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Obamacare Policies Are Costly and Unpopular

Obamacare policies are unpopular, and people often dump them months later. That’s John Graham’s conclusion at the National Center for Policy Analysis’s Health Policy Blog. Taxpayers pay billions of dollars a year subsidizing policies on Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges, including an estimated $75 billion in subsidies for 2017. Yet the Obamacare exchanges are providing little lasting coverage:

There is a significant discrepancy between the four million Obamacare beneficiaries estimated by the NHIS and estimates produced by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Congressional Budget Office, which estimate about 11 million Obamacare beneficiaries.

The most plausible explanation for the discrepancy is the NHIS’ four million are those who have Obamacare exchange coverage at the time of the interview, whereas the other estimates likely estimate those who have Obamacare exchange coverage at any point in the year.

Obamacare policies are unpopular: Enrollment peaks in the third quarter and there is a significant drop off in the fourth quarter. People want jobs with benefits, not Obamacare, which has mostly served to fragment health coverage even more, rather than actually expand coverage.

Premiums are going up at least 25% next year on the Obamacare exchanges.

Obamacare has also driven up the cost of health insurance for some people to the point where they had to get a second job just to pay for it. But for some, such hard work backfires, because if their income rises just beyond an arbitrary threshold, they suddenly become ineligible for any healthcare tax credits they previously would have received. That can leave them poorer for having worked two jobs than if they only worked one. (See here, for an example of how the healthcare law sometimes imposes a “confiscatory” tax rate).

Obamacare’s Medicaid provisions have reportedly reduced employment in many states by up to 3%, according to a researcher at Georgetown University. The Congressional Budget Office says that other work disincentives in the healthcare law will shrink employment by over 2 million jobs.