Hypothetical Mean

Commentary from an Actuarial and Economic Perspective

More CBO fun

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The CBO score for the Manager’s Amendment for the Senate healthcare bill is filled with fun.  My kids are climbing all over me  (again), so I’ll make this quick.

* the increase in the Initial Coverage Limit in 2010 is FREE.  See Section 3315, which is merged with the cost estimate from Section 3301.  Section 3301 should also result in a net cost in 2010, since more people will hit the catastrophic threshold.  The fact that the ICL increase is costless is rather shocking.  That’s a mult-billion give-away by someone to someone.

* The bill moves Grandfathering up to the date of enactment.  The Senate Finance Committee delayed grandfathering until 2013, and the House delayed it until 12/31/2013.  Despite this, the new score has more people in grandfathered plans than the SFC version!  Like all previous estimates, the size of the non-group, non-Exchange group of policies grows over time, which just doesn’t make much sense given that it will be illegal to keep these policies in force after 2013.

* It is still apparently too difficult to break apart non-group, non-Exchange average premiums from the Exchange premiums.  It’s also too difficult to calculate the subsidies by state … premium impacts by state … uninsured by state.  Etc.

I’m quite glad I’m not a politician having to vote for this thing without better information.  I don’t think many understand the degree to which these numbers are shoe-horned into a particular result, rushed to completion, and insufficient to judge the wisdom of this bill’s provisions.

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Written by Victor

December 23, 2009 at 1:54 am

Posted in Healthcare Reform

Tagged with ,

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