Another major report on health care is out, bringing with it a mix of good and bad news. The good news is about the Affordable Care Act: The law has helped young adults, not only by giving hundreds of thousands of them access to health insurance but, in many cases, by giving the ones who already had insurance better coverage than before. The law has also bolstered basic benefits for some older working-age Americans. The bad news is about the health care system overall. Premiums for employer-sponsored insurance, which had been rising at a more modest pace, spiked again last year.
Jonathan the Other had a good post on the Treatment yesterday explaining how important it is that the House-Senate compromise give some ground toward the House's more generous subsidies for low-income workers. Today we see that the Obama administration is intervening to push for exactly that outcome: The White House supports an effort to tweak the health bill so it makes insurance more affordable for the lowest earners. But the change would drive up the cost of the overhaul, an area where lawmakers have little room to maneuver.
As health care reform enters the phase of serious legislation, it becomes vital to understand what the American people expect and believe ... and how the forthcoming debate is likely to affect their views. Because no one has tracked these matters more carefully and professionally than the Kaiser Family Foundation, I reviewed a number of documents they've published during the past eight months and supplemented their findings with other credible sources.