Despite all the rhetoric, all the potentially catastrophic things that could have happened to people insured thanks to the Affordable Care Act under Republicans’ failed proposals, in one little corner of the health care marketplace, there are positive signs for the ACA.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, which insures about 500,000 Obamacare customers in the state, has substantially cut its original rate hike request subject to approval by state regulators from 22.9 percent to 14.1 percent. The company, the only one that serves all 100 counties, is due credit for this decision, and for its candor in acknowledging that the reason for this refreshing surprise is more stability in the marketplace and in the ACA.
In other words, despite all the doomsaying from the Trump administration, where the vow has been to let Obamacare fail, it appears Obamacare may be working for many people. BCBS will continue to monitor what happens – notably, whether President Trump attempts to cut or cut off federal payments to insurers to kill the ACA – but if lawmakers are paying attention, they should work together to fix, not kill, a program that has made it possible for more than 20 million Americans to get health insurance for themselves and their families.