Posts by: Luke Brockmeier

Good news, so-so news, bad news, and a path forward.

The good news is that Obamacare’s base premiums are 16% below projections. That means that the Congressional Budget Office, when it has estimated the federal cost of the program, has been overestimating the expenditures.

The HHS report at the link is a sign that Obamacare will likely reduce the federal deficit far more than originally thought.

The so-so news is that these federal savings don’t translate into consumer savings. 88% of the currently uninsured will qualify for premium support or Medicaid; only 12% of people will pay the […]

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In a victory for the city and the state, Pure Romance has announced that they will move forward with a relocation to downtown Cincinnati, despite being rejected for tax credits by a prudish Kasich administration.

The company has outgrown their suburban warehouse facilities and is looking to expand operations. They were initially approved for $108,000 in incentives from Ohio to match $353,000 from Cincinnati, but JobsOhio nixed the deal when they found out that Pure Romance markets relationship enhancements to women.

The new management positions, according to the Enquirer, will pay 41% more than the average job […]

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Obamacare in 6 words

On September 20, 2013 By

With a couple weeks before the exchanges open, and Republicans threatening to shut down the government until everybody understands Obamacare, I was planning on writing a piece about how:

the GOP is basically admitting that they don’t understand what is now a major part of the American government much of the media doesn’t understand it either, so they’re unequipped to point out that the GOP’s behavior is unspeakably embarrassing

Then I got kind of circumspect about what I’ve written, which is overly analytical and makes Obamacare seem complicated. If you’re a consumer, here’s what Obamacare means for you:


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The Dispatch ran an article on the rightward lurch in Ohio politics. It’s a good piece, but I’m taken by a quote from Ohio Right to Life director (and Kasich medical board appointee) Mike Gonidakis:

Abortion levels in Ohio are the lowest in modern history, and when lawmakers pass “common-sense, pro-life approaches, good things happen,” Gonidakis said.

I think this is the third time I’ve heard him say this, which means that it’s an ongoing talking point. That’s interesting, and also the most dishonest thing imaginable, because we have no Kasich-era data on abortion in Ohio.

Here’s the most […]

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Just so we’re on the same page, “Obamacare” is tax credits to pay for health insurance.

When the Republicans say “we’ll destroy the government if you don’t defund Obamacare!” they’re saying “if you don’t raise taxes by tens of billions of dollars, we’ll destroy the government!”

Sure, there’s some Medicaid spending in there, but around 2/3 of the cost next year will be tax breaks.

On top of that, Obamacare isn’t part of the budget. Those tax breaks will happen regardless of congressional appropriations. To prevent those tax breaks from going into effect, congress would have to pass […]

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JobsOhio and the Kasich administration are scuttling a deal to move a suburban company to a larger space in downtown Cincinnati. As a result, the company is considering an offer to move to Northern Kentucky.

JobsOhio rejected the move because the company markets relationship enhancement devices to women. Given GOP support for Medicare coverage of Viagra and penis pumps, this is an unexpected new front in the War on Women.

Pure Romance is expanding operations and hiring 15 new management-level employees. Like many businesses, they want to move from the suburbs to downtown Cincinnati to attract a […]

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Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor published an op-ed with some bizarre arguments about local budgets, and an interesting new campaign line. The op-ed makes a number of disingenuous arguments that the Kasich budgets have not, in fact, ripped off local governments and you have not, in fact, voted on increased levies.

Economic growth is the best way to help communities. This is Governor Kasich’s plan, and it’s working.

I’d hate to see it not working. I guess Plan B is “Get her!

GDP growth isn’t a plan, it’s a goal. A goal that Kasich is currently missing. Let’s get […]

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Based on some of the comments on my last post, it seems helpful to post a primer on Obamacare premium support.

It’s been called “subsidies”, but it’s actually “premium support”: Obamacare guarantees that you won’t spend more than X% of your income on insurance. X is itself calculated based on your income, such that low income uninsured people will pay very little while higher-income uninsured people will pay around what they currently pay. The amount of your premium support can then be applied to whichever plan you want.

Around 88% of Ohioans who go to the exchange will get […]

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There are two recent studies on Obamacare exchanges that shed light on Ohio’s insurance market. They both show that uninsured Ohioans will be getting a better deal, and that there’s plenty of room for improvement.

The more interesting study was from Kaiser Family Foundation, offering the best look yet at Ohio’s exchange offerings. It looked at the plans and subsidies in Cleveland’s market. It shows that my calculations were pretty close.

As always, it’s hard to talk about premiums on the exchange because you pay in based on your income, rather than based on your health. But Kaiser […]

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PPP released a couple of in-depth polls last week, with quite the topline: FitzGerald is leading 38-35 among registered voters.

As always, the internals are where the action is. This is a very bad poll for John Kasich. I’ll cut to the chase: his support has cratered among women and independents. I wonder why?

Obviously this is only one poll, and PPP is a progressive group. But bear in mind that their final Ohio poll in 2010 was off by 1, and their final poll in 2012 was off by 2. Both […]

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Medicaid expansion has passed Michigan’s Republican-controlled legislature, expanding insurance coverage to 400,000 low-wage earners in Michigan. It required some cajoling and arm-twisting, but Gov. Snyder is ultimately in control of the state Republican Party and he was able to convince around half of the GOP caucus to act in the interests of the state rather than cower in fear from Tea Party challengers in their gerrymandered districts.

That is apparently not the case in Ohio.

Compared to Ohio, the Michigan GOP has a smaller House majority but a larger Senate majority. Nevertheless, 25 of 59 GOP House members and […]

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