Healthcare Reform Turns Out To Be a Pretty Good Deal

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Researchers at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have produced new estimates of national healthcare spending with and without healthcare reform. Here’s the key chart, showing projected growth rates over the next decade:

Take a look at 2021. The red line is projected spending growth on healthcare. The green line is projected spending growth if we hadn’t passed healthcare reform. Do you see a difference? I don’t.

Now, there are two conclusions you can draw from this. First, this report suggests that healthcare reform isn’t likely to rein in spending growth much. That’s the bad news. Second, it suggests that healthcare reform isn’t likely to cost very much. That’s the good news. Over at the LA Times, Noam Levey runs the numbers from the report and concludes that total national healthcare spending in 2021 without ACA comes to $4.72 trillion. With ACA it comes to $4.78 trillion. For that tiny amount — a difference of roughly 1% — about 30 million more people will have healthcare coverage. Pretty good deal, eh?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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