MORNING EDITORIAL REPORT
There Goes Another ObamaCare Argument
The cost curve is bending the wrong way, plus the New York Times stages a premature celebration.
By JAMES FREEMAN
Aug. 5, 2014 8:45 a.m. ET
We’re old enough to remember when advocates for the Affordable Care Act promised that it would “bend the cost curve” and reduce expensive hospital visits, particularly at emergency rooms. So far, the opposite is occurring.
According to the Journal, “A rush of newly insured patients using health services has boosted hospital operators’ fortunes but has racked up costs that insurers didn’t anticipate, corporate filings and interviews with executives show.”
More back surgeries, maternity care and emergency room visits are raising income for many hospital operators, while insurers “are still grappling with the health-law’s new marketplaces—and the costlier-than-expected patients some of them attracted.”
” Cigna CEO David M. Cordani said in an interview last week that based on their current enrollment, the public exchanges are ‘not a sustainable model.’ He said Cigna expects the enrollment to change, with more people and a healthier mix.”
Good luck with that, once potential customers see the premiums scheduled for next year.
TIMES DECLARES VICTORY THREE MONTHS BEFORE ELECTION
The New York Times today celebrates the triumph of the cultural Left. “Now the values wedge cuts for Democrats,” announces a news story. “College students from the Summer of Love are pushing 70, the elders who disapproved of their behavior are largely gone and young adults are wondering what the turmoil was ever about.” But the Times may be spiking the ball a little early.
The paper notes that Democrats in swing states are highlighting their demand that employers pay for abortifacients, regardless of the employer’s religious views. The Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision allowed the chain of crafts stores to continue providing contraception for employees but did not require it to cover other drugs which may induce abortion, because of religious objections from the company’s owners.
Reports the Times, “Among co-sponsors of legislation to overturn it were three Democrats facing tough re-election fights: Mr. Udall, Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Senator Mark Begich of Alaska. If such alignments have become routine for a new generation of Democratic strategists, they remain startling for those who once struggled to court culturally conservative ‘Reagan Democrats.'”
But will this strategy of attacking religious freedom succeed? All three candidates are routinely polling in the mid-40s, which at this point in an election cycle usually signals that an incumbent is in deep trouble.
The latest Morning Editorial Report is always available at wsj.com/morning. Follow on Twitter @FreemanWSJ.