Free Markets, Free People

Trying to change the argument

The New Republic publishes an article saying, in essence, “see, the ObamaCare increases are nothing to really get excited about“.  And to emphasize the point, they issue this Price-Waterhouse map (the reason they use it is as an appeal to authority):

If you look at it, you’d likely conclude that they were mostly right … where’s the problem?  Only Indiana seems to have a real problem and its increases are only around 15%.

And, you know, if Price-Waterhouse says it, it must be true.

Researching it beyond that, well, that would be journalism:

INDIANA: 2015 premiums increases ‘as high as … 46-percent’ “Initial 2015 premiums filed for the Obamacare exchanges in Indiana ranged from as high as a 46-percent hike to as low as a 9-percent cut.” (Indianapolis Business Journal, 5/19/14)

MARYLAND: 2015 premiums could increase up to 30% “Maryland’s dominant insurance company, CareFirst, is proposing hefty premium increases of 23 to 30 percent for consumers buying individual plans next year under the federal health-care law, according to filings released Friday.” (The Washington Post, 6/6/14)

WASHINGTON: 2015 premiums could increase ‘up to 26%’ “If approved, rate increases for 2015 individual health plans proposed by 12 insurance companies may affect most policyholders… [up] to an increase of 26 percent…” (The Seattle Times, 5/13/14)

ARIZONA: 2015 premium increases up to 25.5 percent “New filings trickling into the Arizona Department of Insurance show at least two health insurers plan to increase rates more than 10 percent. Cigna Wants To Increase Rates An Average Of 14.4 Percent And Humana, 25.5 Percent.” (The Arizona Republic, 6/2/14)

LOUISIANA: ‘Double-digit increases’ up to 24% possible “Some Louisiana private health insurers filed for double-digit percentage increases in 2015 for policies sold under the Affordable Care Act’s health exchange, according to filings this week with the Louisiana Department of Insurance.” (New Orleans Times Picayune, 7/15/14)

·         “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, the state’s largest provider, is proposing rate increases of between 18.3 percent and 19.7 percent for policyholders in its Blue Saver, Blue Max and its Multi-State individual health plans. The plans cover 52,638 people. … The 4,947 people who signed up with Human Louisiana facea hike of 15.7 percent, while the 966 insured residents with Time Insurance Company face a hike of 24 percent, according to the filings made public this week.”(New Orleans Times Picayune, 7/15/14)

TENNESSEE: 2015 Premiums Could Increase up to 21.7% “BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee — the state’s dominant health insurance provider — is asking to raise rates by an average of 19 percent for its exchange plans in 2015, according to documents filed with the state of Tennessee. …the consumer will experience a rate increase between 6.1 percent and 21.7 percent, depending on the product he or she has bought.” (Chattanooga Times Free Press, 7/17/14)

·         “Meanwhile, Cigna is requesting an average rate increase of 7.5 percent in 2015, while Kentucky-based Humana would like to boost marketplace rates by an average of 14.4 percent.” (Chattanooga Times Free Press, 7/17/14)

NEW YORK: 2015 premiums could increase up to 19.7% “Insurance firms participating in New York’s ObamaCare health exchange are seeking double-digit hikes for patient medical premiums in 2015, new figures reviewed by The Post reveal. The average hike sought by insurers for individual plans is 12 percent—but a number of firms serving large numbers of patients want to boost individual premiums by nearly 20 percent. Leading the charge is Excellus Health Plan, which is seeking to sock more than 24,000 customers with a 19.7 percent hike.” (New York Post, 7/3/14)

VERMONT: 2015 premiums could increase up to 18.3% “The two companies that sell policies on the state’s online health insurance marketplace — Vermont Health Connect — have filed requests with state regulators for big rate increases for 2015. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont has asked for an average increase for its plans of 9.8 percent. … the increases would have averaged 3.3 percent if not for federal and state mandates. … MVP Health Care proposed an even bigger rate increase — an average 15.4 percent, with a range starting at 10.7 percent and rising to 18.3 percent.” (Burlington Free Press, 6/3/14)

MICHIGAN: 2015 premium increases up to 18 percent “Most people buying their own health insurance in Michigan could see near double-digit premium increases next year. State insurance regulators said Wednesday that dominant insurers Blue Care Network and Blue Cross Blue Shield want to raise rates by an average of 9.3 percent or 9.7 percent in 2015. … Humana is the insurer with the third most customers in Michigan’s individual market and seeks an average 18 percent rate increase affecting 16,600 customers.” (The Associated Press, 6/26/14)

VIRGINIA: 2015 premiums could increase up to 14.9% “…the Anthem HealthKeepers Inc. plan offered by a unit of WellPoint Inc. said it would raise premiums by an average of 8.5% across its individual plans in Virginia, which cover about 110,000 people and are sold on the online insurance exchange set up by the health law, as well as directly to consumers. … The Virginia filings show other health plans proposing rate increases ranging from 3.3% for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., with around 10,000 members in the state, to 14.9% for CareFirst BlueChoice Inc., which said it had about 32,000 members.” (The Wall Street Journal, 5/11/14)

IOWA: 2015 premium increases up to 14.5 percent “About a quarter of a million Iowans would see their insurance rates rise next year should the state approve a request from Iowa’s dominant health insurer. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced Friday that it is seeking to raise premium rates for 253,000 policyholders in Iowa. Those rate increases would affect individual policyholders and small businesses. Most — 92 percent — of the proposed rate increases would be less than 5.9 percent, according to numbers provided by Wellmark. … For the remaining 7.5 percent of policyholders — those who have post-Affordable Care Act plans for individuals under 65 — Wellmark is asking for a rate increase between 11.9 percent and 14.5 percent.” (Des Moines Register, 6/20/14)

OHIO: “Premiums would increase 13 percent next year for Ohioans who buy health coverage through the federally run insurance exchange, the Ohio Department of Insurance said yesterday.” (The Columbus Dispatch, 5/30/14)

OREGON: 2015 premiums could increase up to 12.5% “Moda Health captured more than 40 percent of the state’s exchange enrollees this year, with about 95,000 people covered under its plans. The company is proposing to increase prices by an average of 12.5 percent. Only one other carrier proposed a double-digit price increase.” (The Hill, 6/11/14)

RHODE ISLAND: 2015 premium increases ‘averaging 12 percent’ Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is proposing 2015 premium increases averaging 12 percent for individuals and families, and 8 percent for small groups.” (Providence Journal, 5/19/14)

DELAWARE: 2015 premiums could increase 5% “Delawareans could face higher insurance costs under the Affordable Care Act next year under new rate requests from insurers. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is seeking average premium increases of 5 percent for individuals who bought insurance through Delaware’s exchange.”(The Associated Press, 7/15/14)

And Florida?

Premiums would rise an average 13.2 percent for Floridians, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. But actual increases would vary greatly on families’ size, financial circumstances, county of residence and the types of plans they select.

All that said, that’s not the argument is it?  Wasn’t the promise that ObamaCare would save families an average of $2,500 a  year?

That’s what I remember.

But, you know, it’s a great success.


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27 Responses to Trying to change the argument

  • Lest it be forgotten back in 2010, premiums were going to fall %3000 for employers, so….we could all get raises!
    At the 1:42 mark, so you don’t have to listen to this bloviating asshat any longer than necessary.
    3000%….. and Bush was ‘stupid’.

    • Sorry, make that 1:21.

    • Unreal.

      You just don’t unn’erstand leftist reality. As a conservative, you’re stuck in that real reality, not the lefts nuanced, humane reality.
      So shut up or they’ll kill you.

      • There are many realities, but some are more real than others.

        • So true. Just keep looking back to what we had to deal with when Obama first ran. All the “Lightworker” and swooning and collective hysteria.

  • And this is just a PARTICLE…and only the beginning of THIS particle…of what ObamaDoggle will cost us.  Not the least of which is in FREEDOM and PRIVACY.
    Plus, it is a job-killing MACHINE.

    • Look at the level of wrong and stupid that occurred before they passed this bill – the insane claims made by the proponents – followed by the methods used to pass it – and when it DID pass – the ‘Presidential’ changes, followed by the catastrophic unleashing of the computer systems to sign up for it.    The ongoing lies about the cost, the ongoing lies about the increases, the coverage, the number of people who benefited, the number of people who lost better health care.
      THIS alone should have doomed this administration and by extension the Democratic party, for the next 2 elections.
      But no, it won’t.
      The Dork who shall not be named likes to say we’re deluded – if by ‘we’ he meant the general population, he’d be right.
      Are we really going to have to have riots, plague, famine, and otherwise all manner of plague on Egypt problems to get our heads straight?

      • One of the most disturbing traits/trends of this administration is constant lying and law-breaking by EVERYBODY in the federal government (not literally, of course, but name an agency that hasn’t), followed by stonewalling and coverups.  It seems to have become part of the federal culture, and I don’t think enough of us are as exercised about it as need be.
        Of all the very bad things that Pres. ScamWOW is associated with, this is the worst, long-term.  It isn’t simply that there is a breach in the ties between the government and the rest of us, it is also that they are as open and arrogant about it, patently contemptuous of the people they work for.
        Civil service was an improvement over the corrupt spoils system, but I’m beginning to wonder if a return to something like the spoils system is not needed to churn the pool, so to speak.

        • Ties between government and the rest of us – Congress and the people they represent being a current example – especially since the Democrats seem to think that ‘dis function’ is a permit for the President to do as he wills.
          Ross Douthat wrote a piece in the NYT yesterday about power grabs –
          The fundamental flaw I found in his discussion about Presidential justification is the idea that Congress IS obligated to ‘do something’ every time some group of people get a strong itch, and that if Congress can’t agree on whatever that is, and ‘becomes dysfunctional’ that rather than that being as intended it’s a flaw.
          What all these…gentlemen…seem to forget is that if the Representatives ARE actually doing their jobs and representing their constituents that disfunction may part of the plan.  Just because , say, certain New York or California Senators and Representatives, and the President, might want more undocumented Democrats to be admitted to the country doesn’t mean the current voters in Texas have to agree to that.
          If Congress, divided and unable to act, is representing it’s constituents, also divided, and either side has been so dishonest in it’s past dealings that the other side refuses to ‘be pragmatic’ and cooperate that is AS INTENDED.   There is no obligation for people, as represented by their Congresscritters, to suddenly forgive, forget, move on, and otherwise overlook past shady dealings, prevarications, lies, distortions and other political misbehavior and shenanigans  just because one side thinks their current political desires and ambitions are of overriding import.
          This business of Congress in disfunction is a lot of crap that leads Presidents and clueless hangers on to conclude they can do something because no one else IS even if it’s not permitted Constitutionally.  They don’t want actual compromise, they want victory and you be damned.
          Now, I do understand that a great many of the…gentle people…on the floor of the House and Senate are in it for themselves, but occasionally, maybe, they listen to their constituents in order to keep their cushy jobs.  Mine currently represents me more than adequately when he refuses to cooperate with the opposing side of the House in their plan to sweep conservatives from the floor of the House and turn them into permanent observers.

          • ONE of the problems…and I was more referring to that…is that NO MATTER WHO heads the executive, we have a cadre of entrenched agency people who will actively work to resist reform and foster Collectivism.
            We could have a majority in both houses of Congress, AND the executive, and these people would STILL be doing what they do, with the attitude they have.  And civil service will protect them to a really ridiculous degree.  Milton Friedman wrote about this problem decades ago in The Tyranny Of The Status Quo, and it has gotten MUCH worse since.

          • “In its own more confused, less advanced way, New Dealism too has spread abroad the stress on the state as against the individual, planning as against private enterprise, jobs (even if relief jobs) against opportunities, security against initiative, “human rights” against “property rights.” There can be no doubt that the psychological effect of New Dealism has been what the capitalists say it has been: to undermine public confidence in capitalist ideas and rights and institutions. Its most distinctive features help to prepare the minds of the masses for the acceptance of the managerial social structure”
            James Burnham, The Managerial Revolution
            At least under the spoils system the government employees were answerable to someone other than themselves.

          • Rags, civil service won’t do exactly the same thing with a Republican president. With a Republican they will cool it some (hibernation perhaps), become passive-aggressive, and leak leak leak if it hurts the administration.

          • Well, yeah.  But they will also work in overt and covert ways to sabotage any efforts to reform their behavior.
            They will subvert every effort they run up against, while collaborating with the interest groups that promote the same agenda they hold.  They are the true “permanent” political operators, who are not “political” in the sense we elect them or can get rid of them without a major upheaval in how things are done in the federal system.

  • I followed the link to PWC. What data are they using? They said the average plan was $384 per month without subsidies. Something stinks right there. I have a feeling that they only looked at single plans, not family plans which may explain the difference in what they say is the average rate increase and what you have found.

    • I haven’t seen $384/month insurance for my family for twenty years. And that’s even with HSA / catastrophic care only the last twelve years.
      The catastrophic care coverage ($5000 deductible) started at just under $500 per month in 2002. So, yeah, I think you’re onto something.

      • $384?  Out of whose pocket?
        My wife carries the insurance at our house ($500 deductible/$2000 max out of pocket for each of us)and she just went from $68 every paycheck (every two weeks) to $113 each period. He employer subsidy (A huge brokerage house).
        When our daughter left home and married in 2008, it dropped $17/period.
        But we are in Arizona, not one of those fuzzy states.

        • In my case, it’s all out of my pocket. I’m self-employed. But I think my premiums are not that different from total premiums on typical corporate health plans – unless the company happens to skew very young.

  • Yes, but those are all measured in Federal Funny Money, and as Ezra Klein put it, we’ll never run out of that. Just print a bunch more and send it out in the monthly checks.
    /sarc off

  • <i>Wasn’t the promise that ObamaCare would save families an average of $2,500 a  year?</i>
    Sure it was the promise. It was also complete and utter obvious bullshit unless you had a sub-room temperature IQ. Which, if memory serves, is around 51%-53% of this country’s voters.
    The promise:
    1) universal coverage
    2) better coverage for everyone
    3) health insurance bills reduced by $2500/year
    4) weekly unicorn allowance
    I might have misremembered one of those points. However, the fact that anyone believed this nonsense would, in a just world, be sufficient evidence that they should not be permitted to procreate.

    • Sure, but this isn’t new. It’s just worse now.
      I remember Jimmy Carter’s campaign speeches in 1976 about how he was going to reduce unemployment, eliminate the deficit, lower taxes, reduce interest rates, fix our energy problems, convince the world to all sit around the fire singing Kumbaya, etc. etc. And he was elected too.
      Though I grant you that the toxic ignorance/stupidity index has gotten worse. Carter lost four years later, ushering in the only president of my adult lifetime with any hold on reality. Obama’s failures were even more manifest.
      Shows what two decades of reality-show diversion, celebrity culture, and leftist indoctrination in public schools, coupled with a palace guard media, can do to hide failure from people who really don’t want to think about bad stuff anyway. As others around here have said, until they can’t buy all the Cheetos they want, have to drink dirty water, and sit in the dark without their XBoxes, they won’t be any different.
      They won’t face reality until it’s grim and personal. As long as stuff is happening to other people, even people they know, they’ll just shrug and go watch Netflix to forget about it.

      • “Carter lost four years later, ushering in the only president of my adult lifetime with any hold on reality. Obama’s failures were even more manifest.”
        Hate to say it, but that was before the Internet (Usenet and BBS not counting) gave the ability to…gentlemen….like Ezra Klein to create something like journolist so all the…gentle persons….could get on the same page, literally, with their ‘game changing’ thought herding.
        In theory they’ll look back at Barack Obama and wonder – how the hell did THAT happen,  TWICE, and I think analysis will prove a tidal wave of juiced opinion and news was what did it.
        Lord knows it couldn’t have been his actual accomplishments.

  • “One Nation Under God”
    Just replace that with
    “Where’s my free stuff?!!!”

    Some VERY commonsensical advice and some gobsmacking stats.
    Of course, getting rid of ObamaDoggle is part of the list, and damn good start.

  • of COURSE the argument changed! Remember how we went from Global Warming to Climate Change?
    Still and all, this doesn’t bother me. The people deserve to suffer – they voted for this 2x.

  • And the best (where ‘best’ is meant the same way that getting hit in the head with a bat is ‘fun’) part of this is the number of people who think they got HEALTH CARE from all this.

    • And poor, ignorant people are quickly learning the difference between the illusion of “coverage” and the reality of “care”.

      • It isn’t like the Democrats and the media weren’t busily dancing and singing about how it was the same with enough verve to rival a Busby Berkeley production.