December 21, 2013
It’s hard to come up with new ways to describe the Obama administration’s improvisational approach to the Affordable Care Act’s troubled health insurance exchanges. But last night, the White House made its most consequential announcement yet. The administration will grant a “hardship exemption” from the law’s individual mandate, requiring the purchase of health insurance, to anyone who has had their prior coverage canceled and who “believes” that Obamacare’s offerings “are unaffordable.” These exemptions will substantially alter the architecture of the law’s insurance marketplaces. Insurers are at their wits’ end, trying to make sense of what to do next. . . .
For years, these pages have raised the concern that the “Affordable Care Act” will drive up the cost of health insurance. “What is remarkable about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” I wrote in 2010, is “its devastating consequences for the cost of health insurance.” A 49-state analysis I conducted along with two colleagues at the Manhattan Institute found that the average state will see underlying premiums increase by an average of 41 percent in the individual market, the market where people shop for coverage on their own, instead of getting it through an employer or the government. (Our state-by-state interactive map can be found here.)
But this most recent announcement from the Obama administration is the first time it has publicly admitted that Obamacare is making health insurance less affordable, not more so, for millions of Americans.
ObamaCare is a debacle, wrapped in a catastrophe, shrouded in a disaster.
Related: 2010 Obama Derides the Catastrophic Policies 2013 Obama Is Now Endorsing. Sen. Barrasso sounds amazingly prescient; President Obama . . . not so much.
UPDATE: From the comments: “This IS Obama’s Katrina. Except Obama isn’t Bush. He’s Ray Nagin.”