Nate Silver has pulled together a nice chart showing the impact of health reform on a family of four trying to buy health care on the individual market in 2016:
I’ve seen Marcy Wheeler characterize the plan as an “industry bailout.” And, indeed, if I were a small government conservative one political tactic I would employ would be to start characterizing all initiatives involving government spending as a “bailout.” You could say that ARRA’s provisions funding K-12 education are a “bailout for teacher’s unions.” You could call ACES a “bailout for windmill makers.” And you can call the health care bill an “insurance company bailout.” But the mechanism by which insurers can get extra money under reform is that . . . more people get health insurance at a price they can afford. The bill will also expand Medicaid eligibility to include many currently uncovered poor and near-poor people.
The tax increases in the bill fall overwhelmingly on richer-than-average people and it also includes important reforms to the delivery system, promising ideas to reduce the growth in health care costs, curbs overpayments to Medicare Advantage, etc. Personally, I’d be happier with Swedish health care or what have you. But politics is about real impacts on the lives of real people, and measures that make things better are very good measures.