Today the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report regarding premiums and plan offerings in Obamacare’s exchanges for next year. Despite the Administration’s claims, premiums are going up due to Obamacare—and the quality of the “coverage” is, in many cases, going down.
In both today’s report and an earlier report released in July, HHS claims that premiums are “lower than projected.” HHS bases its claim on a March 2012 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate stating that premiums for a family would average $15,400 per year on the exchanges. The Administration report claims that weighted average premiums are “16 percent below projections” based on that CBO report—therefore Obamacare is lowering premiums.
What HHS didn’t mention is that CBO also estimated in a November 2009 analysis that individually purchased insurance premiums would go up by an average $2,100 per family, due to the increased mandates and requirements included in Obamacare. So when HHS says that premiums are “below projections,” it really means that premiums are still going up as a result of Obamacare—just by less than originally advertised.
That’s a far cry from candidate Obama’s promise that his health plan would lower premiums by $2,500 per year.
The HHS report also makes claims about a wide variety of plan offerings. What the report didn’t mention is that many of these “new” plans are Medicaid managed care plans, which insurance companies admit “will look a lot like the Medicaid plans we are currently administering.” HHS also didn’t mention that patients object to being placed in a program with low physician reimbursements and poor health outcomes—even some Medicaid patients don’t call the program “real insurance.”
So instead of just raising premiums, Obamacare is inflicting a double whammy: forcing the American people to buy health plans costing more than what they paid previously, and providing such limited access to provider networks they may not be able to find a doctor that will treat them. It’s why Congress should act now to stop Obamacare before it starts.