Democrats' New Argument: It's A Good Thing That Obamacare Doubles Individual Health Insurance Premiums
...The key thing to remember is that back when Obamacare was being debated in Congress, Democrats claimed that it was right-wing nonsense that premiums would go up under Obamacare. “What we know for sure,” Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber told Ezra Klein in 2009, “is that [the bill] will lower the cost of buying non-group health insurance.” For sure.
In 2009, was Ezra saying that it’s ok that premiums will double for the average person, because a minority of people will pre-existing conditions will benefit? No.
Earlier that year, AHIP, the private insurer trade group, commissioned a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers to analyze the impact of Obamacare on health insurance premiums in the individual market. That report, which I reviewed here and elsewhere, found that the version of Obamacare then being considered by the Senate Finance Committee would increase premiums by 14 to 32 percent, depending on the year you looked at. In retrospect, the PwC report was a bit optimistic.
But Ezra described the PwC analysis as “the insurance industry’s deceptive report,” comparing it to sham research put out by the tobacco industry and Big Oil. Ezra did concede at the time that “buying better insurance will cost somewhat more,” because insurers would no longer be able “to sell a deceptive and insufficient product.”
But high-deductible, catastrophic insurance isn’t cheaper because it’s dishonest. It’s cheaper because it’s more efficiently designed. And it’s precisely that sort of efficiently-designed insurance that Obamacare abolishes....
...The fact that Obamacare dramatically raises premiums on young people is a big deal, because the majority of uninsured people are young. It’s the fact that insurance is already so expensive that leads so many young people to opt out. They’re perfectly healthy; they don’t have a lot of money; but they’re being asked to shell out thousands of bucks for policies they won’t use. And Obamacare’s solution to this problem is…to force them to pay more? We’ll see how that goes....