Donald Trump Accidentally Lowered the Cost of Obamacare. Enrollment Went Up.

A couple of years ago, as part of his temper tantrum against Obamacare, Donald Trump decided to eliminate CSR subsidies. Click here for more details about what this means, but the short story is that Trump thought this was a great way to sabotage Obamacare. However, thanks to the details of how this works—which Trump was naturally ignorant of—it turned out to be a net positive that increased Obamacare subsidies by nearly $200 billion over ten years. Nice work, Donald!

Two years have now gone by, and Andrew Sprung has recently been diving into the whole issue of “silver loading”—i.e., the insurance industry response to the loss of CSR subsidies—and I’ve been following along but not entirely understanding all the nuts and bolts. Today, however, he writes about whether silver loading affects Obamacare enrollment rates. That looks interesting! Does higher silver loading, which provides more bang for the insurance buck, also increase enrollment? Here’s a state-by-state look:

Higher silver loading does indeed increase enrollment. The effect isn’t huge, but as silver loading gets higher, re-enrollment rates also get higher. This is not surprising: when you effectively provide bigger subsidies, which reduces the cost of insurance, more people are likely to enroll. You can click here to read Sprung’s more detailed analysis.

Econ 101 bottom line: if you make something cheaper, more people will buy it. Isn’t that fascinating?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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