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Monday, 11 November 2013

Resurgent Republic Looks at Self-Insured Voters

The conservative-leaning group Resurgent Republic examines the demographic and attitudinal characteristics of self-insured voters, that is, those who purchased their own (pre-Obamacare) coverage on the individual market, rather than getting it from an employer. Though these individuals appear to have attributes favorable to the Republicans -- well-off economically, more likely to live in suburbs than cities -- they did not support the GOP in 2012 as strongly as they might have. The piece concludes that, "If Republicans can effectively speak to the anxiety caused by Obamacare, they’ll find an attentive audience, especially in battleground 2014 states."

I have a few quibbles and comments on the Resurgent Republic analysis. First, the article notes that, "Three-fourths (77 percent) of those self-insured are either very or somewhat satisfied with their plan." The "anxiety" alluded to above thus would stem from such highly satisfied customers having their policies cancelled. I would have liked to see the breakdown into the separate choices of "very" and "somewhat" satisfied. Second, by some estimates, roughly half of people who had their individual policies cancelled will pay less for replacement policies, which provide greater benefits. Assuming the glitches with the purchasing websites are rectified sometime soon, individual-market voters may not react as negatively to having to change insurance policies as the article suggests. Finally, Resurgent Republic cites "sticker shock" estimates from the Manhattan Institute. The Washington Post's Ezra Klein argues here that the Manhattan Institute figures are flawed.


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