The PJ Tatler

Liberal Columnist: Obamacare's 'Rate Shock' Is Good and Essential

Remember when Barack Obama promised that American families would see their health insurance rates go down by $2,500 a year? Josh Barro hopes that you don’t remember that, because it’s not gonna happen and never was.

Once Obamacare is implemented, America’s health insurance system will be a thicket of subsidies and transfers that benefit some people and harm others.

That’ s not how Obama sold it.

Critics of the law have seized on this observation, noting the existence of “rate shock”: some people (especially young and healthy ones with moderate and high incomes who buy insurance in the individual market) will pay more than they used to, so others can pay less.

That’s not how Obama sold it.

But here’s the thing: Before Obamacare, our health insurance system was already a thicket of subsidies and transfers. The law doesn’t simplify the system, but it does make the thicket of subsidies and transfers more sensible: directed more at people who have low incomes or high health needs, and greatly shrinking the share of the population that doesn’t have health coverage at all.

Making the thicket more sensible will mean that some people’s costs go up, producing “rate shock.”

And…you’ll like it! Barro goes on from there to engage in classic warfare, attacking Ted Cruz’s private health plan. Because Ted Cruz is the left’s new Emmanuel Goldstein. If liberals don’t hate on him for a few minutes a day, they just never feel right.

The undeniable fact that Barack Obama sold Obamacare as a program that would be cheaper for families, and would cost no one their healthcare or their doctor, just Does. Not. Matter. to many of Obama’s supporters. It just doesn’t. Josh Barro et al helped Obama sell America the pig in a poke in the first place. They’re not about to engage any talk of a refund.