DID YOU HEAR the latest news about Obamacare?
Probably not. Even though it is important news you need to know so you can make smart decisions that will help you and your family.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a new analysis this week showing the Affordable Care Act will cost the government less than expected and that in many ways it is doing much better than you thought. Especially if you've been getting most of your info from the Republican and tea-party leaders who want you to think "Obamacare" is a four-letter word.
But when you dig deeper into the CBO analysis, you will also find numbers that show President Obama's health-care plan has flaws that we need to start fixing. But that's not something you've heard from Democratic leaders. Because rolling up sleeves and getting to work is not the way things happen here in Hate City these days.
Here's the good news from the CBO: ACA will cost the government $5 billion less for this year than CBO had projected in February, and an additional $104 billion less than it projected for 2015 to 2024. These savings mean the deficit for 2014 will be $22 billion lower than CBO forecast just two months ago.
Just about all of that savings is achieved because government's subsidies for health insurance premiums will be $300 cheaper this year (a 6 percent reduction) than CBO last projected, and $1,200 (14 percent) less through 2024. Indeed, premiums are now 15 percent less than was projected before the ACA became law. The subsidies are lower than expected because the premiums are lower than expected. And that's because the programs offered in the health insurance exchanges offer a narrower range of doctors and hospitals than was expected.
But here's the more problematic Obamacare news you need to know: CBO also projects your ACA health insurance premiums, though now lower than originally expected, will rise at an estimated 6 percent a year from 2016 to 2024. Still, that's 15 percent less than CBO estimated back in 2009.
Finally, here's the bottom line for Obamacare's goal of helping those who need help most: CBO reports that 25 million people will be insured through health insurance exchanges - and an additional 13 million more will be covered through Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program - who wouldn't have had health insurance without enactment of the ACA. We need to always remember that we all have been paying for the health care of those who have been uninsured.