People Doing “Studies” Need To Get Their Facts Straight.

This won’t be long. In researching why the GOP is claiming that premiums have more than doubled under the ACA, I found this Forbes article.

The Brookings Institute took issue with a study showing that insurance premiums dropped under the ACA. Their contention with the previous study was that it didn’t account for the money from tax incentives going toward premium costs. When factored in, premium costs seem to have doubled.

I contend that this is a false measure, first of all. No individual accounts for subsidies, either from the government or from an employer, as part of their premium costs. In offering this “premiums have doubled” number, they’re putting out facts without context. Context matters.

Further, it appears the study didn’t take into account the risk-corridor payments the GOP reneged on (ultimately Congress reneged, but it was the GOP measure that stripped funding & caused the mass exodus of insurers from the marketplace, reducing competition & driving up costs).

Further, by not enforcing the mandate, they pull healthy people from the system. It’s like having car insurance for only bad drivers: that insurance becomes very expensive. As a good driver, your premiums go toward subsidizing bad drivers. How do you think insurance companies get the money to pay claims? It’s a burden-sharing system. By not recognizing the importance of diversity in the insurance markets, they make those markets untenable.

Additionally, let’s not forget that the original ACA bill included a public healthcare option on the marketplace. That would have placed Medicaid-type plans on the individual markets. With this additional competition, insurers would have been forced to put their private products against lower cost public options. They were terribly afraid that such a move would have been the death of their industry.

Do not take things at face value, ever. Read & listen critically. Define the terms & the jargon being used to understand what someone is really saying. While the words sound like English, they’re usually all speaking American Politician. Further, statistics & data sets can say a lot of seemingly competing things, but that’s because the interpreters often wear colored lenses to view the data. Look at methodology & see how people arrive at conclusions. If their methodology is flawed or results are presented out of context, they can often lead to wholesale misinterpretations & a general decline in the way facts & truths interact within our discourse.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: