For once, we agree wholeheartedly with the Obama campaign. By all means, let your friends know what has happened to your health insurance premiums since President Obama signed Obamacare into law on March 23, 2010.
Some Twitter users have already done so:
The legislation Team Obama is touting is called the Affordable Care Act. It was supposed to make health insurance more affordable, not less. At a Virginia rally in the summer of 2008, Obama said:
“In an Obama administration, we’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year … We won’t do all this twenty years from now, or ten years from now. We’ll do it by the end of my first term as President of the United States.” [Emphasis added!]
In fact, health insurance premiums have been climbing at a faster rate under Obama than they did during the last four years of George W. Bush’s presidency, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (via Jake Tapper of ABC News):
During Obama’s term, between 2009 to 2012, premiums have climbed $2,370 for the average family with an employer-provided plan – a rate faster than the during the previous four years under President George W. Bush, according to Kaiser.
But it will get better once the law is fully implemented in a few years, right? Actually, no.
Here’s what what a series of studies conducted by Milliman Inc. for the Society of Actuaries found (as summarized by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post):
- In Indiana, Obamacare would increase premiums in the individual market on average by 75-95 percent in 2014.
- In Ohio, rates will increase 55-85 percent above current rates, before tax credits.
- In Minnesota individual market premiums will increase 26-42 percent.
- In Wisconsin, individual marketpremiums will rise 30 percent, before tax credits. “A majority of the individuals in the non-group market would pay more in premiums in 2016 than they pay today — both before and after tax credits are applied,” according to the Post.
The law’s provisions, especially the requirement for essential benefits, will almost certainly increase premiums, though tax subsidies will help mitigate the impact for a little over half of the people in the exchanges. But a lot of other people — such as a young male who currently has a plan that does not include all of the required benefits — are likely going to have sticker shock when they see what happens to their premiums starting in 2014.