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When premiums drop under 'Obamacare'

It's probably time for a complete overhaul of the right's discredited talking points on the Affordable Care Act.
A sign at an Affordable Care Act outreach event in Los Angeles, California, September 28, 2013.
A sign at an Affordable Care Act outreach event in Los Angeles, California, September 28, 2013.
The entire conservative case against the Affordable Care Act has unraveled to the point that some Republican campaigns no longer even want to talk about the issue. The right's predictions have been proven wrong; the ACA system is working well; and even consumers who thought they hated "Obamacare" are realizing the law is a whole lot better than they realized.
What's left? Premiums, or more to the point, the right's belief that the dreaded Affordable Care Act won't be so affordable once consumers see "skyrocketing" premium increases. In keeping with the larger pattern, this isn't working out well for the right, either (via Jeffrey Young).

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's individual-market customers will, on average, see a slight decrease in their premiums next year under new rates approved by the Connecticut Insurance Department. Anthem, the state's largest insurer, initially requested approval to raise rates by an average of 12.5 percent. But the insurance department rejected the proposal and asked the company to resubmit its plan using different calculations. The result: An average premium decrease of 0.1 percent for Anthem customers.

That's not a typo -- on average, premiums in Connecticut are now expected to go down a little.
Dylan Scott added, "Connecticut is yet another reminder that the news on Obamacare premiums is more complicated than some of the media coverage would have you believe. Not only are consumers mostly protected from any actual rate increases by federal subsidies, but the proposed rate increases are routinely subject to approval from state insurance regulators."
Some states, it turns out, are more comfortable pushing back against insurers than others.
On a related note, Adrianna McIntyre added how surprised experts are that coverage is soaring, even as "health care prices aren't."

Health care prices have grown really slowly this summer, a piece of good economic news released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Tuesday. The price of medical care commodities, which includes drugs and other medical  devices, grew 0.3 percent from June to July. That was one of the lowest monthly increases all year. Growth over the previous year was 3 percent. Prices for medical care services (like health insurance and hospital care) grew an even smaller 0.1 percent over the same time ... and 2.5 percent over the year.

As for ACA critics, it's hard to even guess what they'll complain about next, though the evidence suggests it's time for a complete overhaul of their discredited talking points.