Obamacare..a few stats you might find interesting

05/29/2015 09:45

by Wayne Flaherty

The most important provisions of Obamacare have been in effect for a solid year now. And we're all well aware how much it costs to provide health coverage to millions of newly insured... and it's not pretty.

As reported in The Wall Street Journal last week, major insurers have submitted to the government their proposed rate increases for 2016, and many of the numbers are pretty staggering:

"In New Mexico, market leader Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016. The biggest insurer in Tennessee, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, has requested an average 36.3% increase. In Maryland, market leader CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield wants to raise rates 30.4% across its products. Moda Health, the largest insurer on the Oregon health exchange, seeks an average boost of around 25%."

And these increases are in addition to rates that have jumped as much as 78 percent last year as reported by The Washington Times.

If you recall, the main goal of Obamacare was to provide affordable health insurance to those who were unable to get coverage through their employer or through other government programs such as Medicare.

To provide... ahem... "affordable" health insurance for everyone the government forced a pre-fixed range of plans upon us. Although they are offered by private insurance companies, these plans were highly regulated. For example, insurers couldn't deny people with pre-existing conditions and also couldn't charge market prices.

Of course, forcing insurers to cover everyone at the same price the government had to subsidize premiums. Based on your income, of course.

And this is where things go awry...

Insurers now claim they simply cannot afford to continue offering people Obamacare plans at the current rates.

They need to increase the premiums... Which means Washington will have to increase subsidies (and subsequently taxes) to keep premium costs down for voters.

It reminds us of the quote by P.J. O'Rourke, "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."