The PJ Tatler

Obamacare's 'Cheap Plans' Are Going Up 10% or More

The other day, I wrote of doctors who are choosing to extricate themselves from the insurance system. They cite bureaucratic busywork and intrusive regulation as factors artificially inflating their costs. This has a detrimental impact on their capacity to provide quality service and maintain a profitable business. Included in the story was reaction from the head of a “consumer advocacy group” who feared the trend toward cash-only medicine would exclude poor and low-income people.

Here’s the thing about that: Obamacare, the government program established for the purpose of providing medical coverage to poor and low-income individuals, is already excluding those folks.

It’s doing so through a combination of escalating premiums and escalating deductibles, which makes coverage as unattainable as it has ever been. Investor’s Business Daily reports:

[A]verage premiums for the cheapest ObamaCare plans in [certain] markets will be almost 13% higher [next year] than this year. Premiums in 22 of them will climb 10% or more, with some showing truly eye-popping hikes.

ObamaCare’s subsidies will take some of the sting away from those eligible for them, but even then the cheapest bronze premium will rise more than 10% in 10 of the 37 markets [investigated].

This news is underscored by government reports that Obamacare enrollment will remain flat at best:

The bottom line is that millions will find ObamaCare’s already-bloated costs going even higher, often for insurance that comes with extremely high deductibles.

These higher costs will make ObamaCare even less attractive to the young and healthy, who largely stayed away in the first two years, despite the increase in the tax penalty for being uninsured.

IBD cites a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, whose authors conclude that many uninsured people will choose to remain uninsured because it doesn’t make financial sense for them to sign up for Obamacare.

In other words, they will be excluded from the wonderful “coverage” Obamacare supposedly offers.

This raises some questions. Why is it bad for a market-driven price to “exclude” a customer who can’t afford it, but okay for a government-driven price to do the same thing?

Shouldn’t it matter, at the very least, that many more people could be served by the market-driven model than the government-driven one? Or is it better to have more people without treatment so long as an effort continues to “cover” everyone?

Put simply, which do we value more, intentions or results?