President Barack Obama has not had a good couple of weeks. His foreign policy is going badly, his legislative agenda is stalled, and his party looks likely to lose the Senate. He’s entering the traditional lame-duck years of a presidency and further accomplishments appear increasingly remote.
But less than 10 months after major media outlets were hosting debates with headlines like “Is the Affordable Care Act Beyond Repair?“, Obama’s signature accomplishment is succeeding beyond all reasonable expectation.
A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that in seven major cities that have released data on 2015 premiums, the price of the benchmark Obamacare plan — the second-cheapest silver plan, which the federal government uses to calculate subsidies — is falling.
“Falling” is not a word that people associate with health-insurance premiums. They tend to rise as regularly as the morning sun. And, to be fair, the Kaiser Family Foundation is only looking at 16 cities in 15 states and the District of Columbia, and the drop they record is, on average, a modest 0.8 percent (though this is the same methodology they used in 2014, and to good results). But this data, though preliminary, is the best data we have — and it shows that Obamacare is doing a better job holding down costs than anyone seriously predicted, including Kaiser’s researchers.