer's mandate stood, the rate shock, and discontinuance of some employee insurance would have forced a political solution. As it is, those who are covered by their employers, only think they are unaffected.

BTW, ooops, I missed you had received the links before I sent mine.

2:29 AM  

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