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TNR: Obamacare Is Working, Cont’d
An excellent piece by Johnathon Cohn of the New Republic. Read the full post here.
Attention Obamacare haters: The law you despise appears to be working.
"The Census Bureau this morning released its annual report on income, poverty, and health insurance. My colleagues will be back later to discuss the income findings, but I want to flag the health care numbers right away. For the first time in three years, the proportion of Americans who have health insurance went up, from 83.7 percent in 2010 to 84.3 percent in 2011.
And what explains the shift? The breakdown by age offers some clues. Relative to last year, the percentage of young adults with health insurance rose by 2.2 points. That was the largest increase of any group. And it was the second year in a row that coverage among young adults increased. Overall, according to Census officials, the percentage of young Americans has gone up by about 4 percent during that span.
The requirement that insurers offer coverage to young adults is one of several regulations that Obamacare put in place right away. Others require insurers to cover preventative care without cost-sharing and prohibit insurers from imposing lifetime caps on benefits. Critics of the health care law predicted that such regulations would cause premiums to skyrocket. But that hasn’t happened. On the contrary, employer premiums rose just 4 percent last year, according to yesterday’s annual report from the Health Research and Educational Trust and Kaiser Foundation."