Obamacare Is Now Stable and Providing Millions With Health Coverage

From the Wall Street Journal:

After years of big rate increases on Affordable Care Act plans, insurers in many states are seeking smaller hikes and even some reductions, according to new federal data that provide the broadest view so far of next year’s health-law markets. Major insurers in states including Mississippi and Florida are seeking single-digit increases, according to preliminary rate requests published on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Big marketplace players in states including Texas, Illinois, Arizona and North Carolina have proposed to cut some premiums for 2019.

Despite the best efforts of Republicans, the Obamacare market has finally stabilized. Here are Charles Gaba’s estimates for 2019 rate requests so far:

The average rate request is a hike of only 6.9 percent, which will almost certainly be reduced once all the invidual requests go through the regulatory approval processes in each state. What’s more, using estimates from the states themselves, Gaba figures that the average rate request would be negative if not for Republicans screwing around with the individual mandate and a few other things. It took five years, but insurance companies have finally figured out the characteristics of the Obamacare customer pool and have a pretty good handle on what rates they can charge to be both profitable and competitive.

At this point, all Republicans have to do is stay out of the way and stop screwing things up. It may not be anyone’s ideal, but Obamacare is now functional, efficient, and provides millions of Americans with health coverage at a relatively reasonable price. How many millions? The final CDC report for 2017 was released a few weeks ago, and here’s what it tells us:

That decline represents just shy of 20 million people who now have health coverage who wouldn’t have had it without Obamacare.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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