Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Real Hidden Tax on Increased Insurance Coverage | Economics21

See the source imageThe Real Hidden Tax on Increased Insurance Coverage | Economics21
"Friends and foes of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) alike tend to target the relative effectiveness of the (soon-to-be-repealed) individual mandate as the key factor behind relatively higher levels of insurance coverage since the law was enacted in 2010. 
...In reality, overall coverage gains under the ACA hit a modest, but relatively stable, plateau well before last month’s tax-cutting budget reconciliation law decided to eliminate further penalties under the individual mandate as of 2019. 
Those initial reductions in the number of uninsured Americans were due primarily to expanded eligibility for Medicaid and, secondarily, to generous subsidies for lower-incomeenrollees in state-based health insurance exchanges.
The less-explored question involves why Obamacare’s overall combination of taxpayer subsidies, expanded insurance programs, health benefits requirements, AND coverage mandates had so much less of an effect than the law’s architects envisioned.
It turns out that many of the nominally uninsured still have other alternatives to health care than just through heavily-subsidized Medicaid and exchange-based insurance. 
You might call such uncompensated care either an option for “implicit insurance” or a hidden tax on acquiring more formal coverage..."
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