ObamaCare’s impact on health costs.

Many of the initial reports of premium increases for 2017 have been based on anecdotal examples or averages across insurers. This Kaiser Family Foundation brief takes a different approach, presenting an early analysis of changes in insurer participation and premiums for the lowest-cost and second-lowest silver marketplace plans in major cities in 16 states plus the District of Columbia where complete data on rates is publicly available for all insurers. Based on insurer rate requests, the cost of the second-lowest silver plan in these cities will increase by a weighted average of 9% in 2017.

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After six years of rock-solid defense, top healthcare advocates in the Democratic Party are now willing to acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act has fallen flat on affordability.

At the Democratic National Convention this week, some of Hillary Clinton’s closest allies on healthcare are setting her up for a major battle to lower the cost of care, an issue they said needs to top her agenda as president.

“Healthcare costs, I really see as the next generation of healthcare reform,” Neera Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress, said at a luncheon in downtown Philadelphia on Wednesday.

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Two scholars at the renowned Brookings Institution, Loren Adler and Paul Ginsburg, have published an analysis finding that “average premiums in the individual market actually dropped significantly upon implementation of the ACA [Affordable Care Act].” This contrasts with a plethora of evidence, including a rigorous 2014 Brookings study, showing that the ACA significantly increased premiums. In this post, I discuss methodological concerns with the Adler and Ginsburg approach as well as evidence that leads most scholars to reach a very different conclusion.

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The big rate increases announced last week for health insurance policies sold by California’s version of the federal health reform are the latest evidence that the Affordable Care Act, despite its name, cannot do much to tame the rise of health care costs.

The government-run health insurance market is facing all the same cost pressures that the private market has confronted for years, plus more that have resulted from the dynamics of the federal law itself.

Covered California, the state insurance agency created to implement the federal law, announced last week that rates for insurance sold through the program will increase an average of 13.2 percent in 2017. The state’s two biggest insurers, Blue Shield and Anthem Inc., will increase rates by 19.9 percent and 17.2 percent, respectively.

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Today’s headline in The Los Angeles Times: “California Obamacare rates to rise 13% in 2017, more than three times the increase of the last two years.” The increase will be 17.2% for Anthem and 19.9% for Blue Shield–the largest Obamacare insurers.

Obamacare supporters have long pointed to Covered California as the example of just how good Obamacare could be if the entire program were run as well as it is in California.

Covered California’s average rate increase for 2017 will be 13.2%.

But half of the California market is controlled by two carriers who will be asking for much bigger increases. Blue Shield of California said its average rate increase for 2017 will be 19.9%, the biggest statewide increase. Anthem Blue Cross said it will increase its rates by an average of 17.2% for 2017.

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California’s Obamacare premiums will jump 13.2 percent on average next year, a sharp increase that is likely to reverberate nationwide in an election year.

The Covered California exchange had won plaudits by negotiating 4 percent average rate increases in its first two years. But that feat couldn’t be repeated for 2017, as overall medical costs continue to climb and two federal programs that help insurers with expensive claims are set to expire this year.

The increase announced Tuesday comes as major insurers around the country seek even bigger rate hikes for open enrollment this fall, and the presidential candidates clash over the future of President Barack Obama’s landmark health law.

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California’s Obamacare customers can expect a hefty increase in their monthly health insurance premiums next year.

Covered California, the state’s Obamacare marketplace, released proposed premiums Tuesday morning, and the statewide average increase for 2017 will be 13.2 percent.

Peter Lee, the agency’s executive director, cited factors including increased medical costs and the end of a federal “reinsurance” program as main drivers of the increase.

Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross customers will face the steepest increases.

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For several years, the Obama administration has urged state insurance regulators to use tools provided by the Affordable Care Act to hold down health care premiums.

Now federal officials will have a chance to practice what they preach as they confront big increases proposed in several states where they are responsible for reviewing rates.

Federal officials defer to the insurance commissioners in 46 states deemed to have “effective rate review” programs. But in Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming, the federal government is in charge of reviewing rates.

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Consumers who purchase their insurance through the public exchanges will likely see prices rise again next year, according to a new analysis of proposed premiums for next year.

The Avalere Health analysis of 14 states where data is available finds that premium increases for average silver plans would go up by 11 percent. Lower-cost silver plans would increase a bit less, by 8 percent.

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The word is right there in the name of the law: “Affordable.” The ACA promised to bring health insurance down to earth, letting uninsured people buy policies that didn’t break the bank, and bringing the astonishing cost of medical care into reach for all Americans.

What’s becoming clear, three years in, is that “affordable” depends where you look. Twenty million more people are covered and tens of millions of others have broader benefits because of Obamacare. But many insurers, faced with new coverage requirements and competition on premiums, have shifted costs onto consumers.

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