More of HHS’s ObamaCare rates are out, and good news: They’re “lower than expected”!

posted at 3:21 pm on September 25, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

I always have to wonder: Lower than who expected, exactly? I suppose the “who” is meant to be a practically irrelevant 2012 CBO estimate in this case, and sure, such optimistic and friendly-sounding spin is a good way to mask the inconvenient reality that premiums will still be going up for a hell of a lot of Americans — but the fact that that’s the best headliner they could come up with leaves much to be desired.

While the Obama administration has been touting the oh-so-excellent numbers from blue states enthusiastically implementing ObamaCare of their own volition — including those whose health care costs are already among the costliest in the nation — we’ve been waiting to hear more comprehensive information about the 36 states in which the administration is fully or partially coordinating the ACA’s implementation. According to the glowing press release from HHS this morning finally getting some numbers a mere week before ObamaCare enrollment begins, “Premiums before tax credits will be more than 16 percent lower than projected” — doesn’t that sound nice, ya’ll? Via Reuters:

Americans will pay an average premium of $328 monthly for a mid-tier health insurance plan when the Obamacare health exchanges open for enrollment next week, and most will qualify for government subsidies to lower that price, the Obama administration said on Wednesday.

The figure, based on data for approved insurance plans in 48 states, represents the broadest national estimate for how much Americans will pay for health coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law next year. The prices of the new plans are at the heart of a political debate over whether they will be affordable enough to attract millions of uninsured Americans. …

“For millions of Americans these new options will finally make health insurance work within their budgets,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a briefing with reporters.

The Obama administration is counting on signing up 7 million Americans in the first full year of reform through the state exchanges, including 2.7 million younger and healthier consumers who are needed to offset the costs of sicker members.

The report is hardly what you’d call “comprehensive” (as Politico notes, ahem), and while Sebelius happily touts that, for millions of Americans, “these new options will finally make health insurance work within their budgets” — she’s rather neglecting to mention that, for millions more, it will place health insurance squarely outside of the range of their budgets.

Avik Roy has his reliable followup to the administration’s roseate projections up at Forbes, chiding HHS’s report for “releasing a trickle of data and a load of spin”:

Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.

“Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected,” HHS cheerfully announces in its press release. But that’s a ruse. HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect.

Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin agrees. “There are literally no comparisons to current rates. That is, HHS has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, and how much. Instead they try to distract with a comparison to a hypothetical number that has nothing to do with the actual experience of real people.”

And etcetera. Read on for more details about specific demographic averages and regional variations, but rest assured that the Obama administration and its supporters will definitely be using spin like this in their recently ramped-up PR gamble:

The White House on Tuesday kicked off a six-month campaign to encourage millions of Americans to sign up for health coverage under “Obamacare,” an effort in which the president and other political celebrities promote the law’s promise of subsidized health coverage. …

Next week, consumers in most states will begin to see more social media promotions from the Obama administration, targeting young adults in urban areas that are home to many of the nation’s estimated 47 million uninsured people, according to senior administration officials.

The effort coincides with an expected $1 billion marketing initiative from health insurers, hospitals and health systems, as well as public outreach efforts by groups ranging from AARP, churches and charities to the Walgreen and CVS pharmacy chains, officials said.


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This is just more lies by this scum of the earth lowlife.

tmgrant on September 26, 2013 at 6:48 AM

‘Lower than expected’…this coming from the administration that promised / said:

Obamacare won’t cost a dime….will pay for itself….will reduce the deficit…will LOWER the cost of health care – insurance”. They were just a little off….approx $1.5 TRILLION OFF!

Reports I have read show the LOWEST insurance offered for some healthy single people are a minimum 300% more per month than they are paing now.

And, BTW…Sebelius should be in JAIL at the most – out of government service at the least – for ‘blackmailing’ companies she oversees and using / spending NON-Tax Revenue funds on government programs. THAT is ‘Un-Constitutional’ / Illegal! Standard Operating Procedures for the Obama administration / Liberals.

easyt65 on September 26, 2013 at 7:49 AM

These scoundrel lie, cheat and obfuscate in order to manipulate and control the mindless masses. The sad part is they’re getting away with it.

rplat on September 26, 2013 at 8:11 AM

They expect young people, most of which have very little disposable income to begin with, to start throwing down $328 a month? Good luck with that. Watch for subsidies to skyrocket, which means taxes must skyrocket in tandem.

rickv404 on September 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM

How did Kansas ever elect this witch governor?

Isn’t that a conservative state?

bluegill on September 26, 2013 at 9:01 AM

I am going out on a limb and make a prediction:

BY SUNDAY OR MONDAY, A ONE YEAR DELAY IN IMPLEMENTING THE PROGRAM IN ITS ENTIRETY WILL BE ANNOUNCED.

Something tells me someone is going to come to the sudden realization that they are not ready to launch this thing yet.

pilamaye on September 26, 2013 at 9:07 AM

In time, all Americans will know the full horror of Obamacare. Spin can only work if the facts aren’t sticking in your belly and spilling your blood and guts on the pavement.

Obamacare exists because of three people: Olympia Snowe, John Roberts, and Mitt Romney. Is there, perhaps, a political party that they have in common?

Now the Republicans can’t even pay lip service to opposing Obamacare.

I will support a firebrand conservative for President with both my vote and my dollars.

I don’t expect to be donating or voting for a long time.

ElectricPhase on September 26, 2013 at 9:33 AM

I believe we are all going to have to make a visit to Washington…all on the same day.

d1carter on September 25, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Yeh, we have been saying this since pokulous, remember those wonderful days?

neuquenguy on September 26, 2013 at 9:56 AM

ya’ll?

No, y’all.
you + all = y(ou) + all = y’all

fix your spellchecker and you will never have to be in doubt again

AesopFan on September 26, 2013 at 10:07 AM

So Utopia is just as much about the journey train-ride as the destination internment camp?

oldroy on September 25, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Utopia is obedience.

Just be glad that we have somebody to lead us. Someone to follow. Someone to make us all better.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 25, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Hmm. This certainly explains why Islam and the Left get on so well, islam meaning submission.

As for expensive plans, try living in CT. I know a family lawyer with a wife and two children, and 10 years ago their catastrophic plan, with no prescription or regular medical care coverage was costing them around $2K a month. For 2012 my employer offered two PPO plans from Aetna. The PPO1 apparently cost them and me over $23K for a family plan. So of course that was the plan they dropped for 2013, leaving the PPO2, which must be damn close to a Cadillac plan (employees pay about 10% of premiums, and the employee share was $1500 more per year) and an HDI/HSA plan, which I am ineligible for since my husband is retired Navy and we have Tricare. So we’re running on just Tricare this year, since the Tricare out of pocket cap was less than my share of the Aetna PPO premiums.

I can hardly wait to see what they offer us for 2014. /sarc

I should add that my pay raises the last four years have barely covered the increase in gas costs to get to work. My husband has seen only one raise in his retirement pay, and the same at his job, as well as cuts in his hours. Not to mention the tax increases, including the loss of one child tax credit as elder child hit 17.

I’m applying for a second part time job today. I honestly don’t know how folks are making it, since we make over our area’s median family income. Once the youngest is out of high school, we’re out of here. Which is a pity, because I like CT, and I really, really, like our victorian farm house.

LibraryGryffon on September 26, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Hey, they don’t suck as bad as they thought they would!

Gosh, that’s special.

So much for bending the cost curve down, one supposes.

Heckuva job there, Earflaps McSpendypants. Why not reward yourself, and golf for the 149th time. Or throw a baseball like a pansy. Or brick up 20 more basketball shots. Or do some special olympics (or somethin’) bowling.

Jackass.

GrassMudHorsey on September 26, 2013 at 10:55 AM

They know they are lying about this and everything else they say. But since they will never be held accountable for their lies, they have no incentive to do anything else.

The press will parrot what they’re told to parrot.

The low info voters will only hear their side of the story.

If the LIVs hear the other side of the story, it will always be in the context of how those evil republicans are thwarting every effort of our glorious leader.

Whether it works or not is irrelevant to them. It will never work, they know this, but all they want is a club to use against their political opposition (anyone who disagrees, in any way, with anything they want to do). This is perfect for that purpose. They have a ready boogeyman. This time, they’re called republicans. We all know what they’ve been called at other times thoughout history.

“This is how freedom dies. To thunderous applause.”

runawayyyy on September 26, 2013 at 11:24 AM

pilamaye on September 26, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Posting a prediction under a pseudonym on a website is not going out on a limb. No consequences to you other than being wrong.

gerrym51 on September 26, 2013 at 11:36 AM

They expect young people, most of which have very little disposable income to begin with, to start throwing down $328 a month? Good luck with that. Watch for subsidies to skyrocket, which means taxes must skyrocket in tandem.

rickv404 on September 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Except that you’re ignoring that young people can remain on their parent’s family insurance plan until the age of 26. 27+ isn’t exactly a babe fresh out the craddle.

libfreeordie on September 26, 2013 at 11:54 AM

They expect young people, most of which have very little disposable income to begin with, to start throwing down $328 a month? Good luck with that. Watch for subsidies to skyrocket, which means taxes must skyrocket in tandem.

rickv404 on September 26, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Except that you’re ignoring that young people can remain on their parent’s family insurance plan until the age of 26. 27+ isn’t exactly a babe fresh out the craddle.

libfreeordie on September 26, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Except of course that in the current wonderful world of Obamanomics, it will take until their 27 for them to get a real job (if they are lucky) which pays enough for them to be able to move out of their parents’ basement or attic, putting them at least 5 years behind their parents for becoming functional adults in society.

LibraryGryffon on September 26, 2013 at 1:23 PM

libfreeordie on September 26, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Correct – but the charges can now go out of sight. What we are seeing is that family coverage for employers is going to get real expensive. So 26 doesn’t save them any longer.

Zomcon JEM on September 26, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Except that you’re ignoring that young people can remain on their parent’s family insurance plan until the age of 26. 27+ isn’t exactly a babe fresh out the craddle.

libfreeordie on September 26, 2013 at 11:54 AM

You’re ignoring the fact that many parents do have any insurance to begin with so how can their children be on it. You’re ignoring the fact that many young people do not have any parents… especially young black people. Clearly you do not care about them. I understand being a burden is a right of passage for you libtards as dependency is the one thing you’re able to achieve on your own.

Buttercup on September 26, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Except that you’re ignoring that young people can remain on their parent’s family insurance plan until the age of 26. 27+ isn’t exactly a babe fresh out the craddle.

libfreeordie on September 26, 2013 at 11:54 AM

‘Family glitch’ in health law could be painful

A “family glitch” in the 2010 health care law threatens to cost some families thousands of dollars in health insurance costs and leave up to 500,000 children without coverage, insurance and health care analysts say.

Congress defined “affordable” as 9.5% or less of an employee’s household income, mostly to make sure people did not leave their workplace plans for subsidized coverage through the exchanges. But the “error” was that it only applies to the employee — and not his or her family. So, if an employer offers a woman affordable insurance, but doesn’t provide it for her family, they cannot get subsidized help through the state health exchanges.

weaselyone on September 26, 2013 at 3:42 PM

I was looking for that story link, Weasely. Thanx!

avagreen on September 26, 2013 at 3:51 PM

avagreen on September 26, 2013 at 3:51 PM

You are welcome.

weaselyone on September 26, 2013 at 4:28 PM

On the local ABC affiliate here in Dallas (WFAA), they had Clay Jenkins, a Dem who’s the Dallas County Judge (basically the county mayor) on, talking about how cheap ObamaCare will be. He’s the local shill for OCare. He claimed that a family of four earning $50,000 net income a year would pay $26 a month, and a single person aged 27 would pay $74 a month. What a load of crap!

http://www.wfaa.com/news/texas-news/County-Judge-Obamacare-rates-in-Dallas-lower-than-expected-225338152.html

Ward Cleaver on September 26, 2013 at 5:40 PM

The family glitch makes me wonder if this was designed specifically as another attack on the traditional one-income two-parent family. Because the working parent’s plan has to cover the kids, although the parent will probably have to pay the full freight of their premiums, but, but the second, non-working parent is screwed. So the only way to get even vaguely “affordable” insurance (really, we HAVE to stop calling it health care) is for both parents to work.

LibraryGryffon on September 26, 2013 at 6:05 PM

On the local ABC affiliate here in Dallas (WFAA), they had Clay Jenkins, a Dem who’s the Dallas County Judge (basically the county mayor) on, talking about how cheap ObamaCare will be. He’s the local shill for OCare. He claimed that a family of four earning $50,000 net income a year would pay $26 a month, and a single person aged 27 would pay $74 a month. What a load of crap!
http://www.wfaa.com/news/texas-news/County-Judge-Obamacare-rates-in-Dallas-lower-than-expected-225338152.html

Ward Cleaver on September 26, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Do not know what that guy is smoking but in CT … Silver plan for family of 4 is $20,000. If that family nets 50,000 if they get a subsidy… It’s not much. Y

Caseoftheblues on September 26, 2013 at 9:52 PM

This is all lies, trickery and thuggery.Does this administration not understand that Americans don’t want this stupid law that will bankrupt the country?

tmgrant on September 27, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Except that you’re ignoring that young people can remain on their parent’s family insurance plan until the age of 26.

I left home at age 19. Do people really think a lot of young people, who may have been independent for years, are going to ask Mommy and Daddy if they can get back on their health plan? If they’re anything like my tough-love parents, they wouldn’t let me back on their plan anyway. I can see if you’re still in college, but for those of us who left home right after high school, or early 20′s, it would be too humiliating. Plus, then your parents are all into your business – nah!

sydneyjane on September 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

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