Skip to comments.Coming Soon: Higher Obamacare Premiums
Posted on 01/15/2014 7:14:36 PM PST by Kaslin
A follow-up to my Obamacare post from yesterday: The law's adverse selection problem doesn't just inflame the risk of a market death spiral. It also all but guarantees that next year's expected premium hikes will be worse than anticipated for millions. The New York Times' lede is telling:
People signing up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Acts federal and state marketplaces tend to be older and potentially less healthy, officials said Monday, a demographic mix that could threaten the laws economic underpinnings and cause premiums to rise in the future if the pattern persists. Questions about the laws financial viability are likely to become the next line of attack from its critics, as lawmakers gear up for the midterm elections this fall.
The law's "critics" include a substantial majority of the American people, most of whom would prefer not to pay significantly more for coverage under the auspices of a law called the "Affordable" Care Act. The Associated Press pores over the administration's demographic figures (which may not deserve to be taken at face value, given the White House's recent statistical distortions):
It's an older, costlier crowd that's signing up so far for health insurance under President Barack Obama's law, according to government figures released Monday. Enrollments are lower for the healthy, younger Americans who will be needed to keep premiums from rising. Young adults from 18 to 34 are only 24 percent of total enrollment, the administration said in its first signup figures broken down for age, gender and other details...While 24 percent is not a bad start, say independent experts, it should be closer to 40 percent to help keep premiums down. Adults ages 55-64 were the most heavily represented in the signups, accounting for 33 percent of the total...Some questions remained unanswered. For example, the administration is unable to say how of many of those enrolling for coverage had been previously uninsured.
And the demographic mix is even more toxic in some states than others. Remember, between four and six million Americans have been dropped from their existing coverage (so far), whereas just over two million had supposedly selected Obamacare plans as of the first of the year. Both the administration's private enrollment and Medicaid expansion figures appear to be massively embellished; it's a near certainty that Obamacare has resulted in a net increase in America's uninsured population -- a staggering failure, to say nothing of higher national costs and rising premiums. Democrats sold their trillion-dollar boondoggle on the promises of sharply decreasing the uninsured population while bending the country's health spending cost curve down, reducing healthcare-related deficits, and lowering annual costs for average families by several thousand dollars. And those weren't the only fantastical pledges they made. Reason's Peter Suderman strolls down memory lane and dredges up a few classics. Here's one of my favorites, which has been debunked by the CBO, and looks even more ridiculous in light of last month's dismal jobs report:
5. It will create 4 million jobs-400,000 jobs almost immediately.
It wasnt enough to pitch Obamacare as a premium-reducing law that would not have any negative consequences. Democrats also argued that it would create jobs. This bill is not only about the health security of Americans, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), then speaker of the House, said in February 2010. Its also about jobs. In its life, it will create 4 million jobs-400,000 jobs almost immediately. Reality: The gush of jobs never materialized. The unemployment rate slowly receded in the months after Obamacare passed, but largely because more people had quit searching for work. By 2021, according to projections by the Congressional Budget Office, the law is expected to shrink the nations work force by about 0.5 percent, since fewer people will hold onto their jobs to maintain their health insurance.
Healthcare wonk Avik Roy summarizes the major takeaways from Monday's data release: "[Estimated 2.4 percent losses] may seem like a small number, but given that the average insurer has profit margins of 4 to 6 percent, a 2.4 percent loss on premiumsbefore we even count overhead costsis a serious problem. Its why Humana reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it expected meaningful losses in its exchange-based plans...Taxpayers will be on the hook for any increased costs. Most importantly, many Americans will choose to go without insurance because its even less affordable than it was before." Congressional Republicans are angling to mitigate the "taxpayers on the hook for losses" issue, with Sen. Marco Rubio reprising his call for Washington to reject any and all Obamacare bailouts. I'll leave you with Charles Cooke marveling at lefties' ability to turn around and embrace their own Obamacare lies, which until recently drew howls of smear-mongering racism.
Wait. This can’t be right. Didn’t Obama promise his plan would be “affordable” and REDUCE costs? http://obamaclarifier.blogspot.com
Keep in mind, under Obiecare the premiums for the older folks can be three times higher. The revenue shortfall won’t be as bad as it would have been if both groups were paying the same rates. The actualy usage is a little higher than three times, so there’ll still be a shortfall, but the death spiral talk is premature.
The government should only be attempting to recruit 27 to 34 crowd as the 18 to 26 year olds are covered under their parents’ healthcare plans (even if married with children of their own, they are still “children” under Obamacare and need not worry about purchasing their own insurance!)
Not only that, he gave an exact amount per family ... $2,500. You certainly don’t hear the Liar-In-Chief talking about that any more. /s
Fauxfrican Lyin’ King
Bankruptcy Lawyers and grave diggers...
So, for the first time in our 25-year marriage, my husband and I are without insurance. We couldn´t afford to pay the sky-high premium AND continue to pay out of pocket for my meds and office visits. Now, we´ll pay cash. When we can.
Multiply this by a couple million American citizens like us, and you´re beginning to get the picture.
We´re a Third World country now. What an unmitigated disaster.
The death spiral talk is immature because all the Democrats will throw as much money as possible at the program to keep it alive. And the Republicans will facilitate it. There is no way they will allow it to fail.
Obama is turning out far worse than we feared in 2008. He is destroying lives.
Check out my blog for more: http://obamaclarifier.blogspot.com
If only we had "an opposition party"!