Pelosi: I don’t recall ever having said that everybody would have a lower premium under ObamaCare…
posted at 3:21 pm on June 7, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
Er… don’t you?
Well, some people don’t have health insurance, and certainly will have their premiums go up, because they don’t have health insurance now so they don’t have any premiums now. But for anyone that that is a challenge there are subsidies in the exchanges, and it’s also about what you get for the money. In other words, people will getting no lifetime or annual limits on their coverage, no discrimination because of preexisting medical condition. It has a whole array of quality that is in the legislation. But, if you don’t have health insurance and you don’t qualify for a subsidy and you’re mandated to have health insurance, yes, you will have an increase. We’re very sensitive to what it means for young people, especially young singles, and there are policies that people can get. I don’t remember saying that everybody in the country would have a lower premium, because everybody in the country doesn’t have health insurance, so how could it be lower. But the fact is, the value of what you get for the cost that you pay is a reduction is a reduction in cost to you. And if you don’t have insurance, you’re going to pay something that you didn’t pay before, but if you can’t afford it, you can have a subsidy… For everybody, it is going to be, again, a liberation, a freedom…
Huh. That’s certainly some convenient political amnesia you have there. Please, allow me to remind you (h/t the Weekly Standard):
But the president and his administration did not talk about it much at all. Rather, the overarching message from the White House, and from the law’s supporters generally, was that Obamacare would cause health insurance premiums to drop.
Let’s go back in time to when President Obama first began to make the case for his health care overhaul. Here’s how he touted his health plan in May 2007, early in his run for office. “If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums. That will be less.” On the campaign trail in 2008, Obama continued to sell the law as a way to lower health premiums, promising at least 15 times to reduce health premiums for families by $2500 on average. And as Buzzfeed notes, Obama didn’t stop pointing to lower premiums when he made it into the White House in 2009. In May of that year, he told C-SPAN that if health industry groups commit to savings—“we end up saving $2 trillion…a lot of those savings can go back into the pockets of American consumers in the form of lower premiums. That’s what we are driving for.”
From the very beginning, in other words, Obama’s message was not that the law would result in higher premiums, but better coverage. It was that the law would lower premiums, end of story.
Whatever little bit of spin-doctoring Nancy Pelosi is trying to put on her highly selective memory here (“well, duh premium prices are going to rise for people who’ve never had them before” and “sure, you might be paying more, but you’ll be getting better value and quality out of what you pay”) the gist here is that Democrats most definitely propagated the myth that health insurance would be made more “affordable” for everyone, rather than telling the truth about the system’s solvency directly depending on younger and healthier people paying for the heightened risk taken on by insurance companies and absorbing much lower proportion of the benefits.