ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

ObamaCare’s political disciples are dismissive of the tales of woe that ObamaCare has left in its wake, pointing instead to statistics on the reduced rate of uninsured.

Whatever egalitarian ethos that the law’s architects anxiously claim that ObamaCare still achieves, it certainly doesn’t justify the pain that the scheme is causing middle class and families. There’s a very narrow band of Americans who qualify for the law’s special “cost sharing subsidies” who can find ObamaCare plans affordable. Many who fall outside this slim income range are being hammered.

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While Obamacare has brought health insurance to millions of people in the U.S., some in the program are finding that the medical care they need is too expensive to actually use.

Michelle Harris, a 61-year-old retired waitress in northwest Montana, has arthritis in both shoulders. She gets a tax subsidy to help buy coverage under Obamacare, though she still pays $338 a month for the BlueCross BlueShield plan. Yet with its $4,500 deductible, she says she’s doing everything she can to avoid seeing a doctor. Instead, she uses ibuprofen and cold-packs.

“It hurts, but we don’t have that kind of money,” Harris said in an interview. “So I deal with it.”

Open enrollment for the insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act kicks off Tuesday, and there’s a good chance consumers logging on to compare plans will face some sticker shock.

Monthly insurance premiums for popular plans on HealthCare.gov are rising by 25 percent on average next year, according to government data. But the increases will be more dramatic in certain parts of the country, especially for consumers not receiving subsidies, the numbers show.

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As premiums for Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance plans skyrocketacross the country, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appears to be spinning the bad news by noting that 2017 premiums are about what the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expected they would be when the law passed in early 2010. However, CBO’s November 2009 estimate of future premiums involved significant and generally unforeseeable errors in key underlying assumptions having nothing to do with the ACA. A valid understanding of the ACA’s effect on insurance premiums would need to account for these errors.

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As open enrollment starts Tuesday on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, consumers in some parts of the country are bracing for huge rate hikes, while many others are preparing to change insurers and likely doctors.

The crazy quilt of 2017 changes is creating angst among both supporters of the law and consumers under 65 who don’t get their insurance through work. And it comes as enrollment needs a big boost, especially of younger, healthier people to help offset insurers’ costs of covering the sicker people who have signed up so far.

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The cost of health insurance in the Obamacare exchanges is set to rise significantly in 2017. Here in Missouri, premiums are rising by over twenty points on average. But for the Show-Me State, that average rate increase only tells part of the story.

For one, the high cost of Obamacare-approved insurance plans isn’t hitting customers uniformly across the state; indeed, rural customers are far more likely to be charged more for health insurance than their urban peers, even within an “Affordable Care Act” marketplace.

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The 25 percent increase in Obamacare premiums for 2017 announced on October 24 is eye-popping.  That is five times the increase that workers are likely to see in the cost of health benefits offered by employers.  Politically, this is a disaster.

However, the jump in premiums is overdue.  Insurers in the exchange market have found that the cost of providing coverage is much higher than they initially projected.  We expect insurers to offer coverage to everyone, regardless of their health condition.  That’s good social policy, but it is expensive.

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Obamacare customers are acting more cost-conscious than other people with insurance — and it could be affecting their health.

A new survey finds that 50 percent of people who buy health plans through government-run Obamacare marketplaces say they cut back on getting health care services as they try to manage costs.

That can include not going to the doctor as often when they’re sick, skipping preventative care visits and lab tests, and delaying elective surgeries.

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Americans in the health insurance markets created by President Barack Obama’s law will have less choice next year than any time since the program started, a new county-level analysis for The Associated Press has found.

The analysis by AP and consulting firm Avalere Health found that about one-third of U.S. counties will have only one health marketplace insurer next year. That’s more than 1,000 counties in 26 states – roughly double the number of counties in 2014, the first year of coverage through the program.

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On Tuesday the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced some tax benefits will increase in 2017 in order to adjust for inflation. According to the IRS the standard deduction for married couples in 2017 will be $12,700, up from $12,600, and both the earned income tax credit and the amount exempt from the estate tax will also see slight increases. The top individual tax rate will apply to those making $418,400 or more as opposed to $415,050 or more in 2016.

Yesterday the American Action Forum released an analysis of Donald Trump’s proposal to cut 70 to 80 percent of U.S. Regulations. The analysis finds that in order to achieve this goal, between $700 and $800 billion in regulatory costs would need to be cut. The analysis further shows that it would likely take a generation in order to accomplish this goal.

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