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For three years, I’ve worked at a company that provides health insurance to the government’s healthcare program for the aged. It’s a very lucrative contract; the premiums run about $30,000 a year. This has always been a relatively good job, and no one has ever complained. This, of course, is not what the administration and its supporters have in mind.
In fact, Obamacare is in the headlines again thanks to new data that demonstrate a significant slowdown in the rate of uninsured Americans.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners released its second annual report, “The State of Insurance for the Elderly,” on Wednesday. The report found that, between January and May 2014, 26.7 million Americans gained health coverage during that period.
That’s down from 28.4 million between December 2013 and June 2014. That’s a decline of about 1.6 million individuals, or almost 1.65 million, who would have been uninsured.
The trend line was fairly flat in the first year of the Obama administration and then declined in the second year of Obamacare. This latest data is more in line with what we saw last year: That the percentage who were uninsured fell between 2015 and 2016; in the first year, it dropped by 3.5 percentage points. Then that fell by 1.5 percentage points the second year; in the second year, it dropped again by 0.55 percentage points. These are solid declines.
Even the very dubious claim of an 8.2 percent increase comes close to true: The N.A.I.C. found a 6.6 percent gain that actually reflects a decline in the percentage of Americans who received coverage through the new exchanges.
It’s worth noting that the rate of uninsured Americans has been declining for a long time. In March of 1999, 27.5 million Americans were uninsured. Then, as of June 2014, the figure was 26.9 million.
This latest N.A.I.C. report provides confirmation that the “Obamacare” experiment was an unmitigated failure. To put that in context, it should be noted that the number of uninsured dropped by 3.5 million in the first year of Obama’s administration and that the rate declined by 1.5 percentage points in the second year. To put it another way, there were fewer people lacking insurance than there were people receiving insurance through the exchanges.
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