Seth Meyers does a pretty good job of accurately explaining the ACA rate hike problem


The main focus of this Late Night with Seth Meyers segment is about how Donald Trump completely whiffed on what should have been a reasonably strong attack on Hillary Clinton: Namely, the 25% average unsubsidized individual market rate hikes which are coming next year.

In the process, however, Meyers actually did a fairly good job of summarizing the situation:

"Now, that's bad news on the surface...but it's still in line with the projections made by the Congressional Budget Office. Obviously, Obamacare is a nuanced, complicated issue that requires sober analysis and discussion...or, as Donald Trump put it..."

(Trump saying insane nonsense)

"...Now, the context is important here. Those increases will only affect the small percentage of consumers who get their insurance on the individual market. Most people get it from their jobs, or government programs like Medicare. And on top of that, the vast majority of people who do get their insurance through Obamacare will get increased subsidies to offset those costs. In fact, most people using Obamacare will be able to find plans for less than $75 per month. Compare that to the average cable bill in this country, which is $103 per month."

(goofy footage of a talking colon. but enough about Rudy Giuliani)

"...Now, there are lots of different ideas for improving healthcare in this country which we should have a serious debate about, like letting more people enroll in Medicare or strengthening the individual mandate...but unfortunately, one of our two Presidential candidates seems much less interested in having that discussion than he is in plugging his own businesses."

(Trump saying/doing terrible Trumpy things)

"Eventually, Trump did get around to the story of the day: Rising Obamacare premiums, but in a way that didn't quite make sense."

(Trump claiming that all of his employees are having 'tremendous problems' with Obamacare)

"What are you talking about? Obamacare is for people who don't have health insurance...but your employees do get health insurance...from you."

(Trump lusting after a pair of scissors. No, really.)

"As for Obamacare, it's a huge improvement, but it's also imperfect. It has problems, and we need serious ideas about how to make it better. But the reason Republicans haven't proposed any ideas to fix or replace Obamacare is because they don't have any. And the guy they nominated for President doesn't seem to even know what it is. Unfortuantely, for the Republican Party, it's too late to repeal and replace him with something better."

Kudos to Meyers for mostly getting it right here. His only major error was, of course, the "vast majority are subsidies" part; it's 85% of on-exchange enrollees, but only about 50% when you include off-exchange enrollees. Otherwise, he pretty much got it. Obviously this is a lighthearted comedy show segment, not a serious healthcare wonkfest, so I'm not bothered by some other quibbles.