Obamacare Shocker: Premiums Could Double

This morning’s Wall Street Journal published its own analysis of premiums under Obamacare, and its conclusions will prompt shock—rate shock—among those who need to buy health insurance under the law’s new exchanges next year:

Healthy consumers could see insurance rates double or even triple when they look for individual coverage under the federal health law later this year, while the premiums paid by sicker people are set to become more affordable, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of coverage to be sold on the law’s new exchanges. The exchanges, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health-care law, look likely to offer few if any of the cut-rate policies that healthy people can now buy, according to the Journal’s analysis.

The article goes on to provide specific examples of the kind of premium hikes many Americans may face under Obamacare:

Virginia is one of the eight states examined by the Journal and offers a fairly typical picture. In Richmond, a 40-year-old male nonsmoker logging on to the eHealthInsurance comparison-shopping website today would see a plan that costs $63 a month from Anthem, a unit of WellPoint Inc. That plan has a $5,000 deductible and covers half of medical costs.

By comparison, the least-expensive plan on the exchange for a 40-year-old nonsmoker in Richmond, also from Anthem, will likely cost $193 a month, according to filings submitted by carriers.

Liberals may argue that even though premiums may triple for some Americans, these individuals will be getting “better” insurance. But that’s not what then-Senator Obama promised—he said premiums would go down under his plan by $2,500 per family per year. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office noted in 2009, well before the law passed, that premiums would go up in part because Obamacare forces individuals to buy more costly health insurance policies:

Average premiums would be 27 percent to 30 percent higher because a greater amount of coverage would be obtained. In particular, the average insurance policy in this market [i.e., on exchanges] would cover a substantially larger share of enrollees’ costs for health care (on average) and a slightly wider range of benefits. Those expansions would reflect both the minimum level of coverage (and related requirements) specified in the proposal and people’s decisions to purchase more extensive coverage in response to the structure of subsidies.

Liberals’ response to the latest analysis of higher premiums is particularly telling. From the WSJ:

Tom Perriello, who voted for the law as a Democratic House member from Virginia and who now works for the left-leaning Center for American Progress, called the costs of premiums “a work in progress” and added, “Over the next few years, we should see that cost curve bend.”

In other words, premiums won’t go down any time soon. That admission from a lawmaker who helped ram Obamacare into law will likely prove cold comfort to millions of Americans facing higher premiums due to the measure next year.

This post was originally published at The Daily Signal.

In Town Halls, Democrats Admit Obama’s Broken Promises

The start of this year’s August town hall season has brought important developments on the health care front, as comments at Democrat-hosted events are illustrating how the law falls short of Barack Obama’s campaign promises.  For instance, at a meeting yesterday in his district, Tom Perriello admitted that while rising health care costs were the reason to pass the overhaul, “the reforms [in the law] will not, however, start to lower premiums until after all the reforms are implemented” – i.e., after 2014.  But candidate Obama promised that he would “save a typical family up to $2,500 on premiums” – and do so “by the end of my first term as President.”

So not only will premiums not fall as promised, they will continue to rise – in fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that individual health insurance premiums will rise by $2,100 MORE than would have occurred had the law not been enacted.  And individuals will be forced to buy this more expensive insurance – another broken promise from the campaign, when candidate Obama pointed out that in Massachusetts, the one state with an individual mandate, “there are people who are paying fines and still can’t afford [health insurance], so now they’re worse off than they were.  They don’t have health insurance and they’re paying a fine.”

Likewise, at a Ted Deutch town hall event in Florida, a representative from Families USA (invited at the Congressman’s request) talked about Medicare Advantage, and “predicted some plans will shut down” as a result of the law – yet another violation of candidate Obama’s pledge that “you will not have to change plans.”

Thus far the Democrat town halls have educated constituents that premiums will continue to go up, those who can’t afford these skyrocketing costs will be taxed if they don’t pay, and millions of seniors will lose the health coverage they have – and like.  Some may wonder: How is this “reform” – and if these are the consequences of the health care law, why did Democrats vote for it in the first place?