The Obamacare “lower premiums” shell game

posted at 12:31 pm on July 28, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

You don’t have to look much further than the usual list of suspects to discover that new marching orders have been issued in an effort to salvage the tanking national support of the President’s health care bill. The next line of attack is to begin spreading (dis)information on how Obamacare is already working. How do we know? Because, as featured at one of the President’s biggest cheer leading sites, people are already seeing lower premiums for their coverage!

Growing Number Of States Are Reporting Lower Than Expected Health Care Premiums

Health premiums in Maryland’s exchanges will be “among the lowest of the 12 states that have available proposed or approved rates for comparison,” the state’s exchange — Maryland Health Connection — announced Friday. The news comes just as New York,Oregon, Montana, California, and Louisiana are also reporting lower than expected premiums.

And the good news is out west, also, as seen in Sin City!

Health Exchange insurance plans to cost less in Las Vegas than other parts of state

CARSON CITY — Preliminary costs for the upcoming mandatory federal health insurance coverage show it will be cheaper for Las Vegas residents to buy a policy than it will be for residents of other parts of the state.

State officials gave a preview Friday of how the Affordable Care Act will affect Nevadans. Four companies have signed up to offer health coverage through the state’s Silver State Health Exchange.

Wow. And here we had been saying all along that premiums were going to go up under Obamacare. So I guess we were all wrong and everyone can just go home and begin enjoying their benefits now, right? Well… not so fast. The headlines are carefully scripted to give one impression, but the reality is something else. You have to check with a few sources to find it, though.

Insurance premiums for some consumers in Maryland will go up by as much as 25 percent once ObamaCare takes full effect next year.

The state on Friday released final insurance rates for the private insurance policies available next year through the new insurance exchange created by ObamaCare…

The filings provide grist for both sides of the ObamaCare debate: prices for some consumers will go up next year, but the increases are far lower than what insurance companies initially proposed.

(emphasis mine)

As you see, the prices aren’t actually going down anywhere. They’re just going up less than projected in some places. And beyond that, the first article linked above demonstrates why even that isn’t thanks to Obamacare. It’s from blue state governments trying to bring the hammer down as hard as possible to put some lipstick on this pig.

Officials say they used their authority to deny rate increases to reduce the proposed premiums by “more than 50 percent.” Thirty other states have have similar authority.

So the headlines being pitched attempt to make you think costs are going down. They aren’t. In fact, they are going up everywhere. But hey… it’s not like anyone promised us that Obamacare would actually reduce rates, right?

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.”

Far more recently, as Erika already pointed out, Nancy Pelosi was caught flat footed, claiming she didn’t remember anyone ever saying that premiums would go down. Except, of course, that Pelosi herself was saying it as recently as last year. So it should come as no surprise that you’re now going to see a barrage of headlines and talking heads spinning stories about “lower premiums” under Obamacare.

But they’re still lying about it. The people I work with on a weekly basis have already found out about this the hard way, and the rest of you will also.


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Just imagine if Google Glass or similar is widespread enough that it could be used (and of course monitored by the NSA) in doctors offices?

Forget the need for traffic cams when you can tap into Google glass cams at drugstores (to make sure you get the right meds for example)……..

Surveillance…….the tool that kills all liberty…..medical and otherwise.

PappyD61 on July 28, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Obama is quite the magician. Like with jobs… now you see them, now you don’t.

faraway on July 28, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Obama ate a dog.

’nuff said.

viking01 on July 28, 2013 at 12:47 PM

“We have to wait for premiums to go up before we can tell you that they’re going down.”

– Genius Pelosi

ShainS on July 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM

How do you know when obama is lying? When he opens his mouth…

sandee on July 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Sooner or later we will hear something like:

“Premiums go down by $2000? Oh, no, heh heh, you heard it wrong, silly. You’re confused. The $2000 is your new deductible.”

TimBuk3 on July 28, 2013 at 12:54 PM

The New “Unexpectedly.”

viking01 on July 28, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Democrats lie, they lie all the time and the MSM covers for their lies.

jukin3 on July 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Come on, Obama is doing the best he can, considering he’s President of what he describes as a “developing country.”

Drained Brain on July 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Who you going to believe? The MSM or the letter you got from your insurance company last month?

pat on July 28, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Just wait until they, (the media) gets around to reporting how many “youths”, (yoots, according to Vinny), over 26 are signing up for O’Care. Oh, wait! It isn’t free? I’ve got to pay $4000 a year to “join” this system? But it’s your Patriotic duty to support this.

Rovin on July 28, 2013 at 1:10 PM

So the average cost for a family plan won’t be decreasing by $2500 per year? HEY KNEEPAD MEDIA–YOU GONNA REPORT THAT FAIL?

hillsoftx on July 28, 2013 at 1:14 PM

As you see, the prices aren’t actually going down anywhere. They’re just going up less than projected in some places.

Which is the political/presstitute definition of cut.

Steve Eggleston on July 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM

“Your chocolate ration has been increased from 30 grams to 25 grams.”

Steve Eggleston on July 28, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Premiums for a lot of people WILL go down. Thats why it is a called a subsidy. The difference is then picked up by the taxpayers and who cares about them! Don’t need them to win elections any more so why cater to idiot taxpayers.

odannyboy on July 28, 2013 at 1:24 PM

This is called “Hypocritical Mathocratics.” It is also used to show budget “decreases” that are actually bigger than the year before.

This works for all government departments except the military. There, a decrease means at least 10% less than last year, or else it’s “preferring bombers over babies.”

Wino on July 28, 2013 at 1:48 PM

The Obamacare “lower premiums” shell game

…”it’s all FAKE something or other… from Republicans… or something!”

KOOLAID2 on July 28, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Come on, Obama is doing the best he can, considering he’s President of what he describes as a “developing country.”

Drained Brain on July 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Crazy. He also thinks Europe is a country, apparently…

And one of the interesting things that we don’t talk about enough is the contrast between what’s happened in the United States and what’s happened in a lot of other developing countries, Europe in particular.

Good thing we have a well-spoken Harvard lawyer in charge, rather than some ignorant Republican…

/s

cs89 on July 28, 2013 at 1:52 PM

And even if premiums do go down, it’s because of government subsidies – which we have to pay for, too.

The outcome of cost–benefit analyses depend entirely on where you choose to stop counting.

ss396 on July 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Come on, Obama is doing the best he can, considering he’s President of what he describes as a “developing country.”

Drained Brain on July 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

You misheard Teh SCOAMT – he said “devolving”.

Steve Eggleston on July 28, 2013 at 2:13 PM

If you have never had health insurance before you are not going to pay as much as was initially projected.

BUT… If you have a company sponsored health insurance plan, i.e. Blue Cross, your costs are going to skyrocket.

There is the scam, in plain simple terms.

kevinkristy on July 28, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Shut it down.

Why would any respectable government official allow this lying and propaganda to continue?

Skywise on July 28, 2013 at 2:53 PM

If you are going to have an insurance plan with $2-3K deductible, most people who are healthy don’t pay that much out of pocket per person in a healthy year, that is why they did not BUY any insurance.

That was called catastrophic insurance, when it did not include the crap that HHS is making them pay for in every plan. You used to be able just to buy Hospitalization, and I think it suited everyone who wanted it better than having to pay rates that cover an entire gamut of thing like Reproductive Equality (invitro for women who can’t get pregnant because they don’t have a male partnre; sex change operations and of course birth control pills (for the healthy normal young women who ought to be the ones getting married and having the babies.) And other stupid things having to do with “Wellness” that you did not need an insurance plan to decide if you wanted to buy or not, and of course, mental health services out the Wazoo.

Why they are saying you can pay less is that you can choose this big deductible plan and pay less than the NICE plan that you have now, that was the insurance that you could keep except they have jacked those prices up to cover the HHS requirements.

Fleuries on July 28, 2013 at 3:06 PM

We have to pass the higher rates before you find out what’s covered said Nancy Piglosi

Herb on July 28, 2013 at 3:12 PM

The filings provide grist for both sides of the ObamaCare debate: prices for some consumers will go up next year, but the increases are far lower than what insurance companies initially proposed.

Because you don’t provide any context or explanation, I’m assuming that you’re unaware of some of the market forces at play. First and foremost, insurance companies simply lack confidence in their ability to model the cost of assuming a large number of patients with pre-existing conditions, further complicated by the unknowns around the composition of Obamacare-mandated new patients. In other words, patients with pre-existing conditions have been locked out of the insurance market for so long that it’s not easy to predict the cost of providing care to those individuals, and furthermore, for each 100 new patients that an insurance co subscribes, what percentage will fall into a high cost, higher risk pool?

Once the exchanges have been operating for a couple years, and insurance co’s no longer face the risk of sudden inundation by the unhealthy masses, the nature of competition on the exchanges will underdo fundamental change. Insurance co’s will be positioned to focus more on competing for patients. Furthermore, new national insurance players will enter the scene. Rates will go down over time.

And even if premiums do go down, it’s because of government subsidies – which we have to pay for, too.

The outcome of cost–benefit analyses depend entirely on where you choose to stop counting.

ss396 on July 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Do you understand that moving toward the German or French model will inevitably lead to lower costs? At an aggregate level, healthcare costs will absolutely fall:

http://newshour.s3.amazonaws.com/photos/2012/10/02/At_17.6_percent_of_GDP_in_2010_slideshow.jpg

bayam on July 28, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Boy, I sure am glad I like my doctor and health plan. I’d be really upset if I were not assured that I could keep both without paying one dime more in higher premiums.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Come on, Obama is doing the best he can, considering he’s President of what he describes as a “developing country.”

Drained Brain on July 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

It’s times like this the rat-eared coward asks himself what would Ho Chi Mihn do.

Happy Nomad on July 28, 2013 at 3:32 PM

As you see, the prices aren’t actually going down anywhere. They’re just going up less than projected in some places. And beyond that, the first article linked above demonstrates why even that isn’t thanks to Obamacare.

Actually, the first article linked makes it very clear that premiums will be going down in a number of locales.

So they are going down somewhere. You are either deliberately trying to mislead your readers, or you have reading comprehension problems.

Yes, some policies in some places will see premium increases. Other policies in other places will see premium decreases. For most people, policy premiums will be subsidized. Exactly as the article claims.

Nice way to win the argument, conservatives. You’ll be convincing those low-information voters in no time!

Mr. Arkadin on July 28, 2013 at 5:17 PM

… but the increases are far lower than what insurance companies initially proposed.

Translation: the actuaries at the insurance companies said that costs will be much higher but the bureaucrats at the regulatory agencies said the actuaries were wrong and lowered their projections to fit their own political reality.

Laurence on July 28, 2013 at 5:33 PM

… but the increases are far lower than what insurance companies initially proposed.

Translation: the actuaries at the insurance companies said that costs will be much higher but the bureaucrats at the regulatory agencies said the actuaries were wrong and lowered their projections to fit their own political reality.

Laurence on July 28, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Not exactly… see my earlier post. The actuaries have no way to model the composition of their new customers under the Obamcare mandate, driving fear that a disproportionate number of patients with pre-existing conditions will favor their health plan over others. So while it’s an actuarial headache, it’s also an inevitable step on the path toward offering affordable healthcare to everyone, including those with any kind of pre-existing condition.

In a few years, actuaries will have collected enough data to create better models, leading to pricing that’s more directly tied to risk instead of the myriad ‘what if’ scenarios that distract the insurers today.

bayam on July 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Actually, the actuaries are very well aware of the impact and have plenty of data on how people behave.

They need only look at Medicaid and Medicare.

LaCalle and Rabin noted that “many studies on frequent ED use have considered the influence of insurance status and have found this patient population to be predominantly covered.”

Much of that coverage, however, is provided through Medicare and Medicaid, and frequent ED users are more likely to be enrolled in those programs. “Among those patients who can be characterized as ‘occasional’ users, 36% are publicly insured,” the researchers found, “versus the 60% of frequent users who carry Medicare or Medicaid.”

One national survey cited by the researchers found that the odds ratio for patients with government insurance being frequent users was 2.1 (P<0.001).

And for what happened with RomneyObamacare.

As John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis has often pointed out, in Massachusetts, where an individual mandate was instituted in 2006, emergency room traffic is higher than ever before. Indeed, between 2005 and 2007, Massachusetts ER visits rose by 7 percent, and the state’s costs of caring for ER patients rose 17 percent between 2007 and 2009.

The math is simple, braying brayam; you and your fellow Obama halfwits don’t spend money on health care intelligently when you have to pay for it NOW, and there’s no way you’re going to do it when you’re spending “free” money.

Besides, Brayam, you lied. Your Pelosi said we would all get free health care. Your Obama said we would only pay $2,500 for a family plan. Your entire Obama Party screamed that premiums would go down, not up.

You lied. You got caught lying. And you are a pathetic shill who is now trying to lie your way out of the lies.

Do you really believe what you say, or are you just terrified of admitting that you were taken for a ride by a black-skinned con man because you were too racist and stupid to think?

northdallasthirty on July 29, 2013 at 11:21 AM