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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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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