One of the many, many, many predictions of Obamacare failure made by conservatives is that insurance companies would systematically drop out of the exchanges. They made this prediction many, many, many, many, many times. The data is starting to come in and, guess what, insurance companies are joining the exchanges. Dan Diamond reports that, in every state that has reported information so far, the number of insurance companies competing in the exchanges will expand in year two. He even has a chart:
As Larry Levitt explains, this is a big deal for the success of the program:
1. If new insurers have lower premiums, that may drive down the price for the 2nd lowest cost plan, the benchmark for subsidies. (2 of 4)— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) June 13, 2014
2. New insurers will provide choice where it didn’t exist before (e.g. NH). Matters less where there was already lots of choice. (3 of 4)— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) June 13, 2014
3. Entrance of a major insurer (e.g. Wellmark in IA and SD) brings marketing muscle that should increase enrollment. (4 of 4)— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) June 13, 2014
I have made this point repeatedly, but it’s fundamental enough to bear repeating: The information environment surrounding Obamacare is fundamentally asymmetrical. The liberal policy wonks reporting on the program have made a good faith and highly successful effort to depict both the good and the bad news about the program in context. Conservatives, even the most wonkish ones, have engaged in a one-sided propaganda effort. If you get your news about Obamacare from conservative sources, you have heard an endless succession of horror predictions that, when not borne out, have gone uncorrected. The bottom line is that the program is doing what it was designed to do.