Numbers behind Affordable Care Act tell a complicated story of success and failure

  • Article by: CALVIN WOODWARD , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 28, 2013 - 2:05 AM

WASHINGTON — The government churns out tons of numbers, but here's one you won't see: 0.0002. That's the percentage of estimated online visitors to healthcare.gov who actually signed up for coverage the first day.

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avejoeconDec. 28, 13 9:21 AM

Here is a number they didn't print. 40%. the average increase in premiums people are paying because of Obamacare.

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dogmanDec. 28, 1310:38 AM

Spouting 'facts' from the Koch brothers-funded study again, Joe?

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dazel21Dec. 28, 1311:02 AM

No matter how u spin it dog it's a failure.

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dogmanDec. 28, 1311:09 AM

It would be irresponsible to sign up for healthcare without doing research, Daze

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swmnguyDec. 28, 13 1:22 PM

The fundamental problem with health care finance is that health care, and therefore health insurance, costs too much. People and employers increasingly can't afford it. When health insurance really was insurance, rather than the pre-payment plan it is now, costs were rising. But once coverage changed from being like you auto or homeowners policy, costs skyrocketed. It turned into an arms race, with cost increases in health care fueling cost increases in coverage, which put more money on the table to fuel new cost increases in health care, and so on.

Making everyone buy private health insurance and subsidizing the insurance industry on behalf of those who can't afford it isn't going to control the cost of health care. It's going to put more money on the table to fuel more cost increases in health care.

I wouldn't have a $5000 individual/$10,000 family deductible policy if I could afford a better one. But it's easier for me to keep the amount of the deductible in an HSA than to pay more than my mortgage for a policy with better coverage.

Finance has so come to dominate our entire economy we can no longer envision solutions that aren't based on more finance sleight of hand. Otherwise intelligent people can't differentiate between health care itself and health care finance. Finance is doing to health care what finance has done to everything else it has come to dominate, like housing, retirement planning, education, infrastructure funding, etc. Finance requires ever-increasing rates of return to cover the profits and waste inherent to an interest-based system. So prices have to increase, quality has to decrease, and access and availability have to be made scarce to keep costs and profits rising. It's a fundamental flaw in the system, and papering it over with more finance isn't going to solve the problem.

This fiasco will limp along as a short-term survival guarantee for the health care finance industry until a critical mass of employers and individuals simply can't pay it. ACA buys time, but not much of it.

I'll stand by my prediction, 4 years old now: the system will collapse, and after it does, the next Republican President will open up Medicare to everyone, consign the insurance companies to offering optional supplements, and impose strict price controls on health care if paid by Medicare. It will be the most popular domestic initiative since the inception of Medicare in the 1960s.

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saintnickDec. 28, 13 6:34 PM

You know what else complicates Obamacare? Obamacare itself. This is a hell of a bill, huh deep thinkers. You own it all by yourselves!

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saintnickDec. 29, 1312:19 PM

What do THESE numbers say?---------------------------December 23rd, 2013 06:00 AM ET 6 days ago CNN Poll: Health care law support drops to all-time low Posted by CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser Washington (CNN) – Support for the country's new health care law has dropped to a record low, according to a new national poll. And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also indicates that most Americans predict that the Affordable Care Act will actually result in higher prices for their own medical care. CNN/ORC International survey full results Only 35% of those questioned in the poll say they support the health care law, a 5-point drop in less than a month. Sixty-two percent say they oppose the law, up four points from November. Nearly all of the newfound opposition is coming from women. "Opposition to Obamacare rose six points among women, from 54% in November to 60% now, while opinion of the new law remained virtually unchanged among men," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "That's bad news for an administration that is reaching out to moms across the country in an effort to make Obamacare a success."

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