2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

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Various & Sundry: ACA still misunderstood; premiums fall across 48 cities; Perry-appointed board recommends expanding Medicaid

New York (MainStreet) -- With Obamacare open enrollment under way for next year, Americans continue to oppose the Affordable Care Act even as new data reveals that many of us don't even know what's in it.

A recent survey, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, asked ten questions about health insurance under the ACA. Nearly 40% of participants got half of the questions wrong, with 8% getting nothing right at all.

In September, the Kaiser Family Foundation looked at insurance premiums for Obamacare's benchmark silver plan in 16 major cities and found, to their surprise, that prices were falling by 0.8 percent on average. On November 11, they updated the analysis with data for 32 more cities — and found that the initial finding held. On average, prices are falling by 0.2 percent.

"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 48 cities, and the drop they record is modest (though this is the same methodology they used in 2014, and to good results). But this data, though preliminary, is some of 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.

A board of medical professionals appointed by Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that the state should provide health coverage to low-income Texans under the Affordable Care Act — a move the Republican-led Legislature has opposed. 

The 15-member Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency recommended that the state’s health commissioner be authorized to negotiate a Texas-specific agreement with the federal government to expand health coverage to the poor, “using available federal funds.”