Obamacare critics hadn’t predicted the markets would evolve this way. On the contrary, they expected that that young and healthy people would stay far away from the new marketplaces, because the new coverage would be pricier than what they were paying before. Without enough business, the argument went, insurers would get skittish and withdraw. At best, the marketplaces would all become oligopolies and monopolies, with just a handful of insurers continuing to sell policies. At worst, the whole scheme would fall apart. That quite obviously isn’t happening.
Waldman wishes Republicans would face facts:
As the insurers’ behavior makes clear, it isn’t just that the exchanges have not become ground zero for a death spiral. It’s also that the exchanges are a place where there’s money to be made, even as premium increases have slowed. The market is working, and those most noble actors pursuing that most noble goal — private corporations seeking profit — are responding.
In a rational world, conservatives would say, “Well, I don’t like all that increased regulation and expansion of Medicaid, but this does demonstrate one good thing about the law. I guess it’s a complicated story.” But of course that’s not what they’ll say.
Ezra catches conservatives ignoring this another other good Obamacare news:
[C]osts are lower than expected, enrollment is higher than expected, the number of insurers participating in the exchanges is increasing, and more states are joining the Medicaid expansion. Millions of people have insurance who didn’t have it before. The law is working. But a lot of the people who are convinced Obamacare is a disaster will never know that, because the voices they trust will never tell them.