Obamacare will cost more

Sally C. Pipes's picture

Obamacare’s state-level health insurance exchanges are set to sign people up in October. But with the federal government on the hook to run 27 of them by itself — and another seven in partnership with states — it’s increasingly likely that they’ll open for enrollment after the official Oct. 1 start date.

The exchanges face more than technical difficulties. People won’t even know what to do when the marketplaces open. Forty-three percent of the uninsured are unaware that they must get coverage under the law.

The Administration is trying to enlist celebrities including Alicia Keys, Oprah Winfrey, and Amy Poehler to promote the law. Meanwhile, states are branding everything from coffee cups to porta-potties to publicize the exchanges.

But no amount of star power can spin the fact that Obamacare is driving insurance premiums up — way up.

In Nebraska, for instance, a healthy 30-year-old man making $35,000 could pay up to seven times more for coverage next year on the exchanges, according to data from the Government Accountability Office and calculations conducted by journalist Philip Klein.

A 30-year-old earning $25,000 a year could pay $1,142 for coverage next year — even after taking into account subsidies he’s eligible for under the law. That’s pricier than the cheapest 2013 rate in 45 states — and double in 19 states.

Another recent analysis found that rates for healthy, middle-aged consumers could double or even triple in the individual market.

The Ohio Department of Insurance forecasts premium hikes averaging 88 percent. Its counterpart in Indiana is estimating a 72-percent increase.

This “rate shock” shouldn’t be shocking to anyone who has been paying attention. Obamacare is chock-full of provisions that make health insurance more expensive.

First, Obamacare forces individuals to buy costlier policies. It essentially eliminates the low-premium, high-deductible catastrophic-coverage plans popular with the young and healthy. Instead, people who don’t have insurance through their employers will have to turn to the exchanges, which offer four tiers of coverage: platinum, gold, silver, and bronze, in descending order of generosity.

The problem is that even bronze plans have to offer comprehensive benefits. Obamacare requires all policies to cover a minimum set of “essential health benefits” — including contraceptives, maternity care, counseling, physical therapy, and preventive services — regardless of whether patients want or need them.

The more items deemed “essential,” the higher the price tag. The Congressional Budget Office expects average premiums to rise 27 to 30 percent by 2016 because of these requirements.

Two additional regulations will drive premiums for most folks even higher. Guaranteed issue requires insurers to sell policies to all comers, regardless of their health status. Community rating, meanwhile, restricts insurers’ ability to adjust premiums based on applicants’ expected costs. Premiums for smokers can be no more than 1.5 times those non-smokers pay, and older people cannot pay more than three times what younger ones do.

These regulations will lower costs for some people — but at the expense of everyone else. If insurers can’t charge older, sicker folks more, they’ll have to make up their losses by increasing premiums for the young and healthy.

For some of Obamacare’s supporters, this is a feature, not a bug. They believe it is okay to double or triple the insurance premiums of the healthy because the sick will benefit.

But they forget that convincing the young and healthy to buy insurance is crucial to the law’s success. If insurance in the exchanges is too expensive, then young people may decide to remain uninsured and pay the far cheaper penalty the law prescribes.

That will leave more costly, sicker, and older patients in the exchange pools, which will drive premiums up even more — and ultimately undermine the fiscal stability of the entire system.

According to a report from Bloomberg News, that’s just what will happen unless almost 40 percent of the seven million exchange customers the law envisions are young, healthy adults.

So nearly 3 million young, healthy Americans — who already go without coverage thanks in no small part to its cost — must choose next year to pay higher premiums than those currently available.

Obamacare’s supporters have their work cut out for them. After all, it’s not easy to market a law that will raise prices for most consumers. And no ad campaign can hide that fact.

[Sally C. Pipes is President, CEO, and Taube Fellow in Health Care Studies at the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is “The Cure for Obamacare” (Encounter 2013).]

Davids mom
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Obamacare vs. Kentucky Connect

All media - busy this morning pointing out the confusion regarding Obamacare. When individuals are asked what do they support - Obamacare or Affordable Health Care, they say with certainty AHC! They are adamant that Obamacare will hurt this country. (Obamacare is the AHC). Interesting. Americans are anxious to see how this Obamacre will affect their situation. The website in Georgia is still overwhelmed with 'hits'. Citizens do want information. Citizens in Kentucky got the information regarding their healthcare exchange via Kentucky Connect.

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Odummycare

I love my country and I took an oath many years ago to protect and defend. I am no longer active duty and have not been since 1980. But i no longer have any respect for his way of government. He never said he was the sharpest knife in the drawer. Maybe he should change places with the CEO of Apple, never mind I'd hate for my Apple toys to end up in the shape of our govt.

President Obama just compared Apple’s imperfect operating system launch to the massive glitches plaguing the new government healthcare price comparison websites. Responding to the government shutdown in a sunny Rose Garden press conference, Obama took time to address some of the reported website issues:

“Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t. That’s not how we do things in America.”

PTC Observer
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If you love

The US Post Office, you're just going to be ecstatic about the new health care sign up process, not to mention the ultimate outcomes.

Brace yourself for the sticker shock, there is no free lunch folks.

S. Lindsey
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PTCO there is already a model for Obamacare...

...it's called the VA. Ask a Vet how that is going.. and see our future.

Gort
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SLindsey, the VA is a good

SLindsey, the VA is a good barometer for how the nation really values the service and sacrifice of our veterans. The VA is hopelessly underfunded to accomplish its mission. I blame the GOP for that.

Didn’t your buddy, Jim DeMint, say, “..veterans don’t deserve any special privileges?”

If the GOP doesn’t poison the well, our veterans that can’t get help through the VA, can at least sign up for the Affordable Care Act and get the treatment they need from the private sector.

S. Lindsey
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I don't doubt you blame the GOP Gort...

...cause you got nothing else to do.

No argument..no principles and no moral compass...just a sad clown.

But who has been in charge for the last 6 years and could have done something about it?

Davids mom
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SL

Classic example of debate technique of one who has little or nothing to offer as a substantive retort. Thanks for sharing. Students are learning a lot!

S. Lindsey
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Dm

...and another classic example of you jumping into a "conversation" with nothing to add
but to attack those you disagree with...

Did you even read what the respose was in reference to?

Doubtful too much work for you to do...

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PTCO & USPS

I must have missed something somewhere--just what's the connection between the USPS & the AHCA?

PTC Observer
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AHG - the

The ultimate owner of the services provided, ie.The Government

If you think the USPS has great service, then you'll love government run health care.

AtHomeGym
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PTCO, USPS, & the A HCA

No, I'm not particularly fond of USPS Svc but won't have to wrestle with the AHCA--No changes to the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program as far as I know and though it's managed by the Office of Personnel Management, it it has functioned and served me well for more than 32 yrs.

PTC Observer
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AHG - That's

Terrific, really but you know what, it was your choice to serve as a public employee. It was your choice to stay and retire under your plan, unfortunately for many Americans they will be forced into health care plans against their wishes.

That choice, is called freedom. Something that is merely overlooked by good intentions and wishful thinking.

For most, the sticker shock of this program will be utterly breathtaking. The service provided will deteriorate. Not unlike the USPS.

lion
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Healthcare

Today is the first day Georgia citizens who are uninsured or self-insured can shop for health insurance on HealthCare.gov.

Everyone who is on Medicare, Medicaid, VA health care, other government programs, or have health insurance through their employers can just relax. You do not have to do anything while others citizens can get health insurance too.

S. Lindsey
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Healthcare in Lion's world

Relax and just enjoy paying for it all...

moelarrycurly
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Obamacare logic

Bar Patron: "I love Obamacare because now I can get health care even though
I'm unemployed."

Bartender: "Why are you unemployed?"

Bar Patron: "I got laid off because my employer can't afford to pay for
Obamacare."

Davids mom
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Obamacare

Is not a one size fits all program. Each family MUST analyze their own situation and make up their mind as to what fits their situation. It is imperative that each family does what is best for their situation at this time. In the meantime, accolades to those legislators who are looking closely at the fraud and corruption in the healthcare delivery system.

Davids mom
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18%

The ladies and gentlemen in Congress who are determined to defund Obamacare represent 18% of the citizens of this country. Their constiuents are not suffering as other citizens are due to this 'scheme' of shutting down the government. A group of nine year olds were on TV this morning and one stated he wanted to become a politician. Why? Because politicians, in his view, can do nothing and still get paid. The tail appears to be wagging the dog. Truly, truly sad. In the meantime Democrats and Republicans are using this catastrophe as a fundraiser. PTCO and I do agree on one point - we get our 'rights' from God. This country has been blessed throughout our existence. Are we using our 'rights' to enhance the lives of our citizens, or are we using the principle of financial responsibility to divide ? Is anyone 'winning'?

PTC Observer
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DM - You

You are trying to dress up a pig. :-}

The next step in this social process will be to regulate what the insurance companies can offer as "benefits", then government will regulate the insurance companies profits, then insurance companies will leave the market forever, then government having let the private insurance companies set up the mechanics of collecting the "premiums" aka taxes, will take over insuring all of us and legislating a government monopoly.

This will not happen overnight, it will take ten years or more but the end game is the same, government run healthcare. A legal monopoly that will extract as much as it can from its citizens and provide as little as possible in benefits.

That, DM, is what is going to happen. You heard it first here, or maybe not.....

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/08/10/sen-harry-reid-obam...

Davids mom
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PTCO

If true, I think it will take longer than ten years for the insurance companies to roll over and give up their profit machine (margin ?)

PTC Observer
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DM - It

Depends on how fast the government wants to take over the process. Once regulated, it has the ability to destroy profit, thus making it unattractive for business. The motive here is not to help people but to expand the role of government to drive dependency. Dependency is required in order to extract as much wealth as possible for the controlling elite, politicians, crony capitalists, unions, etc.

Put your trust in government DM and you'll become a slave to it. IMHO

PTC Observer
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The bottom line for Obamacare

It's a tax, the fact that people will get far less for more is a hallmark of taxes and government largess and redistribution.

That dear friends is the bottom line for the lie of Obamacare.

S. Lindsey
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Obama on Obamacare...

...

Obama wrote:

“We did raise taxes on some things.”

Yes he did.. and we all know it. Some of us that is...others like to play hide the head in the anus game.

The funny part is without the youth paying for all of it.. Obamacare falls apart. That was why Obama was out today campaighning
for it at College Campuses today.

Let's look at this... For this to work he has to get all of the youth to pay for it...

Now when was the last time you saw a bunch of "youth" pay for anything. Where are they going to get the money and how do we base a Government program that takes over 1/6th of our Economy on a bunch of mush for brains "College" kids and lastly THEY HAVE TO KEEP DOING IT.

MADNESS... I say let them have it..all of it. It will collapse OR we will have to pour so much money into propping it up then the people will have to see what massive taxes will have to be raised or devaluing of the dollar by the Fed by printing Billions more, that maybe REAL change can happen...

AtHomeGym
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Insurance Premiums

And if you premium goes down, you'd best bechecking your deductible!

S. Lindsey
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AHG... That's the key...

All the talk about certain States Premiums going down is simply because the DEDUCTABLES are in most cases doubling or even tripling in cost.

So what we have here is:
1. Health Savings Accounts have been removed.
2. Deductibles for EVERYTHING has or will INCREASE dramatically.
3. Choices ARE going to be limited…
4. Some procedures will not be paid for…or you will wait for it to become available.
5. Businesses and the Middle Class are shouldering the highest burden.
6. Fees and taxes have and will continue to increase.
7. Bureaucratic Regulations are going to force small practices out of business.
8. This is a precursor to Single Payer aka Socialized Medicine.

While every Country with Single Payer systems are moving TOWARDS privatization we are moving to destroy the Greatest Healthcare System in the World.

But that is after all the Progressive way… Equality.

Equal misery for all. Making America suck as bad as the rest of the World is their goal and they are winning.

Gort
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Hey, SLindsey, how long are

Hey, SLindsey, how long are the Tea Baggers going to keep the US Government on Cruz Control?

S. Lindsey
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Gort...

Why don't you go teabag someone and then let me know...

On second thought never mine don't tell me...Just be a sad clown...

Gort
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Hey, SLindsey, if you think

Hey, SLindsey, if you think I’m sad, then you are wrong again red nose!

The Republican “out of control,” majority in the House, is performing the Ed Cruz’s version of the “chicken run,” scene in “Rebel Without a Cause.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1DEp8R9kwg

In Ted Cruz’s case, we have to call it “Rebel Without a Clue,” eh? Anyway, it ends in a disaster for the GOP.

BTW, did you see, on TV yesterday, the WW2 Veterans, on an honor flight, visiting Washington DC? Hitler couldn’t stop them from entering Europe and Ted Cruz couldn’t stop them from entering the WW2 Memorial. (Heh, Heh!)

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