Of course, the law won’t accomplish anything if the government can’t implement it; a new delay or snafu is disclosed seemingly every week. Beyond that, the biggest risk is that younger, healthier people will defy the new mandate to buy coverage next year and remain uninsured. Although many could qualify for premium subsidies, they may opt instead to pay the relatively small federal penalty. And if insurers are stuck covering only sicker and riskier customers, premiums could quickly spiral upward.
The first sign of such problems may come a year from now, when the exchanges announce their premiums for 2015. For now, the data from Kaiser and the exchanges suggest that costs are headed in the right direction, even if it’s not clear how much credit to give the 2010 law.
©2013 Los Angeles Times
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