Obama told us during his election campaigns that health care premiums would go down an average of $2,500. How did he intend to achieve that? By reducing choice and competition, and require insurance companies to cover more stuff, like drug addiction therapy, onto every health care plan.
Here he is promising things to young voters:
So what happened? Health care premiums went up, because the more stuff that your health care plan has to cover (e.g. – drug addiction treatment) the more you have to pay for that health care plan. And so, as I blogged about before, health care premiums have actually gone up $4,865 on average, per year. Yes, this is another case of keep your doctor / keep your health plan lies.
Well, that’s all fine and good, because this is America, and no one will be forced to buy these expensive plans that cover things that you don’t want or need, right? Well, not so much. See, there is this Obamacare thing called the “individual mandate”, and it says that everyone has to buy health care, or they have to pay a fine. Even single young men in their 30s who don’t even need health care have to buy health care.
Investors Business Daily explains:
Millions of people who will start shopping for ObamaCare plans as early as Sunday will have one question in mind: How much is the cheapest plan for avoiding a $695 individual mandate penalty?
For the vast majority, that means the cheapest bronze plan. The next question they’ll consider, taking into account the deductible that will rise as high as $6,850 in 2016, is whether they would be better off paying a penalty.
A lot of factors will play into the decision, but for most relatively young and healthy adults, the biggest will be just how much more it will cost to get insurance than to go without coverage.
An IBD review of 2016 rates in one major metro area in each of the 37 states using HealthCare.gov reveals where higher bronze-plan costs — even after subsidies — will make the mandate penalty look relatively attractive.
So you either have to pay a $695 or you have to buy a bronze plan with a $6,850 deductible. Most people never use that much health care, so they will be paying out of pocket for all their health care anyway. So, either you are paying a fine that covers nothing, or you are paying for a plan that covers nothing.
Here is the chart of bronze health care plans:
The accompanying chart lists the after-subsidy cost of the cheapest bronze plan for a 30-year-old earning 257% of the poverty level, or about $30,000. At the top of the chart, young adults earning $30,000 in Miami, Atlanta and Jackson, Miss., would have to pay more than $2,200 for the cheapest exchange plan — or more than triple the mandate penalty.
What’s nice about this is the justice of it. It’s the young, hip, middle-class young people who are going to end up with the bill for their Democrat-voting in 2008 and 2012.
The question is whether average moderate-earning 30-year-olds, assuming they have that much money available for insurance, will think it is better to pay an extra $1,130 or so for a plan with a huge deductible or whether it makes sense to hope for the best and hold on to that cash to pay any medical bills that arise.
A logical goal of the individual mandate is to get young and healthy adults with moderate incomes to sign up for coverage, since low-income young adults get pretty big subsidies and may not need as much of a push to enroll. Yet ObamaCare’s individual mandate does not seem well designed to achieve its goal, which helps explain why young-adult enrollment is somewhere around 2 million below target at this point.
Health care reform is a valid goal, and we do need health care to get cheaper. But the way to do that is not to elect someone who has not done it, but who just makes a lot of promises. The way to fix health care is by electing someone who has experience at fixing health care.