Talking Points Memo weighed in today with a jubilant headline: Final Word On Obamacare Coverage: Cheaper Than Expected. What actually happened was the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is predicting that private for-profit individual health insurance premiums will be lower than originally estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.
In other words, “cheaper than expected” is not the same thing as cheaper. Health insurance premiums have been skyrocketing across the country for years. Even a reduction at this point means the insurance is overpriced. The ACA requires everyone not covered by employer-sponsored plans to purchase individual health insurance with their own money, unless qualified for Medicaid. In addition to the monthly premiums, “insured” individuals have to pay for any non-preventive health care themselves until they reach the deductible, which can be as high as $2,000. The deductible, coinsurance and copay expenses can amount to as much as
$5,950 $6,350 [h/t Ronald D. Hunt for the California rates]. The deductible and out-of-pocket limitations are subject to annual inflationary adjustments. These policies are effectively USELESS for many people, yet the insurance companies still get their monthly premiums.
Also, this is NOT the final word on premiums. FDL’s Jon Walker (emphasis added):
The HHS is extremely happy the premiums are lower than some old CBO estimates but that is a silly metric to judge by. More PR than policy.
It is important to note that no one really knows how many people and which type of people will sign up. These premiums are also simply based on insurers best guesses. After this first year when companies have real data we could potentially see some significant changes in premiums in either direction. 2015 not 2014 will be the real test from a policy perspective.
More info: Healthcare.gov
The evidence is overwhelming that the Affordable Care Act has had little to no impact on full-time versus part-time job growth, and as Fox News personalities continue to push the myth, they find themselves in direct contradiction with analysis put forth by actual economists.
[T]he administration has had four years to work on implementation. The fact they couldn’t work out all these problems during that incredibly long lead time is not a reassuring sign.