Remember the fierce moral urgency of providing coverage to 45 million Uninsured-Americans? About that:
A full 32.3 million non-elderly people do not have health insurance despite the costly health reform act and the individual mandate tax penalty, new analysis shows.
Nearly half of the 32.3 million uninsured, or 15.7 million, are still not getting health insurance through the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid, new state-by-state analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals. More than a quarter of the uninsured are either eligible adults or children.
This is in spite of a massive expansion of Medicaid, big subsidies for purchases on the state exchanges (eligible at up to 400% of the poverty rate), and big penalties for noncompliance.
But at least we’re bending the cost curve down, right?
Wrong — not even for Medicaid recipients:
About 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will be protected against higher premiums in 2016. Under federal law, Medicare premiums are linked closely to Social Security benefits, since most people on Medicare have their premiums deducted from their monthly Social Security checks. To protect older Americans, federal law stipulates that, in most cases, the increase in a person’s Medicare premium cannot exceed the increase in the person’s Social Security benefit. The purpose of this “hold harmless” provision is to prevent a reduction in Social Security benefits.
But by shielding 70 percent of beneficiaries from rate increases, that same law exposes the remaining 30 percent to major price shocks. Medicare actuaries predicted in July that the standard premium for those beneficiaries would rise next year to $159 a month, from just under $105 a month for most beneficiaries, the same as in 2013 and 2014.
A 50% increase for millions of retirees on fixed incomes?
That Means it’s Working™