Washington Post columnist looks at data, talks to experts and concludes Obamacare is working, at less cost than expected

The federal health-reform law “has accomplished its goal of expanding coverage — at a significantly lower cost than expected,” columnist Ruth Marcus writes for The Washington Post “after talking to numerous health-care experts and examining the data.”

Marcus writes up front, “There is a legitimate ideological debate about whether it is a wise
use of federal power to require individuals to obtain health insurance
or a wise use of federal resources to spend so much on subsidizing
coverage. What’s more puzzling, and more disturbing, is the still-raging division over the real-world effect of the ACA.”

She says President Obama “over-promised when he told people that, if
they liked their health insurance, they could keep it; by its own terms,
the law set new standards for required coverage. Certainly, some
individuals, particularly younger and healthier customers, find
themselves paying more; again, such winners and losers were an
inevitable consequence of the individual mandate and minimum-coverage
rules. Meantime, the scariest warnings — of employers rushing to drop coverage and insurance markets ensnared in death spirals of ever-rising premiums — have not come to pass.
Where
the law has yet to fully deliver on its promises — and some wonder
whether it will — is in the area of cost containment and quality
improvement.”

Marcus backs up her assessment with facts. For example, “Health-care costs and premiums for employer-sponsored insurance (the way most of us obtain coverage) have been rising at their lowest levels
in years. On the exchanges, premium increases during the law’s second
year mirrored that modest growth — averaging 2 percent on some mid-range
plans and 4 percent on the lowest-cost ones, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.”

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