"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Call BS on the CBO

Here is a chart from the Congressional Budget Office, estimating the effects of Obamacare on insurance coverage.  

Note a couple of things -- they essentially admit that you won't be able to keep your coverage if you like it (one of Obama's key selling points), since by 2019 some 11 million Americans will have lost their employer, nongroup or "other" coverage.   Also note that the "uninsured" -- who the whole thing was apparently constructed for -- still number 29 million in 2023.

Also note the ominous and obvious -- that the plan presupposes that people will move from private insurance (employer and nongroup and other insurance) to government programs (Medicaid, CHIP, and government exchanges).   This is stealth nationalization.

And, of course, if you go to the source documents, you also learn that the net cost of insurance subsidies for Obamacare (only one of its costs) are $1.3 trillion over the next ten years, which is up a whopping $233 billion since the CBO's last estimate.   But who's counting?

But I call BS on the whole thing.   Notice anything funny about the numbers?   I did.   In each year, the number of people in the government exchanges and Medicaid and CHIP goes up by the exact number of people who leave their private insurance or decide to get coverage rather than remain uninsured.   Are those really the only choices?   I don't think so.

I think it is equally likely that many more employers will choose to give up offering insurance benefits.   And I also think it is very likely that a significant number of employees who now are uninsured will choose to remain uninsured either (a) because negotiating the government exchanges is too cumbersome; or (b) because they now know that, if they don't have insurance and get sick, they can't be turned down for coverage later.  

If the CBO were playing straight they would do what good actuaries do... give a range of stochastic possiblities from the worst case to best case scenario.  

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